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Father's Day weekend is jam-packed with great harness racing action at Running Aces, along with a full slate of family activities, live music, giveaways and other promotions. The action on the track will feature two signature races - The $20,000 Trout Air Trot on Saturday (6/15) has a star-studded field of seven contenders, including three current track record holders. Banker Volo (Nick Roland) has won the last three Open Handicap Trot events and has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite from his assigned outside post. Winning Lyric (Williams Hernandez) is a new horse to the local scene by way of Pocono Downs and has been posted as the 7-2 second choice, while Bringoverthemoney (4-1, Tim Maier), Pridecrest (9-2, Lemoyne Svendsen), and Silverlode (5-1, Steve Wiseman) round out the top contenders on the morning line. The $20,000 North Metro Pace headlines a great 11 race card on Sunday (6/16) with a full field of nine very talented entries. Holdingallthecards (Tim Maier) has won his last two races but moves back up into open company for this feature event and starts from post eight, despite those possible obstacles he has been installed as the 5-2 top choice. Annihilator (7-2, Dean Magee) won at the Open level two weeks ago and has the rail, and SF Donttellonme (7-2, Joe Casagranda) has drawn post two and returns to Running Aces for the first time since 2017 and is showing recent good form at the top levels at Northville Downs. Fox Valley Nemitz (9-2, Brian Detgen) just won a top Open here in 1:52 but has post nine for this event, and Firedrake (9-1, Nick Roland) is also another top contender here coming off a strong win in 1:54.2, he will start from post seven. Bolstering the great lineup of races for the weekend are a trio of nice carryover pools to add to the excitement. The 50 cent early Pick-4 on Saturday will feature a carryover of $2,021.92, the 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 will start at $7,005.65 and the 50 cent Hi-5 carries $1,763.54 from Tuesday night (6/11). Post time is 6:00 pm (CDT) for both Saturday and Sunday. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

The Tuesday evening harness racing program at Running Aces played host to the weekly Mares Open Handicap Pace event, with this week's edition hosting a field of seven going to battle for a $14,000 purse. Cenalta Diamond (Tim Maier) was the favorite in the wagering at 3-5 and was looking for her third straight win at the Open level. Pull The Shade (Dean Magee) is stablemate to said favorite, and was the second choice in the pools at 7/2. When the gate sped away from the field it was Delightfully Wild (8-1) with driver Nick Roland who was fastest to the front, turning back a challenge for the lead from Strings (Mooney Svendsen). Delightfully Wild served notice that she was in charge and seated her rivals all in a line behind her through a good :27.2 opener. Just after the quarter, Tim Maier got the favorite Cenalta Diamond rolling from the back of the pack and created an outer flow, advancing to third as they hit the half mile in :56.4, and then applying heavy pressure to the leader as they headed into the last turn. Pull The Shade had picked up the second-over position and was poised to strike from there as they completed the three-quarters in 1:24.4. Strings (8-1) had saved ground in the pocket throughout, and was still right there stalking as they straightened, but Delightfully Wild took off for the wire - so did Pull The Shade - who pulled right along- side and forged to a short lead with just 50 yards to go. Delightfully Wild ($18.20) was not content to concede the race and she powered right back for a thrilling finish and a resilient victory in 1:53.1, checking in a head in front of Pull The Shade on the line, with Strings home in third by 2¾. Delightfully Wild is owned by Richard Morita and David Yamada, and trained by Jessie Pacheco, the sharp 6 year old daughter of Bettor's Delight has now won 29 career races, including five wins this season from eleven outings, and she has now amassed $151,375 in lifetime earnings. Drivers Nick Roland and Rick Magee both turned in driving doubles on the Tuesday card, while Dean Magee picked up one win to draw back into a tie for the leading driver spot with Tim Maier at 18 wins apiece. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, June 15 with a trio of nice carryover pools - the 50 cent Early Pick-4 wager has a carryover of $2,021.92, while the 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 stands at $7,005.65 and the 50 cent Hi-5 in Race #7 will be $1,763.54. Post time on Saturday is 6:00 pm (CDT.) By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

