Day At The Track

Night of Champions at Running Aces

06:28 AM 18 Sep 2017 NZST
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Running Aces, Harness Racing
Large and enthusiastic crowd on hand for Night of Champions at Running Aces
The $353,300 Night of Champions Program closed out the 2017 Live Harness Racing season at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack in Minnesota on Saturday night (September 16) with another fantastic and enthusiastic live crowd on hand for the final event of the season.
The championship races kicked off early with three 2-year-old trotting filles squaring off for a $35,000 purse in the first of two non wagering events. Dekker (Rick Magee) picked up her first lifetime win in the contest with a 2:04.2 victory by 1 1/2 lengths over The Sweetest Thing (Dean Magee) and Floatinonthebreeze (Jenni King). Dekker is a filly by Braggart, and is trained by Justin Anfinson for owners Jesse, Eric and Benjamin De Long.
In the other non-bettor, It's Stormin Money made it two wins in a row to take the winner's prize in the $35,000 3 year old filly Trot Championship in 2:02.1 with Steve Wiseman at the controls for owner Bryce Jenson and trainer Brady Jenson. The victory tonight was a 13 1/2 length romp over Ritchess Brandy (Brady Jenson) and Imapixieatmidnight (Nick Roland).
Bragginade ($4.60) took the $35,000 2 year old geldings Trot Championship, with a dominating gate-to-wire victory by 2 1/4 lengths in 2:04 with trainer/driver Nick Roland in the sulky. It was the sixth victory in nine starts for the son of Braggart, who is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC. Bringoverthemoney (Rick Magee) picked up second, and Stonecold Stunner (Steve Wiseman) was home in third.
Bertha Vanation ($21.60) pulled the 9-1 upset in the $35,000 2 year old filly Pace Championship, with an aggresive drive by Dean Magee. The filly by Voracious Hanover was part of the early battle for command but settled away in fourth before sweeping to the lead just after the quick 28.1 quarter. Bertha Vanation faced some heavy pressure around the final turn from Aint No Uppy Girl (Rick Magee), but was able to turn back that cahllenge, and dig in gamely to the wire as favorite Ellamennopee (Steve Wiseman) was roaring down the inside. Bertha Vanation held on for a neck victory in a lifetime best mile of 1:56 for trainer Joel Mc Danel and owner John Hendricks.
Dream Chasin ($11.00) converted the pocket trip into his first lifetime win to take the Championship in the $35,000 2 year old geldings Pace in 1:58.1 with Rick Magee in the sulky for Michelle & Gregory Budach, over favorite Watchmeneighneigh (James Yoder) and pace-setter Here Comes Teddy (Nick Roland). The winner is a son of Fancy Schmansy.
Al Mar Foxyeclipse ($6.40) took top honors in the $35,000 3 year old Trot championship event, posting his fifth lifetime tally with a new mark of 2:01.4 this evening with Dean Magee in the sulky for trainer Joel Mc Danel and owner Mark Holtan. Liquor'skwikker (James Yoder) checked in second, while Al Mar Country-Luv (Rick Magee) was home in third.
Whatitdo Babyboo ($4.00) delivered as the public's choice in the $35,000 3 year old filly Pace, scoring her 14th lifetime win, and 7th win of the season in 1:56 with driver Steve Wiseman aboard for trainer Brett Ballinger and owners Van Oterloo Stables. Follwing her signature racing style, Whatitdo Babyboo was unhurried in the early stages of the affair, away in sixth position from post 7, but was out and moving first-over just before the half mile juncture. Wiseman had his filly in perfect striking position as they turned for home and she paced strong through the lane to take the lead and post a half-a-length victory over a tough pace-setter Exsqueezeme (Nick Roland), with Swinging Again (James Yoder) back in third.
21 year old Trainer/Driver Brady Jenson pulled off a rare feat in the $35,000 Championship for 3 year old pacing geldings, he sent out a pair of trainees in the contest, and picked up the top two positions at the wire in a ten horse field. Jenson steered Marktentwentyseven to victory over stablemate Too Much Too Quick driven by Nick Roland. Both horses are owned by the Jenson family, with Brandon, Natalie Rae & Larry Jo being the owners of the winner. The pair of sophomore pacers were both away near the back of the pack, and took full benefit of the fast fractions up front (27.4, 56.0, and 1:24) and were both charging three-and-four wide turning for home. With a sixteenth of a mile to go, it was clear that a Jenson trainee was going to be the winner, the only question was: which one. Marktentwentyseven ($33.40) was closing widest of all, and fastest of all - to get up for the 3/4 length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:55.4. The winning gelding is by Up Front Brad.
Pa's Corn Squeezin ($23.60) pulled off yet another upset on the evening, in the $17,500 4 year olds & up Mares Pace Championship, with Nick Roland steering for trainer Timothy Brown and owner Dave Haness. The pocket-rocket style victory in 1:55.2 was win number five on the season for the 5 year old daughter of General Aidid. American Dancer (James Yoder) was just a neck back in second, and favorite Cruzin Coco (Dean Magee) was third best after cutting the mile.
The $25,000 4 year olds & Up Trot Championship went to Mr Jackpot, for his second career championship, in 1:57.2 with Dean Magee in the sulky for proud owners Marlene and Jodi Wilson and trainer Glen Wilson. Mr Jackpot ($26.60) is a 4 year old gelding by Money Talks, and tonight's vicory was career tally number ten. Whatevershesgot (Lemoyne Svendsen) was second, and race-favorite Becky Badger Baby (Nick Roland) was home in third tonight.
The final Championship event, and final race of the 2017 season, was the $17,500 4 year olds & up Pace, with a well matched field of ten. The night and the season closed out with another upset winner,as SwagasaurusRex and Minnesota Harness Racing Hall of Fame member and driver Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen got up for a triumphant victory, worthy of a whip raised to the skies at the wire by Svenden. SwagasaurusRex ($40.80) started from post 10 in the second tier, and was well off the pace early. Svendsen had him in motion and in the flow going into the final turn, and was in striking position turning for home, taking a seam right down the middle of the track to draw away from the field by two lengths in 1:53.1 to post the fastest mile of the night and take a new lifetime mark. SwagasaurusRex is a four year old gelding by Voracious Hanover, and he is trained by Dean Magee for owner Richard Davelaar. Gravelsinmytravel (Dean Magee) was home second, completing the trainer one-two punch yet again on this historic night, and Stuckey Dote (Nick Roland) was third.
Running Aces 2017 season once again Best ever

