COLUMBUS, MN. - Smarter Yet won for the third time in five tries in the weekly Running Aces' Open pace on Sunday night.
Kim Pluta guided the seven-year-old gelding for trainer Ron Merritt and owner Kevin St. Charles. It was the 37th lifetime win and raised Smarter Yet's career bankroll to $236,925. The noted closer used his usual strong stretch drive to catch Headsup Yankee () and Silver Spir ( ) in the final strides of the 1:53 mile.
Pluta also won a $7000 conditioned pace on the undercard with Restless Yankee, one of the best Minnesota-bred horses ever. Following the 1:53.4 victory, the Bob and-owned son of now has 46 triumphs and $278,531 in earnings. He bested Dont Tell Rusty ( ) and Mister Virgin ( ).
A $7000 trot mixing top condition horses with $10,000 claimers was captured by Axle (Kody Massey) with a narrow decision over Forceful Gale (Brian Detgen) and Flameon (). The winner was claimed from owner-trainer by Daniel Maier.
For the third consecutive racing night, veteranscored a driving triple on Sunday.
Handle for the 11-race program was $201,791.