The Sunday evening (June 9) harness racing card at Running Aces had plenty to offer in the way of excitement and nostalgia. The ten race program featured horses doubling and even tripling up and extending their current top form, and it had former champions and top horses returning to glory for the first time this year. It had upset winners and it had spot-on favorites, it was a great night at the races. Firedrake is one of the top pacers at Running Aces over the past several seasons, with many memorable accomplishments - including starting out with 9 wins in his first 10 starts of 2017, then going on to win the inaugural Dan Patch FFA Pace that same year, and coming back in the 2018 Dan Patch to almost repeat with a second place finish beaten only a neck. His season in 2019 has been a little different - he dealt with some obstacles over the winter and for a while he didn't look like himself - at least not on paper. He visited some new tracks and perhaps didn't care for them as much as Running Aces, where he has seen the most of his career success. Things began to improve as Firedrake began to pick up some decent finishes in Ohio and later in Indiana, but still the winner's circle had been elusive. Firedrake made his way back to Minnesota for the start of the season and he was right here where he belonged on opening night (May 18) and he turned in a decent effort in the feature race (3rd). He was back in the feature one week later and finished a respectable fourth, and then he was seventh after that. Firedrake was back home at his favorite track and he was doing ok, he was looking good, but there was still something missing - his trainer Nick Roland had not driven him in a race in nearly a year. That was about to change. Firedrake was in to go in a $9,000 conditioned pace, getting some well deserved class relief and Nick Roland would reunite with his 6 year Dragon Again gelding and take on a field of nine from post four. The stage was set and Firedrake was ready to show his Minnesota fans that he was back. The public took notice - sending him off as the 4-5 favorite. He was fastest off the gate but was immediately challenged by Whatchyastarinat (Don Harmon) who took the lead with Roland opting for the pocket. The early fractions were tepid for the top-level pacers and the challengers came calling after the half mile. Elusive Image (Tony Huffman) was pressuring the leader with Five Card Draw (Mooney Svendsen) charging from second-over. Firedrake had lots of pace but was blocked. Roland was patient and waited for the homestretch - they got the room they needed and the dynamic duo immediately took off with a furious and impressive rally to the wire. The competition was left reeling as Firedrake drew off by two lengths in 1:54.2 for the fastest mile of the night. Firedrake ($3.80) is back, and with Nick Roland in the bike the two of them proved once again that they are a force to be reckoned with. Five Card Draw was up for second, while Whatchyastarinat held for third. Firedrake is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC. The $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old trotters were in the spotlight on Sunday as well, with a field of 8 going to battle in the opener. Major Al-Mar (Rick Magee) was favored from post one while MD Magic (Nick Roland) was a close second choice in the wagering. Dewey's Machine (Steve Wiseman) set the tempo and led for most of the contest, but there was a nice battle as the field rounded for home. Twilight Tinker ($18.20, Brian Detgen) was trotting fastest of all on the far outside after angling from third on the pylons, and she passed her rivals with an impressive stretch drive to stay in front of Major Al-Mar and MD Magic at the wire in a career best 1:59.4. Twilight Tinker was the 2 year old filly Champion trotter in 2018, and the victory on Sunday was her first win of the year. She had shown maturity and increased abilities in her first few starts of 2019, picking up a second and a third in three starts and holding her own against the male trotters as well. The winning owner is Cathy Dessert and the winning trainer is Nick Roland. Twilight Tinker and Brian Detgen Banker Volo ($6.40, Nick Roland) continues his domination of the Minnesota trotting scene - a reign that has spanned the last four years continues as he scored his third consecutive win in the top $15,000 Open Handicap on Sunday. At age ten the always impressive Stallion shows no signs of letting up. Banker Volo made easy work of this week's seven horse field with an early charge to the front and a never-in-doubt mile of 1:56.4 to check in 2½ lengths ahead at the wire. Banker Volo fans got a very generous price of more than 2-1 this week. Bringoverthemoney (Tim Maier) was second best and My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) was home third. The winning owner is Lucas Roland and the winning trainer is Jenni King. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday (June 11) with a couple of nice carryovers - $6,123.93 for the Pick-5, and $4,582.36 for the Hi-5. Post time on Tuesday is 7:00 pm (CDT) By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack      

