Day At The Track
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COLUMBUS, MN. - Despite a rain storm throughout the middle portion of the program, another huge throng of fans turned out for the final Running Aces program of the season and witnessed eleven Minnesota-sired State Champions crowned in $20,000 races for the various age, sex and gait divisions.  Running Aces average nightly handle increased for the sixth consecutive season since starting live racing in 2008, this year by 5%. Driver John De Long copped four races on the lucrative season finale, three for trainer Justin Anfinson.  Leading driver Nick Roland managed to capture a pair of victories as did Tim Maier, who was also awarded the leading trainer award for the meet. She's A Foxie Lady (De Long) won the two-year-old filly trot over Babygetyershineon (Jenni King) and CD's SOS (James Yoder).  She earned almost $36,000 for owner Jesse De Long by scoring four wins and three place finishes in ten outings. Delco Voracious (De Long) broke her own track record besting Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) and Dakota Law (Steve Wiseman) in 1:55.2 in the freshman pacing fillies split.  Also owned by Jesse De Long and trained by Anfinson, the outstanding filly has won six of eight starts and banked over $50,000. The two-year-old trotting colts division was won by Chewy Dunkerton (De Long) over ML's Journey (Craig Banks) and Al-Mar Passion (Magee) in 2:03.  With three wins and seven seconds in ten tries, the winner has bankrolled over $45,000 for owner Benjamin De Long. Cyber Cowboy (Maier) scored an upset in the freshman colt pace for owner Margaret Epp and trainer Dan Epp.  It was just the second seasonal score for the 1:59.1 winner, but he has finished in-the-money in eight of ten tries and banked $18,704 thus far.  Wounded Warrior (Mark Mintun) was the runnerup with Im So Handsome (Wiseman) getting the show dough. Just three three-year-old trotting fillies went to post in their $20,000 event with Rails Of Victory (Roland) besting Diamond Alliance (Lemoyne Svendsen) and Coffee Black (Ryan Lems) in 2:00.3.  Roland also owns the filly who has captured seven of 15 in her first year of racing and banked about $38,000. Razzle Be Dazzled (Magee) has been the queen of the sophomore pacing fillies class all season and didn't disappoint in the championship, winning in 1:58.2 over Rearin And Ready (Jason Ryan) and Whata Smoothie (Kerry Banks).  The Van Otterloo Stable owns the winner who has managed 11 wins in 14 starts and earned $60,000 in her second season.  David Flinn has conditioned her throughout the summer. Mnia Lightnpower (Maier) went best in the sophomore trotting colts split downing Al-Mar Delrailer (Roland) and French Eclipse (King) in 2:01.4.  Janice Molgaard and Dick McDanel own the state champion who has five wins and $42,000 bankrolled on the season.  He is tutored by Joel McDanel. Circle Me Bert (Lems) was an upset winner in the sophomore pacing colts division, besting Ben N Al (Yoder) and favored Reds Place (De Long) in 1:56.2.  Merlin and Kyle Van Otterloo own the winner and Wolfswinkel Pacers Inc. own the runnerup, but both are trained by Gene Miller.  Circle Me Bert more than doubled his lifetime earnings with his half of the $20,000 purse. 20,000 championships are also staged for older state-breds.  In the trotting division RA's Shakenbake (Roland) was a 2:00.3 winner over Switcheroo (Magee) and Rich Dessert (Maier).  Owned by the Trot Away Stable, the former two-year-old state champ was winless in his five-year-old campaign before his upset neck victory. Country Jewel (De Long) was part of a three-horse Roland Stable entry and managed a 1:54.4 score over Blazing Fury (Magee) and stablemate I Do It Myself (Roland).  The five-year-old mare, owned by Roland, won for the twelvth time in her career and increased her bankroll to $58,000.  The older horses and gelding pace was captured by recently claimed It's Getting Hairy, with Steve Wiseman driving for trainer Tim Maier and owner Denise Maier.  The four-year-old, plucked for $10,500 two starts back, bested Restless Yankee (Roland) and Ya U Bet Cha (Yoder) in an impressive 1:52.3.  It was the sixth season score for the winner who now boasts almost $70,000 in lifetime earnings. by Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Two-year-old Delco Voracious stamped herself as the filly to beat when her division lines up on Saturday, August 31 for a $20,000 Minnesota State Championship race at Running Aces.  Following a strong brush to the front before the halfway point on Wednesday night, she cruised to a 1:56 score by a widening margin over Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) and Chilly Breez (Jason Ryan) in the final $6750 tune-up.  Already the winner of a Hanover Filly Stake at Balmoral, the precocious lass owned by Jesse De Long already has five wins in seven starts and over $30,000 in seasonal earnings. A pair of two-year-old pacing colt divisions were also contested with Wounded Warrior (Ryan Lems) capturing the Class A split in 1:57.2; and V Mack (Adam Hauser) just getting up in 1:59 to triumph in the Class B event. The $8925 Open Trot was also presented with Silence Son (Craig Banks) repeating his front-stepping dominance--this time in 1:56.  Silence Son, who is owned by Hinshaw Homestead Farm, held off Salutation Hanover (Nick Roland) and Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman). With just five nights remaining in the 53-night 2013 season at Running Aces a pair of former driving champions are deadlocked for the dash title lead with 54 victories apiece.  Rick Magee and Nick Roland are close friends, but neither is giving an inch in this down-to-the-wire competition to be named this year's champion driver. by Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Driver-trainer Craig Banks put Silence Son on the engine in Wednesday night's $9000 Open Trot at Running Aces and the strategy worked great as owner Hinshaw Homestead Farms' stalwart wired the field in 1:55.3.    In the process he became the fastest four-year-old gelding and etched his name in the local record books for the second time.  About a year ago Silence Son set the three-year-old gelding track record in 1:56.3 with Banks aboard.   It was just the ninth seasonal start for the winner and second win, first in Open company.  Sent off at 6-1 odds, Silence Son beat Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman) and Shelby County (Rocky Stidham).   Earlier in the program, Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) pulled a mild upset in an $8000 two-year-old Minnesota-sired Class A event.  It was the fourth straight victory for the filly owned by the Van Otterloo Stables and trained by David Flinn. She just nosed out Delco Voracious, who had won a $29,600 Hanover Stake in Chicago for the trainer-driver combination of father Jesse De Long and son John De Long, in 1:56.2.  Cyber Cowboy (Tim Maier) rounded out the trifecta for owner Margaret Epp.   The $5500 Class B two-year-old race was captured by Wounded Warrior (Ryan Lems), who romped by open lengths in 1:58.4 over Ksmewithurizclosed (Magee) and Im A Tinker Too (James Yoder).  The colt is owned by Mark Mintun.   All Minnesota-sired horses are anticipating the State Championship program on August 31, which will feature eleven state-bred races for $20,000 each on the season's closing night.   Gregg Keidel

