Use Yah Blinkah turns in a lifetime best performance at Bangor

Cumberland, ME — Use Yah Blinkah turned in a lifetime best performance on Wednesday (Aug. 3) when the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings met at Bangor in the Maine Breeders Stakes.

In the first $18,227 MSBS division, a non-wagering event, driver Heath Campbell sent Use Yah Blinkah right to the front from post position one. From there, the son of Western Maverick set fractions of :28.3 and :59.2 where he controlled the tempo by a comfortable 1-1/2 lengths.

Heath Campbell guided Use Yah Blinkah to a new lifetime mark on Wednesday. Shelley Gilpatrick photo.

Having traveled these roads before, Use Yah Blinkah must have ‘remembered the way’ as the Valerie Grondin-trained gelding had won his only other race of the season at Bangor on June 15 in the opening leg.

Fast forward to week six, when Use Yah Blinkah gained some separation and was on top by five at the head of the stretch following a 1:27.4 third panel.

Coasting home in 1:57, the clocking established a new lifetime mark for owners and breeders David Thibault, Paul Vacca, Ed Nowak Jr. and Jim Hardy. A model of consistency, Use Yah Blinkah has been 17 times 1-2-3 in 19 career starts.

Stormin Maverick (Andy Harrington/Marc Tardif) finished second; Deal With It Roman (Kevin Switzer Jr./ Tardif) was third.

In the second $18,227 MSBS division, Bandolito Blaze (Campbell) blasted out for an early lead to take command from post four. Fresh off a victory at the Union Fair last Wednesday (July 27), the son of Western Maverick posted opening fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:29.

In the stretch drive, Ranaldi (Ron Cushing) tipped off his two-hole cover to grab the lead and got up in the final strides to win by a quarter-length in 1:58. CBF Quirt Gun (Nick Graffam/David Crochere) finished third.

Another son of Western Maverick, Ranaldi is trained by Heidi Gibbs and is owned and was bred by reinsman Ron Cushing.

The Maine-sired sophomores return to Bangor once again for all of the 3-year-old MSBS divisional finals on Oct. 15. The 2-year-old championships will be held two weeks earlier on Saturday (Oct. 1) at the Cumberland Fair.

Next week the series transitions over to Topsham for five days of racing beginning Sunday (Aug. 7) and continuing through Saturday (Aug. 13).

The remaining Maine Breeders Stakes will be raced on the following dates at the Maine fairs listed below:

Showhegan, Aug. 14–20
Windsor, Aug. 27–Sept. 5
Farmington, Sept. 18–21
Cumberland, Sept. 28–Oct. 1 (2-year-old finals)
Fryeburg, Oct 6–8

For more information about the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes, follow our Facebook page @MaineBreedersAssociation, or go to the Maine State website.

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