Scarborough, ME--The 3-year-old Maine Sire Stakes Championship finals were decided at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (Oct. 12) and Obrigado wrapped up a spectacular undefeated season, scoring his 13th win of the year to grab top honors in the $77,415 colt trotting final in 2:01.2.
|Derek Davis Photo|
|Obrigado won his 13th race of 2013 in the Maine Sire Stakes championship.|
Driven by Heath Campbell for trainer Ivan Davies, the Boy Band-Malimony gelding assumed his customary front-end seat with stablemate Wakefield Fire tagging along in the two hole. At the midway point of the mile, Wakefield Fire pulled alongside of Obrigado, the tandem racing in lockstep up the back stretch before Obrigado pulled away to secure his open-length victory.
“I felt fortunate and grateful to be able to secure Heath Campbell as my driver this year,” said owner and breeder Mike Andrew of Gorham, Maine. “Ivan Davies, my trainer, would normally have driven, but had commitments to drive a colt in the same division for his brother. Heath was the right choice.”
Wakefield Fire (Ivan Davies) was second; Maine Muscle (Michael Cushing) mounted a strong rally to finish third.
Andrew doubled his pleasure on stakes championship day, winning the $77,442 filly final with his homebred trotter, Song of Virtue, in 2:03.1. Driver Ruel “Dude” Goodblood, Jr. hurried the Boy Band-A Virtue filly to an early lead, inheriting an even bigger advantage, as co-favorite Future Cast rolled off-stride approaching the quarter-mile marker. That big lead proved instrumental as Race Me Liberty mounted an extremely strong late-mile rally bid, which proved too little too late to overcome Song of Virtue’s margin.
|Michael Newman Photo|
|Song Of Virtue won the filly trot final, giving owner-breeder Mike Andrew a trotting sweep.|
“It was a pretty exciting race,” Andrew remarked. “It’s been a long, hard season and there were a lot of talented fillies out there. I’m really happy for Gordon Corey and Allison Hynes. They did a great job training her, and I’m also very happy that Dude got a chance to win a final.”
Race Me Liberty (Gary Mosher) was second; Lucy From Hebron (Ivan Davies) got up for third.
Darlington Stripe scored the fastest championship victory of the day, stopping the clock in a new lifetime best of 1:56.3 en route to securing her 10th win of the year in the $77,480 filly pacing division. David Ingraham, driving the Fast Company-Thea's Character filly for owner-trainer-breeder Stephen La Casse, took the usual front runner off the car on Saturday, settling forth in the early going before pulling at the half to match strides the rest of the way with the front-running Pembroke Violet.
“There was plenty of power up front,” said Ingraham. “And I didn’t want to get into a real battle in the early going. When they started to slow it down, I came at them, and I’m not surprised at all that she was able to take a new lifetime mark. She’s been a nice filly all year long.”
|Michael Newman Photo|
|Darlington Stripe won the fastest final of the day in 1:56.3.|
“I want to thank David,” La Casse chimed in, “he’s handled her expertly all year. I also want to thank my parents, who planted the seed of harness racing with me, and my friend Ivan Davies, who is a great resource and always there to offer advice.”
Pembroke Violet (Heath Campbell) was second; Lordy Miss Scarlet (Kevin Switzer) was third.
Master of Puppets ground out a well-earned victory in the $77,496 colt pacing final, holding off a determined charge from Neutral Data to cement the narrowest of victories in 1:58.2.
“I figured Neutral Data was the best and he was behind me,” said winning driver Heath Campbell of the Ashlee's Big Guy-Happy Chelsea gelding. “And he had to get by me. We battled to the finish and I held on so the strategy worked out well.”
|Derek Davis Photo|
|Master Of Puppets ground out a victory in 1:58.2.|
Owner Christine Catabia, in an emotional address, remarked “I’m very thankful to everyone, including, my mother-in-law, David Crochere (trainer), and Heath Campbell.”
Mother-in-law Barbara Catabia, took over for a tearful Christine and continued, “we only had two little broodmares, Happy Chelsea was the mother of this colt. She was just a little old mare. She died last year, and this is her last colt. We bred them ourselves; we raised them on our farm; we are just a small outfit that came through in a big way today.”
Neutral Data (Wallace Watson) was second, with Johnny Fast Cash (Greg Bowden) finishing third.
The championships of the Maine Sire Stakes have now been decided for the 2013 season just as the yearlings for next year’s contest are being broken. As summer turns to fall, the cycle continues. And so it goes.
Live racing continues on Sunday at Scarborough Downs with a 12:05 p.m. starting time. A special Columbus Day card will be featured on Monday (Oct. 14), also with a 12:05 p.m. post.