Pickmepickme handily took a new lifetime mark of 1:56.2 winning her $14,684 division of the Maine Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies at Bangor on Sunday, June 25).
The 1-9 favourite has never been worse than third in any race with a purse, so Andy Harrington drove her like she was the best.
When the wings folded for the opener at historic Bass Park, Harrington sent the Marc Tardif-owned, bred and trained daughter of Western Maverick right to the top. From that point, it was a fast-trip training mile as the fillies in tow followed right along through opening fractions of :29.2 and :59.
With a comfortable 1-1/2-length advantage over her disciples, Harrington let Pickmepickme have her head following a 1:28 third panel. As their collective lead continued to build, the pair scampered home by four lengths to collect the lion’s share of the purse and retain a faster career record. Her last quarter was a snappy :28.2, further cementing her prowess within the division.
Pickmepickme paid $2.20 for her backers, with the Tardif Taskforce enjoying the filly’s 10th career victory in 12 lifetime starts. It was her second win a row as a sophomore and ninth consecutive victory lifetime.
La Mambacita (Heath Campbell) finished second and Janie (Aaron Hall) was third.
The second $14,684 division had another repeat filly winner in South St Dottie, who also took the coast-to-coast route to victory in the early, non-wagering race.
Nick Graffam drove the daughter of Western Maverick for trainer Mike Graffam as they left from post five and won by 2-3/4 lengths. The final time of 1:58 was also a new lifetime mark for the filly, who appears to be improving with every start.
Having just a single victory last year at two, Jan Donaway's homebred filly South St Dottie has won her last two sophomore Maine Sire Stakes events, lowering her mark in each instance. Her last quarter of :28.4 is indicative of her speed and agility, and should make her another filly to watch in the coming weeks and months of Maine-bred action.
Katelyns Angel (Kevin Switzer Jr.) finished second and Ally Mac (Aaron Hall) was third.
The Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes returns to Cumberland on Friday, June 30 for two $14,000-plus divisions for three-year-old trotters, with the three-year-old pacing colts the following day on Saturday, July 1. First post is 3:15 p.m. On Sunday, July 2, Maine’s three-year-old pacing fillies come back to Bangor for week three.
Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (MSBOA) president Scott Pooler announced that the Maine State Harness Racing Commission has unanimously approved the MSBOA Board of Directors request that all Maine Sire Stakes races shall drawn by lot, not electronically.
Looking ahead, the Maine Sire Stakes originally scheduled for Union Fair have been moved to Bangor (July 26) and Cumberland (July 28).
(Maine Sire Stakes)