Running Aces Casino & Racetrack just completed it's 10th season of Live Harness Racing, and numbers are up in every conceivable category.

Large crowds were the norm throughout the 2017 season, with a 36% increase in on track attendance over what were already very strong attendance figures from last season.

On-track live wagering handle was up 11.39 %, and live export handle was up 18.24 % over 2016, which had been the best season on record until this year. The overall handle increase was 17.1 %.

The new .20 cent pick 5 Jackpot wager was a success, producing large carryovers and large payouts, including a record .20 cent payout of $55,645.80 on August 26th.

Magnifique, driven by owner/trainer Gerald Longo stamped her name into the record books when she hit the wire first in the $12,000 Mares open Handicap Pace on July 18 at odds of 115-1 to record a state record pari-mutuel payoff of $232.20 to win.

Average field size increased yet again as well, to 7.51 and contributed to some of the best and most competitive racing around.

On the racetrack, there were so many amazing performances. No less than eight track record miles were turned in this summer at the beautiful Minnesota oval.
Firedrake won 9 races at Running Aces this season, for the most wins of the meet, he also won the innagural $35,000 Dan Patch Free For All Pace on July 23 in 1:52.1 and set a new track record of 1:51.2 for 4 year old pacing geldings on September 3rd. Firedrake is owned by Jessica Johnson and trained & driven by Nick Roland.

Banker Volo had an amazing season at Running Aces as well, and stamped his legacy into the history books with a new all age trotting track record of 1:54.2, that he posted not just once, but twice this season (June 27 and July 25) during his 7 trips to the Aces winners circle this year. Banker Volo is owned by Dan Roland and was trained this season by Jenni King and Angie Coleman, with Luke Plano doing the driving.

Ideal Jesse became the fastest 3 year old trotting colt in Running Aces history back on June 27, with his 1:56.1 victory for owner/trainer/driver James Yoder.

My Little Susie re-wrote the record for 4 year old trotting mares with a 1:55 mile on June 17 with Steve Wiseman in the bike for trainer Kathleen Plested and owners A Piece of The Action LLC.

Gold Star Mysti contributed an impressive new track mark for 4 year old pacing mares in 1:51 on July 3rd for the fastest mile of the meet, with trainer/driver James Yoder in the sulky for owner Marianne Audley. Gold Star Mysti was a fierce competitor in the Mares Open all season long.

And Steve's Hot Rod became the fastest 3 year old gelding pacer in Running Aces history when he turned in a sparkling 1:51.4 mile on September 2 with trainer/driver Rick Magee steering for owner Kati Sokolowski.

The 2017 Leading Driver award went to Steve Wiseman, with 94 wins and an impressive win percentage of over 21 percent, he also led all drivers in purse money and UDRS.

The 2017 Leading Trainer award went to Kathleen Plested, with 47 wins.

Running Aces wishes to congratulate the entire Live Racing team for a job well done, and a very successfull season. We also wish to thank our loyal fans and our amazing horsemen for their continued support year after year.

Remember, Running Aces is a year-round facility with Simulcasting 7 days a week,and Card Casino action 24 hours a day. Stay informed about upcoming events and promotions by visiting our website at
Check the website early next year for information about the 2018 Live Racing season.  
By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer
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