The Saturday evening (June 8) program of harness racing at Running Aces was jam packed with exciting contests. One of the most highly anticipated of all was the $11,500 Minnesota-Sired 3 Year Old Colt Pace, and it did not disappoint. Among the talented field of sophomore male pacers was 2018 Minnesota Horse of the Year Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman), and also 2019 early standouts SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) and Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo). SB Bodacious ($4.20) served notice right off the gate that he was a force to be reckoned with, blasting from post five to an immediate lead, before yielding to fellow leaver Trump Train (Don Harmon). The fractions were lively - :27.1 and :55.4 for the opening half - and Rick Magee wasted no time in getting SB Bodacious back to the front of affairs, sweeping back to the top just past the five-eighths marker. Stay Humble N Kind got rolling from the back of the pack as they hit three-quarters in 1:24.3 and began to give chase to the leader, while Burning Blaze had gotten the Colombus shuffle and finally was able to shake free near the top of the lane. The chase was futile for all his rivals, because SB Bodacious was in full flight for the wire, pacing home in :27.4 and stopping the timer in a dazzling 1:52.2 to just miss a track record by a few ticks. Stay Humble N Kind was clearly second best tonight while Burning Blaze salvaged third after a troubled trip. SB Bodacious is a gelded son of Voracious Hanover out of the Western Hanover mare Salsa Hanover, he is now 3 for 4 in 2019 with his only defeat coming last out when he was a close second. He has lowered his lifetime mark with each victory, and dropped over 3 seconds with Saturday's impressive win. Mikaela DelGiudice is the winning owner, and Rick Magee also does the training. The $11,500 Filly Pace for MN-Sired 3 year olds was everything it was advertised to be - another dominating win for super-filly Windmeupnwatchmego - who is now a perfect 3-for-3 in 2019. Driver Dean Magee sent her hard and fast from her assigned outside six post and she battled early with Trinitysfancyfilly (Brian Detgen) before making the top, once she cleared it was all over. She took the girls on a merry stroll around the track and posted a 5¾ length romp in 1:55.1 with plenty left in the tank. As of this early point in the season, she stands out well above her rivals - they look to be in for a long summer. The winner paid just $2.10 at the windows. She is owned by Richard Davelaar and trained by Gordon Graham. The $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for horses and geldings was the feature on the Saturday card. Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) was the race favorite at 3-5 after a great start to his 2019 Running Aces campaign. Longshots War Daddy (Williams Hernandez) and Liberty Flyer (Mark Mintun) blasted out of the gate along with Stuckey Dote and the scramble was on for the front, resulting in a :26.3 bullet opener. Stuckey Dote cleared well before the half and posted strong middle fractions (:55.1, and 1:23.4) but the torrid pace took it's toll and the back markers took advantage of the fast fractions and came rolling in the lane. Fox Valley Nemitz (Tim Maier) was fastest of all to the wire in 1:52 for his third win in five starts, he was a length ahead of Annihilator (Dean Magee) and Stuckey Dote was home third by 1 1/4 after a good effort. Fox Valley Nemitz is owned by Susan Holm-Johansen and trained by Ulf Holm-Johansen. The 5 year old son of Richess Hanover paid $9.40 at the windows. Driver Tim Maier posted his third Hat-Trick of the season and remains the only driver to win more than two races on any card this year. With the three wins on Saturday Maier has now vaulted from second to first in the Leading Driver standings, just one ahead of Dean Magee. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday, June 9 with a trio of Carryovers: the 50 cent early Pick-4 has a carryover of $594.07, The 20 cent Pick-5 is at $5,047.49 and the 50 cent Hi-5 stands at $926.35. First Post is at 6:00 pm (CDT) By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack  

Running Aces has announced the following special event races which will become annual harness racing events starting this year. Father's Day weekend: Saturday, June 15 - The $20,000 Trout-Air Trot Sunday, June 16 - The $20,000 North Metro Pace Dan Patch weekend: Saturday, July 20 - The $25,000 Ron Banks Pace and The $25,000 Vern Devine Trot Both the Trout-Air Trot and North Metro Pace are open events, while the Ron Banks Pace and the Vern Devine Trot are Minnesota-Sired preferred events. The Trout-Air Trot pays homage to the land that Running Aces is built on, which was for many years home to the famous "Trout-Air" restaurant that featured a live trout pond for catch-and-eat dining, as well as an outdoor concert venue. The North Metro Pace is named for the area where Running Aces is located, north of the metropolitan areas of the Twin-Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The "North Metro Harness Initiative" is also the name of the organization that holds the license and operates Running Aces. The special events on Dan Patch weekend are a prelude to the $50,000 Dan Patch FFA Pace on Sunday, July 21 and are each named for gentlemen who were instrumental in the growth and success of Harness Racing in Minnesota, Ron Banks and Vernon Devine. The 2019 Live Racing season at Running Aces is currently in full swing, with racing 3 nights a week through September 14. Post times are 6:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and 7:00 pm on Tuesdays. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack  

