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Call Me Maverick Leads MSBS

Published: July 19, 2021 3:05 pm ET

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Harness fans will never hear trainer Gordon Corey brag about one of his horses, despite their past success or future potential. But when the three-year-old male pacers make their fourth and final stop at First Tracks Cumberland Tuesday (July 20) with two $10,000 divisions for the fifth leg of the Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes (MSBS), the horse everyone else will be talking about is Call Me Maverick.

Despite spending half a century training, driving and racing horses, Corey has never been one to speak openly about one of his charges. One may hear the occasional, ‘He’s a nice little horse’ or ‘she’ll be okay’, but the 78-year-old Maine native would rather discuss his affinity for Bob Dylan than tout a pupil from his Institute of Equine Erudition.

Perhaps the humility stems from his modest beginnings around the New England racetracks of the past — a folklore and experience that has molded such other notable horsemen as Freeman Parker and Donnie Richards, whose fabled status are now given to the eponymous Maine Legends series.

Through much poking and prodding, today’s Corey quote was simple: “We’ve done our job, now the horse has to do his.” That’s it, which is hardly ‘ready for primetime’ rhetoric. Call Me Maverick is the top point earner in the division, and has yet to be worse than first on his home track.

Nonetheless, the horse seemed happy and fit as his caretaker, Allison Hynes, grazed him around the lush Cumberland Fairgrounds barn area. “He likes to be outside, but he’s not really much for eating the grass,” Hynes said.

From the outside, racing a single horse in the Maine Sires program must seem like a vacation for Corey and Hynes, who usually look after a barn of 30-plus head of babies down in Pinehurst. Having worked and lived together since the mid-seventies, Corey and Hynes enjoy their summers in Maine and their winters in North Carolina, breaking colts for some of the biggest names in the business.

A son of Western Maverick, Call Me Maverick (2-1, Mike Stevenson) drew post 6 in the second division with eight horses vying for the $10,402 purse, with just seven betting interests. The 3-1 entry is comprised of Whatawinwillie (post 1, Kevin Switzer Jr.) and Andy So Sure (post 7, Number 1A, Gary Mosher) that both come from the stable of Marc Tardif.

Fourth in the point standings, A Sweet Bidda Luck (post 5, Ron Cushing) is the 5-2 second choice and also won his last MSBS outing at Cumberland on July 10. Trained by Heidi Gibbs, he is by Western Maverick as well.

The first $10,176 division is highlighted by the 2-1 morning line favourite Edelman, a black gelding by Western Maverick who is still looking for his fourth seasonal victory, having finishing second in his last two outings. With sire stakes wins at both Bangor and Cumberland, the Heidi-Gibbs-trained sophomore scores from post three with regular driver, breeder & co-owner Ron Cushing. Edelman is second in the point standings.

For Edelman to be successful, he must defeat Paxxton (third in points), another son of Western Maverick who beat him last time on July 10 and looks to make it two-in-a-row. Driven by Heath Campbell, he is co-owned and trained by Valerie Grondin with Rhoda Underhill and is 5-2 from a familiar post five.

The so-called ‘glamour boys’ division is the fifth leg of the 13-race series, which travels around to the two commercial tracks, as well as the Maine pari-mutuel fair circuit, culminating in the $80,000 final on Oct. 16 at Bangor.

Tuesday’s card (July 20) also features the $12,500 final of the Donald Richard Maine Legends pacing series, with the trophies sponsored by the Maine Harness Horseman’s Association and Blue Seal Feeds.

Live harness racing from Cumberland is presented each Tuesday and Saturday through July 31, post time is 2:30 p.m. (EDT), with two additional dates added Wed. & Thurs., Aug. 4 & 5 with 11 am posts. For more information visit firsttrackscumberland.com.

(First Tracks Cumberland)


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