Maine Sire Stakes Kick Off Wednesday

Hesjustadelight winning at Bangor Raceway
Published: June 11, 2024 02:52 pm EDT

Two fields of six three-year-old male pacers highlight the first $32,000 USD round of Maine Sire Stakes action at Bangor Raceway on Wednesday, June 12, which marks the start of the 18-week season of New England’s premier harness racing showcase. 

With up to 10 legs for each division throughout the summer and autumn months, and with significant purse increases, the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes has been promoting and providing a venue for Pine Tree State Standardbreds since the legislative establishment of the program in 1972. 

While the series has evolved over the last 50 years, so has the speed and durability of the Maine-bred harness horse. While it is not uncommon to see horses by Maine sires competing throughout North America, New England drivers and trainers are also making a name for themselves on the national stage.

Last year’s champion freshman pacer, Hesjustadelight (pictured above), will make his seasonal debut in the $16,416 USD second division of two betting events, which opens the program at historic Bass Park at 3 p.m. 

Trained, driven and co-owned by Ron Cushing, the sophomore son of Western Maverick earned $74,067 last year at two for co-owner and breeder Lynn-Marie Plouffe along with partners A. J. and J. J. Romanelli.  He will score from post four and has been listed as the 7-2 second choice behind a 1-5 morning line favoured ownership entry from the Marc Tardif stable.

The powerful ‘Tardif Taskforce’ annually enters the Maine Sire Stakes loaded for bear, and this year is no exception. The stable's Two Fold Cold has drawn the pylon position for the second race, and will look for redemption having finished second by a mere length to Hesjustadelight in last year’s $51,023 Maine Sire Stakes final at Cumberland. The three-year-old son of Deuce Seelster has already equalled his lifetime best of 1:59.4 a few weeks ago, and has been installed as the 1-5 heavy favourite with Walter Case Jr. driving, along with his ownership entrymate Ella V Fella (post six, Kevin Switzer Jr.).

In the first $16,416 USD division, Justcallmebuck gets the oddsmaker’s call at 2-1. The gray Deuce Seelster sophomore already has a win and a second on his card this season for trainer Gary Hall and driver Heath Campbell.

Tardif sends out the 5-2 second and 3-1 third choices in Wess Challenge (Walter Case Jr.) and Arts Flight (Kevin Switzer Jr.), the latter coming off a win at Cumberland a few weeks ago.

Below are the entries for the opening leg of the Maine Sire Stakes. Wagering head numbers may differ.

$16,416 USD Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes - Race 1
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line Odds
1. Whats For Suppaah - Aaron Hall - Michelle Hardin -7-1
2. Chance Worth Tryin - Drew Campbell - Kevin Chase - 6-.
3. Arts Flight - Kevin Switzer Jr. - Marc Tardif - 3-1
4. Jjfs Hot Rod Ronie - Mike Stevenson - Ralph D'Amelio II - 7-1
5. Wess Challenge - Walter Case Jr. - Marc Tardif - 5-2
6. Justcallmebuck - Heath Campbell - Gary Hall - 2-1

$16,416 USD Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes - Race 2
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line Odds
1. Two Fold Cold - Walter Case Jr. - Marc Tardif - 1-5
2. Oakleypopsthedeuce - Mcgwire Sowers - Mcgwire Sowers-  10-1
3. Thru The Fire - Andrew Harrington - Marc Tardif - 10-1
4. Hesjustadelight - Ron Cushing - Ron Cushing - 7-2
5. Cbf Windy Fella - David Ingraham - David Crochere - 10-1
6. Ella V Fella - Kevin Switzer Jr. - Marc Tardif - 1-5

Looking ahead to Saturday, June 15, the Cumberland program has two $16,196 USD divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies, which are slated as races one and three on the regular card.  First post is 3:15 p.m. 

(Maine Sire Stakes)

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