   COLUMBUS, MN. - Rich Dessert ran his impressive 2013 Running Aces resume to nine wins and one second in ten tries on Wednesday night by winning the $9000 Open Trot in 1:56.1. The clocking lowered his own local standard for four-year-old geldings by one-fifth of a second.  The Minnesota-sired son of Rich Boy just edged Shelby County (Rocky Stidham) and Silence Son (Craig Banks) for driver-trainer Tim Maier and his wife Denise, the owner. Driver John De Long scored a hat trick on the evening with wins behind conditioned trotter Abe's Little Blacky and pacers I'm Blue Too and Irish Raider. by Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - The $9500 Open Trot produced a new winner for the fourth consecutive week on Wednesday night at Running Aces when Keystone Swagger (John DeLong) benefitted from a perfect pocket trip to win in 1:55.4, equaling the track record for older horses.  The standard the son of Angus Hall tied was less than two hours old as Salutation Hanover (Nick Roland) had also stopped the teletimer in 1:55.4 in a $4500 conditioned trot earlier in the program. Keystone Swagger is owned by Dandy Farms and trained in Minnesota by Jim Ellison. It was just his eighth career triumph, but did increase his lifetime earnings to $212,000.  Silence Son (Craig Banks) was a game second after cutting all the fractions and favored Shelby County (Moonie Svendsen) just nipped B C Lulu (Jason Ryan) for third. With the 2013 summer meet just slightly more than half over, the driver and trainer standings at Running Aces are extremely tight and no one has emerged as a clear-cut favorite in either race.  On the drivers side, Jason Ryan and Rick Magee are deadlocked at the top with 30 victories each in 28 nights of racing.  Luke Plano has 29, Nick Roland 28, Steve Wiseman 25 and John DeLong 24. Jason Ryan had a big week to move to the top of the conditioner standings with 16 trips to the winner's circle from his stable.  Close on his heels are David Flinn and Tim Brown with 15 each, then Don Sherman, Tim Maier and Nick Roland all with 14. Racing resumes Saturday and Sunday nights this weekend with a 50-cent Pick Six carryover of $743.65.  Post time Saturday is 7:00 PM (CDT). Gregg Keidel

Harness racing driver Craig Banks posted his 1,000th career driving victory on Monday (July 4) when he steered It's Getting Hairy to a 2:04.4 victory in the second race at the Cannon Falls (Minnesota) Fair.

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