The Bird Dance N captures Cumberland’s $7,000 Winners Over Pace

Cumberland, ME — Top Maine pacer The Bird Dance N showed his heels to the field as he overpowered a strong group of top class sidesteppers to take Cumberland’s $7,000 Winners Over feature on Sunday (April 14) in 1:55.3.

The Bird Dance N continued his domination of the top pacers in Maine. Chris Tully photo.

The 1-9 heavy favorite was sent right to the top by red-hot driver Dan Deslandes, the position where the pair are most comfortable. From that point it was only a matter of how fast and by how many the duo would leave the field in their wake. Ultimately, the thunder from down under was rated well with splits in :27.3, :58.2 and 1:27 with a final quarter in :28.3, scoring in hand by 2-3/4 lengths. Alex Having Fun (Aaron Hall) finished second; Lexus Witha View A (Nick Graffam) was third.

It was the 38th career victory for the fractious 9-year-old son of A Rocknroll Dance who is trained by Karl Butterfield and owned by Jose Cerventes. With lifetime earnings of $283,083, it appears that The Bird Dance N is well on his way to another successful campaign. He paid $2.20 for the win.

Butterfield had four wins on the program, with the other three driven by Shawn Thayer: Ohoka Johnny N (1:57.3, $3.40); Rod’s Beach (1:57.2, $3.00); and It’s Above Me Now (1:58.4, $3.60).

The Deslandes clan followed up their big opening day with driver Dan grabbing his second grand slam in a row, three of which came from the collective stable of trainer Jeff and caretaker Kori: Miss U Big Mike (1:57, $3.80); Bo Master (1:58.1, $4.40); and Next Big Thing (1:59.3, $2.60).

The anticipated debut of the Maine Amateur Driving Club saw driver McKenzie Sowers pick right up where she left off, copping the $5,000 event with her own Premier Joy A in 1:59. Sowers took immediate command from post four and never looked back with the 1-5 favorite. They paid $2.40 to win. Always A Panther (Benson Merrill) finished second; Deedee Didit (Hunter Lofthus) was third. The race was sponsored by Blue Seal Feed Stores of North Yarmouth and Windham, Maine.

Sowers got two wins as a conditioner on the day’s program, also getting a victory with the Walter Case Jr.-driven Cinco Senorita in 1:59.1.

Horsemen are reminded to check the USTA’s online condition sheet for this week’s double draw which will be held Tuesday (April 16) for the Friday and Saturday (April 19 and 20) race dates. Additional information, plus live coverage and replays, is available on our website at

Racing resumes at First Tracks Cumberland on Friday (April 19). The current meet will continue throughout the Spring and early Summer months with regular racing on Friday and Saturday each weekend. First post continues to be scheduled for 3:15 p.m. (EDT) during the extended pari-mutuel meeting, which runs through Aug. 3.

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