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MSDS Begins At Cumberland Raceway

Published: June 12, 2021 10:04 pm ET

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The popular Saturday afternoon (June 12) card at Cumberland carried the seasonal debut of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes (MSDS) with three divisions of three-year-old pacing colts and geldings competing.

Sent the 1-5 favourite in the third and final division, the Gordon Corey-trained Call Me Maverick wasted little time taking command of the field. Leaving swiftly from post 5, driver Mike Stevenson sent the sophomore son of Western Maverick right to the top going into the tight first turn at the fairgrounds.

On top the entire mile, it wasn’t until the final stretch drive that Call Me Maverick had any anxious moments. Following a :28.4 third quarter, Driver Kevin Switzer, Jr. moved American Maverick off the pylons to challenge the leader, getting to within a head of the 1:59.3 victor in the final strides.

“He did his job. Like all owners and trainers, perhaps we would have liked to see a more formidable performance, perhaps a little more impressive,” said Gordon Corey, the colt’s conditioner. “But, ultimately we took home the Lion’s share of the porridge for the day. So we are thankful for the blessings that we do have.”

Owned and bred by Upland Farm, last season Call Me Maverick had things pretty much his own way, winning eight of 10 starts and earning $61,774 at age two. In fact, it seems that in Maine-sired events, if you want to beat a Western Maverick, you will need a Western Maverick.

His dominance in the program is evident as half of the three-year-old starters are offspring of the world-champion son of Western Hanover. In fact, in Saturday’s second and third divisions, Western Maverick colts and geldings earned first, second and third money.

When asked about locking bridles with some of the other foes in the division, Corey said, “There are a few boys in there that should be reckoned with. It won’t, by any stretch, be an easy season. You know, sometimes the individual fights and the year-long battles will result in more than one wounded soldier.”

Call Me Maverick paid $2.40 to win, with no show wagering allowed.

In other MSDS action, Edelman won the first division — also in 1:59.3 — for driver, breeder and co-owner Ron Cushing (with Kevin Sywyk) and trainer Heidi Gibbs. The second division was captured by Whatawinwillie, also a son of Western Maverick, in 1:59.4. He is owned, trained and bred by Marc Tardif and was driven by Kevin Switzer, Jr. The ‘glamour boy’ division meets again in 11 days at Bangor on Wednesday, June 23.

Live harness racing from Cumberland is presented each Tuesday and Saturday through early August. First-race post time each race day 2:30 p.m. (EDT). For more information go to the Cumberland Raceway website.

(First Tracks Cumberland)

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