Maine Sire Stakes action returned to Scarborough Downs on Saturday (Aug. 9) as the 3-year-old filly pacing division took center stage with the sophomore gals divided into three splits contested for purses totaling just shy of the $30,000 mark.
Five fillies finished within a length of each other in the first split with Cheryl Leigh persevering by a mere nostril over the front running Princess Wave after taking the battle to the pacesetter from just before the midway point. With driver Kevin Switzer handling the reins, Princess Wave lost ground and struggled in every turn allowing Cheryl Leigh and David Ingraham to take the advantage in the bends, but the plucky filly bounced back gamely in the straightaways to even out the score. The battle was on though as the duo matched strides through the stretch with the outcome decided by one of the tightest photo finish prints in recent memory.
Cheryl Leigh, a daughter of Fast Company and the blue hen broodmare Think Of Me Fondly, is owned by Roland Cole of Wells, Maine. The win, timed in 2:01.1, was her fourth of the season from just six appearances.
Princess Wave settled for the bridesmaid share as she recovered from last week's off-the-board outing, the first such effort of her career. Dancers Pass (Wallace Watson) rallied from far off the pace to secure her 2nd straight third place showing.
Both the photo finish camera and Scarborough's 30-year-old toteboard got a major workout as the second division crossed the wire with the gorgeous long shot, On Wings Of Silver and driver Wallace Watson persevering by the slightest of margins over the pacesetting favorite, Big Bad Rose. On Wings of Silver returned bars of gold at the Mutuels on Saturday as she was sent to the gate at generous 24-1 odds for proud owners Robert and Diane Frazier of Kennebunk, Maine as they watched their home-bred daughter of Berley take a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4.
Big Bad Rose (Greg Bowdon), last season's freshman champion finished second best with B Glamorous (Heath Campbell) grabbing the show dough.
Mary Rose Of Topaz extended her winning streak to four consecutive scores while speeding in pillar to post for driver Kevin Switzer, Jr. in the final stakes dash of the day. Once on the lead, the daughter of the near-millionaire stallion, Ashlee's Big Guy, never appeared in peril as owner Andrew T. Card's homebred has now found the best stride of her career as summer begins to wane.
LP'S Shyla (Kevin Switzer) clinging to the old adage that two seconds equal a win, laid claim to runner-up status for the second straight week while Fannie Porter (Drew Campbell) finished in the top three for the first time in her stakes career.
Of particular note, the streaking Mary Rose of Topaz gave teamster Kevin Switzer, Jr. his fifth driving win on the Scarborough program to go along with three wins earlier in the day at the Topsham Fair for a grand total of eight top tallies in state of Maine action on Saturday. While the stakes win was certainly the most lucrative victory lap of the day, the most satisfying surely was the 1:53.4 tour of the Topsham Fairgrounds oval behind Art Of Illusion as the duo established a blazing new track record at the mid-coast venue. This effort obliterated the former Topsham benchmark of 1:55.3 established in 2012 by Mr Nice Guy and Kevin Switzer Sr.
Live racing continues throughout the summer at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and the popular Sunday matinees kicking off at 1:05 p.m. (Scarborough Downs)