September 15, 2013

Steve Solloway: Like heaven harnessed to hoofbeats

(Continued from page 1)

One day this summer, Mike Cushing set a faster trot for Maine Cast. But on an overcast day above the fairgrounds track, he spotted a patch robin's egg blue. "I knew my father was watching. I slowed the workout by about 2 seconds."

As last Sunday approached, Mike Cushing thought again of his bold prediction. "I wasn't doing my talking. I was afraid I'd look like an idiot."

The pre-race favorite was CCC, trained by Kim Ireland, out of Aroostook County. Ireland had lost his own father shortly after Rick Cushing died. But as the trotters prepared to meet the rolling starting gate, two went off stride. The second was CCC.

On the second lap, Cushing had Maine Cast in position to challenge for the lead. His brother, Ron was driving a horse just ahead and looked behind to see who was gaining on him.

"Don't worry, it's just me," yelled Mike Cushing. "I'm all set. In a couple of minutes there's going to be a heck of a speech."

Cushing pointed his whip to the heavens and then tapped Maine Cast firmly. The colt surged and the crowd roared. It was a sight and sound no one who was there will forget.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

ssolloway@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveSolloway

 

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