Maine’s Glamour Boys Back At Bangor

So Rock N Roll
Published: September 6, 2023 09:50 pm EDT

Maine’s three-year-old pacing colts and geldings got away from the fairgrounds and invaded historic Bass Park in Bangor for two $14,000-plus divisions of the Sire Stakes and when the dust settled, it was the Tardif Taskforce that came away with the lion’s share of the hardware after sweeping both events—but not without significant effort.

The first $14,692 split produced a real dog fight with some aerial maneuvers that would cause even the most seasoned veteran to take pause.

As the wings folded, driver Walter Case Jr. moved Facemaskrequired to the front from post three. At the :29 first quarter, stablemate Luke McGook and Kevin Switzer Jr. were out and applying early pressure. Both hail from the Mark and Peggy Tardif stable. By the :59.4 half-mile marker Luke McGook, who was trying to redeem his only loss of the season last week at Windsor, had advanced to within a head of the pacesetter Facemaskrequired. Mattucci (Heath Campbell) was second-over following the live cover of Luke McGook.

When the field reached the 1:29.3 third stanza, Luke McGook had poked a nose in front and Mattucci was three-deep right alongside the new leader with Facemaskrequired fighting for his life on the inside, back just a head off the outside duellers. At the head of the stretch, it looked like a two-horse race with the parked aggressors gaining a half-length advantage. But Mattucci faded and Facemaskrequired kicked into another gear and fought back the challenge of stablemate Luke McGook to prevail by a neck in 1:59.3. Twice The Ice (Andy Harrington) finished third, giving the Tardif Taskforce a sweep of the top three positions.

Owned and trained by Marc Tardif, Facemaskrequired broke his maiden in grand fashion for a big boost of confidence. The son of Deuce Seelster was bred by KDK Standardbreds.

In the second $14,917 division, which was raced on the wagering card, Walter Case Jr. drove So Rock N Roll (pictured above) to his second consecutive stakes win for trainer Marc Tardif.

Using the wire-to-wire route, the son of Western Maverick provided both his driver, Case Jr., and his trainer, Tardif, a clean sweep of the afternoon’s two stakes races. Owned by Leighton Property and bred by Lesley Leighton, he scored in 1:58.1 for his fifth win of the season.

So Rock N Roll paid $2.60 to win. Two Towns Over (Aaron Hall) finished second and Rockaroundsam (Switzer Jr.) was third.

After a short break, the Maine Sire Stakes returns to Bangor with the freshman pacing fillies on Saturday (Sept. 16) before transitioning over to the Farmington Fair the following afternoon for four days of Pine Tree State harness racing.

(With files from the Maine Sire Stakes)

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