The Tuesday evenings (June 4) harness racing program at Running Aces was highlighted by a repeat win for Holdingallthecards ($2.10, Tim Maier) in a very sharp 1:52.4 mile over a track rated good. Sent off as the heavy favorite in the $6,100 conditioned event, the always sharp 10 year old son of Cam's Card Shark blasted off the gate from post five and quickly opened up two lengths on the field, and after posting a moderate opening half (57.3), he paced home in :55.1 to leave his rivals 5½ lengths in arrears. The victory tonight was his third tally in eleven outings this year, and his 54th lifetime win, while padding his career bankroll to a hefty $560,130. The winning owners are William and Richard McIntyre and the winning trainer is Tim Maier. Another impressive winner on Tuesday was Delightfully Wild, who posted a gate-to-wire score in the $9,000 featured Mares condition pace. From post seven Delightfully Wild ($6.00, Nick Roland) was fastest away from the gate after an early skirmish with Totally Racy (Steve Wiseman), after establishing command Roland orchestrated a second quarter breather of 30.2 which enabled his charge to hold off a fast closing Place N First (Rick Magee) at the wire - to hold on for a neck victory in 1:54.3, with Totally Racy back in third. The win for Delightfully Wild was number four on the season in ten starts, and career win number 28 for the winner of $144,375. Richard Morita and David Yamada are the winning owners and Jessie Pacheco is the winning trainer. Driver Williams Hernandez led the night with a driving double, including longshot winner Stonebridge Envy ($38.00) in the opener for trainer Edwin Quevedo, who had three winners on the program to lead all trainers. Live Racing returns on Saturday, June 8 with first post at 6:00 pm (CDT) immediately following The Belmont Stakes simulcast. The 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager has a carryover of $4,354.21 heading into the Saturday card. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN -The deadline for harness racing nominations for the $50,000 Dan Patch FFA Pace at Running Aces is fast approaching. Nominations are due by Monday, June 17 and must be either hand delivered to Race Secretary Nancy Byrge or postmarked by the deadline date.   Elimination races will be held on Sunday, July 14 for $15,000 each. The $50,000 final will be contested on Sunday, July 21.   Nomination fee is $500.00 and is due with submission of completed nomination forms.   For more information or questions, please contact Nancy Byrge at 651-925-4532 or via email: nbyrge@runaces.com   You may access the nomination form by clicking on the following link:   https://www.runaces.com/sites/default/files/2019_dan_patch_free_for_all_pace_at_running_aces_casino_bb052119.pdf       By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

The Sunday evening Harness Racing program at Running Aces was jam-packed with featured events and full fields. One of the night's highlighted contests was the $15,000 Minnesota-Sired 4 year olds & Up trot. Bringoverthemoney was the headliner in the bulky field of ten, coming in fresh off a sharp third place finish in the top Open Handicap last week. Bringoverthemoney ($3.60) was the 3 year old Minnesota trotting Champion last year, notching eleven wins in nineteen races. Tonight's appearance was just the third start of the season for the impressive son of Money Talks (Muscles Yankee - Mountain Pine). Tim Maier has been the regular pilot this season, for trainer David Ginter. Bringoverthemoney and Maier got away from the gate sixth on the outside and had to operate in the outer flow for most of the mile. Whatevershesgot (Rick Magee) had made the lead just past the quarter, and Bringoverthemoney came up to pressure the leader near the five-eighths juncture - before dropping into the pocket around the final turn. The fractions were sensible throughout - :28.1, :57.4, and 1:26.3. The resulting stretch battle between the top two was nothing short of breathtaking, as Whatevershesgot refused to relent and Bringoverthemoney was determined to get by. They opened up nearly five lengths on the rest and traded blows right down to the line, with Bringoverthemoney just pushing his nose ahead on the wire. The teletimer showed 1:56 for a new career best, and for the first win of the season for proud owner Joshua Horvat. Bringoverthemoney now has 14 career wins, and $104,062 in earnings. Al-Mar Humdinger (Mark Mintun) picked up her fourth career win by capturing the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old Trot event, besting a full field of ten which included five fillies and five geldings. Away in fifth, the sharp filly by Money Talks made her move down the backside with an eye-catching brush to the lead, and then held gamely to the wire, defeating Major Al-Mar (Rick Magee) and Twilight Tinker (Brian Detgen) in 2:01.2. Al-Mar Humdinger ($5.80) is owned by Aimes Racing and trained by Elvin Zimmerman. Banker Volo ($3.60) pulled off the repeat with another sharp mile in the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot, in gate-to-wire fashion. Driver Nick Roland sent Banker Volo right to the front from their post 8 assignment and they were never in doubt - going on to score by 1¼ lengths in 1:56.1 over French Eclipse (Rick Magee) and My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon). Banker Volo is owned by Lucas Roland and trained by Jenni King. Driver Tim Maier led the Saturday night card, with three wins for a Hat-Trick. Dean Magee picked up a double for his seventh consecutive multiple-win night, and Mark Mintun picked up a driving double as well. