The 2-year-old filly pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program made its first appearance of the 2018 season at Scarborough Downs on Saturday, with 12 entries divided into twin $11,327 splits. The occasion marked the fourth time that the divisional battle call had sounded this year, as the freshmen gals reached the midway point of their sire stakes season.
ComingRightAtYou took top honors in the first split, throwing in a steady effort in juxtaposition to some recent appearances, in which the filly had twice failed to maintain stride before and/or after the start.
Driver Ron Cushing confidently steered the daughter of Western Maverick-Express Ball N swiftly off the car on Saturday though, putting the competition quickly in line and securing a rather unhurried journey. The strategy enabled them to hold a determined field at bay as they marched through a nifty :59.4 back-half, ultimately reaching the wire under wraps, timed in 2:01.4 for the mile.
Trained by Heidi Gibbs for the ownership partnership of Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing, the win marked the third career victory lap for the Maine-bred lass.
MoonlightAndRoses (David Ingraham) steered an overland course to grab runner-up honors, while Wicked Wanda (Gary Mosher) drafted second-up for the show - both fillies beaten a well-measured half-length by the ultimate victor.
The second Sire Stakes division of the day saw JustCallMeBets looking every bit the 1-9 shot that she was sent to post at, as the ferocious freshman dominated the competition while securing her fifth career victory from six lifetime starts.
Driver Mark Athearn sent his charge merrily on her way from the get go, gliding to an opening quarter timed in a leisurely :31.4, before sealing the deal at the half as the teletimer announced a demoralizing 1:03 clocking. The competition chased in vain from that point on as the daughter of Deuce Seelster-JustCallMeRosie coasted toward a 2:03.2 jaunt in the park sort of effort, finishing well in-hand and under wraps, much to the delight of the wagering public and to the chagrin of her co-combatants.
The precocious youngster, ever popular at the mutuel windows, is trained by Gretchen Athearn for owner William Phipps.
Ms Downeast (Gary Mosher) sat second throughout the mile, ultimately finishing in that position, while we Love Western (John Nason) raced third best.
Scarborough Downs will proudly feature live harness racing during the coming week on Thursday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with the popular Sunday matinees getting underway at 1:30 p.m. Maine Sire Stakes racing will be showcased on all three of those days as the 3-year-old divisions revisit the raceway.
Closing day of the summer meet is slated for Sept. 15. (Scarborough)