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Competitive Fields At Cumberland

Published: June 4, 2021 1:17 pm ET

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Fewer than 10 per cent of the horses racing on Saturday (June 5) at Cumberland have won their last start. Sixty-five per cent of them, however, hit the board in their last two outings. This makes for competitive racing as well as attractive opportunities for punters on the 10-race card.

The only sprint on the day’s program with fewer than seven horses entered is the featured conditioned trot, with six programmed starters vying for a $4,800 purse in the afternoon's opener. Looking for his second win in a row is Jimmy Dean (post 5, 5-2). The six-year-old by Break The Bank K makes a class jump for trainer David Crochere and driver Gary Mosher. The second choice on the morning line is Cherry Crown Jewel (post 2, 3-1), a nine-year-old RC Royalty mare that won her next to last start for trainer Gretchen Athearn and driver Matt Athearn. She drops down from the Winners Over class, where she raced last week.

The first race marks the start of the Pick-5 and is also the first half of the daily double. The third race trot finds J-S For Justice (post 3, 5-2) looking for his second win in a row, following a bump up in competition. Trained by Mike Cayouette and driven by Andy Harrington, the eight-year-old son of Justice Hall is a fresh horse with only three seasonal starts.

Race five is the third and final trot race of the day, with each of the seven diagonal gaiters looking for their first win of the season.

The top pace of the day, a high-level conditioned event carded as race seven, starts the Pick-4. This heat sports a full field of eight starters looking to grab the lion’s share of a $4,800 purse. Buckeye invader Chumlee A (post 5, 2-1) shows a mile in 1:53.2 on April 18 around the flying turns of Northfield. The 10-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere is now in the barn of Heidi Gibbs and gets the services of Ron Cushing. He is sure to be tested by Plus One (post 2, 9-2), who is looking for a softer landing strip after his last few outings at Plainridge for trainer Bobby Marston and regular pilot Mike Stevenson.

Often called the greatest side show in harness racing, amateur drivers take centre stage in race eight. Gunning for bragging rights and a $4,200 purse, the Maine Amateur Driving Club returns for round two with seven reinsmen going behind the starting car.

Charles “Butch” Eaton drew the rail (again) with his own Keystone Camaro (5-1). Last week, he won the event with stablemate Hoboken Hanover, and looks to keep up his winning ways. Top trainer-turned-driver Benson Merrill drops in with Kreacher (post 6, 5-2), who won his last start at Cumberland on May 22, and has raced twice since that date at Bangor.

Clearly a bunch of savvy veteran horses in this event, they collectively share 186 lifetime wins. The winningest of the bunch are Master Of Puppets (post 2, 7-2), with 41 wins lifetime, and Led Schneppelin (post 4, 4-1), with 34 trips to the winner's circle and the largest bankroll of the bunch with $312,637 earned. They will be driven by David Crochere and Michael McGee, respectively.

Once again, Blue Seal Feeds will provide the “swag bucket” trophy, with a representative from either the Windham or North Yarmouth stores making the presentation in the winner’s circle. The eighth race is also the start of the Pick-3.

Live harness racing from Cumberland is presented each Tuesday and Saturday through July 31; post time is 2:30 p.m.

(First Tracks Cumberland)


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