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, June 4, with first post at 7:00 pm (CDT) and a carryover in the Jackpot Pick-5 of $3,251.90. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN -One of the featured events on the Saturday evening (6/1) Harness Racing card at Running Aces was the $23,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 Year old Pace, with 7 starters in the $11,500 colts division and 6 starters in the $11,500 fillies division. Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman) was the public choice at even money in the colt division, coming off a strong third last out and a strong win on seasons debut before that. SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) took alot of pari-mutuel support as well and was sent off at 8-5 while looking to extend a perfect 2-for-2 sophomore record. Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo) also garnered plenty of support at 4-1 after just missing by a nose to SB Bodacious last out. Those top three public choices dominated the proceedings, with Stay Humble N Kind putting forth his career best mile to date, blasting the gate with plenty of speed and seating SB Bodacious in the pocket and Burning Blaze in third. The early fractions were moderate (:28.4, :58.3) and by securing that second quarter breather Owner/Driver Gerald Longo had reserved plenty of pace for the final half. Burning Blaze took a crack at them and was bearing down as they passed the ¾ marker in 1:26.3, but Longo had plenty in the tank. Stay Humble N Kind ($10.00) went on to score a milestone victory on two counts - first lifetime win for the 3 year old Fancy Schmancy gelding, and career win number 2,900 for 74 year old veteran driver Gerald Longo. The final time of 1:55 established a lifetime mark for the ¾ length winner. SB Bodacious rallied past Burning Blaze in the lane for second. The $11,500 fillies pace was a repeat dominating performance for Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) who was unhurried in the early stages while away in fourth, before launching her attack around the second turn. Once the field of sophomore distaffers straightened down the backside, it was game-on. Trinitysfancyfilly (Brian Detgen) was on the lead and fought hard against the (1-9) favorite, but was unable to fend off the champion filly. Windmeupnwatchmego ($2.10) drew away from her rivals to score a 5 length romp in 1:56.3 and remain a perfect 2-for-2 on the season. A Little Rusty (Gerald Longo) was late on the scene to just knab second money over Trinitysfancyfilly. Windmeupnwatchmego is trained by Gordon Graham for owner Richard Davelaar. The $15,000 Open Handicap Pace event went to Annihilator (Dean Magee) who made an impressive rally from well off the pace and a 3-wide move around the far turn to come after front-running favorite Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) and get up right at the wire for a neck victory. Annihilator ($29.80) scored his 2nd win of the year with the 1:53.1 tally. The winner is trained by Edwin Quevedo for A Piece Of The Action, LLC.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

Columbus, MN -The Sunday evening program of Harness Racing was highlighted by the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot, with a good field of seven squaring off to determine this week's top local trotter. Silverlode (Steve Wiseman) was in search of her seventh-straight victory, and would have to do it from the outside seven post, as the even-money choice. Banker Volo (Nick Roland) was heavily supported at just over 2-1 on the board, and newcomer Muscle Ave (Williams Hernandez) was getting respect at 5-1. Muscle Ave was sent right down the road by Hernandez and made the front from post six, just in time to register the first quarter in :27.4 with Banker Volo finding the pocket. Muscle Ave led the field all the way to the far turn, before Silverlode launched a sweeping move to the front and led into the lane, but Banker Volo was raging with trot towards the inside, and Bringoverthemoney (Tim Maier) was rallying strong on the outside. Banker Volo was fastest to the wire, getting a neck up in front of Silverlode in 1:55, with Bringoverthemoney picking up third, and missing by just a half-length. Banker Volo ($6.80) is now owned by Lucas Roland and is trained by Jenni King. Tonight's victory was his first win of the season, in just his third start. It was career win number 37 for the current track record holder (Aged Trotting Horses) and former multiple category record holder. At age 10, the ultra impressive stallion continues to be competitive at the top-level, perpetuating a stellar racing campaign, while also having entered a second career in the breeding shed. Also on Sunday's card, was the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old Trot, with a full field of nine lining up behind the gate. Last year's two year old male trotting champion MD Magic (Nick Roland) was sent off as the heavy 1-2 public choice from post two, with Dewey's Machine (Steve Wiseman) getting some support at 5-1. But the night would belong to another sophomore gelding, and an upset winner. Ice Storm would steal the show. Ice Storm trotted away alertly from post one, saved ground in third throughout, and angled out willingly for Mooney Svendsen as the field turned for home. It was the second career win for Ice Storm ($41.60) a son of Ice Machine out of the mare Stormont Flambe, owned by Larry Jo Jenson and trained by Brady Jenson. The 1:59 Mike was a new career best. Al Mar Humdinger (Elvin Zimmerman) was a very sharp second, with Dewey's Machine checking in third. Dean Magee led the night with a driving double, while Brady Jenson sent out two winners to lead all trainers. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, May 28 with first post at 7:00 p.m. (CDT)   By Darin Gagne   for Running Aces

The Saturday night (May 25) Harness Racing program at Running Aces kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a large crowd and some fantastic races. The harness racing card featured $23,000 in purses for the Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pacers, splitting in two divisions by sex. The $11,500 colts & geldings grouping included 2018 Minnesota Harness Horse of the year, Burning Blaze who was sent off at 1-5 in the wagering, with last-out winner SB Bodacious a clear second choice at 4-1. Burning Blaze (Nick Roland), Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo) and Trump Train (Steve Wiseman) all left the gate with early speed and the scramble was on for the front spot, resulting in a very fast 26.2 opening quarter. Burning Blaze emerged with the lead and Roland backed the second quarter down tremendously (31.2) before speeding back up for a 29 flat third panel (1:26.4). Trump Train launched a first-over attack just past the pole and SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) picked up the live cover, with Stay Humble N Kind snug in the pocket. As they rounded for home, the top four were all loaded with pace, and Burning Blaze was under siege. Stay Humble N Kind raged forward in the passing lane, while SB Bodacious tipped wide and turned on the after-burners to nail the victory right on the wire, a nose ahead of Stay Humble N Kind, with Burning Blaze home in third. SB Bodacious, a gelded son of Voracious Hanover and Salsa Hanover is now undefeated in two sophomore starts, and posted a new career mark of 1:55.3 with his third lifetime win. Rick Magee also trains the impressive pacer, for owner Mikaela DelGiudice. The $11,500 filly division went to race favorite and divisional two year old champion Windmeupnwatchmego, in her season's debut. She got away fourth and then surged to the front down the backstretch before easily pulling away from the field to score an impressive 3 ¾ length tally in 1:56.2. Dean Magee was the winning driver, for trainer Gordon Graham and owner Richard Davelaar. Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) remained razor-sharp, capturing the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for the second straight week, and three wins in a row. He fired fast from post 8 and posted a 26.1 opening quarter to establish command. From there he was never in doubt and scored a one length tally in 1:52.2 for his fourth win of the year for owner Merlin Van Oterloo. Brett Ballinger is the winning trainer.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces Sunday, May 26, with first post at 6:00 pm (CDT).   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

About 5 or 6 years ago, Cathy Dessert was pretty new to the Harness Racing game, having just started her foray into the sulky sport, by purchasing shares in a couple of fractional ownership horses at Running Aces. She, along with her husband Bill, quickly caught the bug and jumped head-first into full fledged standardbred ownership, while enlisting the services of one of the top local horsemen - Nick Roland as their trainer and driver. Around that time, she had a chance encounter with a very cool authentic Dan Patch-era High-Wheel Sulky, on display, at (of all places) the local Thoroughbred track Canterbury Park. She recalls that her immediate thought was, what on earth is this magnificent piece of Harness Racing history doing at a facility dedicated to flats racing, as both Thoroughbred and Quarter horses call the Shakopee, Minnesota track home each May through September. Old display at Canterbury Certainly she was not the first Harness Racing enthusiast to spy the historic "bike" there and think it strange. Even I, myself noticed it there not long after her encounter, and also thought to myself, this really, really belongs at Running Aces, where we celebrate the great Dan Patch with a full weekend of activities each year, including a big signature race. I knew that when Canterbury first opened in the 1980's they had a Harness meet, and even after they closed and reopened again later they did offer a few days a year of Standardbred racing. But It has now been sixteen years since a trotter or pacer has competed on the one mile track. For Cathy, the encounter remained in the back of her mind. Years passed, and Cathy and Bill became more and more invested in Harness Racing, both financially and emotionally. They advanced from claimers to private sales - to auctions and into breeding in the fast growing Minnesota-Sired program. They won their first Championship race in 2018 and took year-end divisional honors with the same horse, two year old trotting filly Twilight Tinker. Also in 2018, Cathy became a board member for Minnesota Harness Racing, Inc., which is the Harness Horsemen's association in the state of Minnesota. It was through her involvement in the MHRI board that she would soon have an opportunity to find out more about the Dan Patch-era sulky on display at Canterbury. While participating in routine Racing Industry events, she had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Randy Sampson, President and CEO of Canterbury Park. She admits that it took her a good while before getting up the courage to approach Mr. Sampson to ask about the Sulky. Around the beginning of this year she indeed did speak to him, and asked to whom did it (The Sulky) belong and he replied that it was his. She expressed her surprise to see it on display at the Thoroughbred track, and Mr. Sampson explained that Harness Racing was once a part of the track's activities, and that the city of Savage, where the great Dan Patch lived for most of his life was very close by. Cathy expressed that since Harness Racing was now long gone from there and had a new Minnesota home at Running Aces, it would be wonderful if there were any way to move it there. She asked if she could buy it, and move it to Running Aces. Mr. Sampson shared with her what he had paid for it, and that if he sold it he would want to get that amount back, but he would need time to decide if he wanted to sell it at all. After a short time, Mr. Sampson provided the answer that Cathy had been hoping for, and so much more, he would not only sell the historic Sulky, but he would also donate the proceeds to a local horse racing charity foundation that was recently created by Ben Blum and Taro Ito at Running Aces. That charity is The North Metro Racehorse and Community foundation, which has a goal of creating a facility than can serve as a rehabilitation location for racehorses, assist in transitioning horses from the racetrack to retirement, and offer programs that educate the local public about horse racing and all of its benefits. Another goal of the foundation will be to offer additional stall space and overflow space for the racetrack, As well as providing other local community programs with support and assistance. Cathy and Bill Dessert bought the historic antique sulky, turned over ownership to MHRI, and then immediately spoke with Taro Ito, President and CEO of Running Aces to be sure that he would welcome the piece of history to be displayed at his track. Of course, Mr. Ito was overjoyed with the idea, and so happy that such an important symbol of Harness Racing's past would now have a home at one of the country's newest and most respected Harness facilities. Cathy now had the sulky, she had the place for it at it's new Harness Racing home, but she needed a way to get it from Shakopee to Running Aces in Columbus, which is about a 60 mile trip. She knew just who to call, A.J. !!! A.J. is Alyssa Joy Fetterly, who is one of those types of people you always want to have around, always at the ready to help out fellow horsemen in any way possible. Aside from helping to supply local horsemen with everything from feed to tack and equiptment, A.J. can be found helping on the backside at Running Aces in the barns or in the paddock. Upon hearing the request for help with the Dan Patch Sulky, she was eager to jump in, hook up a trailer and hit the road, and she fully enjoyed the experience. She summed up the day by posting this: "What did you do today? Cathy Dessert and I moved a piece of history." On Wednesday, May 22, the historic Dan Patch-era 1904 Sulky made the pilgrimage from Canterbury to Running Aces. Wheeling it to trailer outside Canterbury Park It would have been fitting if it had been lead there on the highway by the starting gate car or something equally as symbolic. But the sense of history was not lost on any of the participants in this great story. The semi-newbie to Harness Racing who fell in love with the sport and then the sulky; immediately in both cases - Cathy Dessert - who was choked up and teary eyed throughout the pilgrimage and even while discussing the significance with me afterwards. Track Superintendent and Starter John Betts - who was instrumental in helping to get it placed in it's new home, Arriving at entrance to Running Aces The previous owner of the piece - Randy Sampson, who realized that the significance of the Sulky itself was bigger than one person, and The Running Aces CEO - Taro Ito - who not only welcomed it with open arms, but insisted it get displayed in the most prominent place possible - at the Grand entrance of Running Aces, not only home to Harness Racing - but now Harness Racing history.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

Columbus, MN -Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack proudly presents the 2019 Dan Patch Free-For-All Pace, with a $50,000 (gtd.) final to be raced on Sunday, July 21, 2019 during the track's Dan Patch weekend. Elimination Races will be held for $15,000 each, on Sunday, July 14. Should Elimination races not be necessary, a $15,000 Dan Patch Preview will be held on 7/14 as the prep for the Final. Nomination forms are now available under the Horsemen's Resources tab on the Running Aces website: RunAces.com The Nomination fee is $500.00 and is payable to Running Aces and due by Monday, June 17, 2019. Nomination forms should be hand delivered to Nancy Byrge, Race Secretary, or mailed to: Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack Attn: Race Secretary - BARN A 15201 Running Aces Blvd., Columbus, MN 55025-9467.   From Darin Gagne  for Running Aces          

Columbus, MN -Despite heavy participation in the Hi-5 wagering pools on Sunday night (May 19), nobody was able to solve the High-5 with all top 5 numbers correct. Longshot winners in both of the final two races triggered a double- carryover for tonight's card. A robust $8,049.09 will be added to the High-5 pool in Race #7 tonight, a $4,600 condition pace for fillies and mares. Exsqueeze Me (Steve Wiseman) has been installed as the 5/2 morning line choice from post 9, coming off a victory right here at Running Aces on opening night. Post time for the Tuesday opener is 7:00 pm (CT) and approximate post time for Race #7 is 9:15 pm (CT).   Darin Gagne For Running Aces

Columbus, MN -The first Sunday card of the 2019 Harness Racing season featured a $15,000 Open Trot event, with a strong field of contenders. Silverlode was making her Running Aces return after a stellar campaign in northern California at Cal Expo over the winter and spring. Banker Volo was making his Running Aces return and just second start of the year, after a winter campaign in western Pennsylvania at The Meadows. Those two were the talk of the tote-board and rightfully so, as they also dominated the action on the track. Banker Volo (Nick Roland) struck the front first, with a burst right off the wings of the gate to challenge the inside entry Doug's Hobby Horse (Rick Bertrand) and take the lead at the quarter in 29.2, while Silverlode (Steve Wiseman) floated away third from her outside eight post, and advanced to challenge and take over the front near the 3/8 marker. The fractions were tepid for the top class trotters as they hit the half in just 1 minute flat and also completed a middle half of one minute flat (1:30). Silverlode faced mild pressure near the 5/8 when Al Mar Reba Babe was advancing first-over on the outside, but was never in jeopardy. Turning for home Silverlode had taken a clear two-length margin and had full benefit of the soft fractions, kicking home in 29.1 to check in 3 ¾ lengths ahead of Banker Volo, with Bringoverthemoney (Tim Maier) picking up the pieces for third. Silverlode ($3.20) is a 10 year old mare by British Sterling and is trained by Kathleen Plested, who co-owns with Medinah Racing. She now has 6 wins in a row and 7 victories in just 10 starts in 2019, and She recently surpassed the quarter-million mark in career earnings and now sport's a tally of $258,072. Four year old pacer Just B Talking ($84.40) became the biggest priced winner of the meet so far in Race seven on the card for Owner-Trainer-Driver Gerald Longo, with an impressive tally on the front end in 1:58.2 to light up the board at more than 41-1, triggering a carryover in the Hi-5 wager. And when 6 year old pacer Buzz Light (Nick Roland) turned in a sharp looking win at 11-1 ($24.20) in the finale in 1:58, that helped to trigger a double-carryover of $8,049.09 for the High Five Wager on Tuesday Night (5/21). Drivers Nick Roland, and Dean Magee both picked up driving doubles on the Sunday program. Post time on Tuesday night (5/21) is 7:00 pm CT.   By Darin Gagne For Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN -The Opening night harness racing card at Running Aces featured the $14,000 Open handicap Pace for horses & geldings and promised to be a good contest. Stuckey Dote was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite having just turned in a career best winning mile at El Dorado Scioto Downs in 1:50.3. Stuckey Dote got in gear early with a sweeping move into the first turn to establish the lead over Firedrake (Brian Detgen) who got away quickly from post 6, and secured the pocket through a 27.2 opener. Driver Rick Magee settled his charge down nicely on the front and registered a 30 second breather in the second panel. From there they weathered a good challenge from King of The Crop (Steve Wiseman) through the final half mile, and the 1:26.3 three-quarters, with Firedrake saving ground and closing late to make it close for the place spot. Stuckey Dote paced home strong to register a 3 ¼ length tally over King of The Crop and Firedrake in 1:54.1 for his 30th career win from 90 starts. The winning trainer is Brett Ballinger and winning owner is Merlin Van Oterloo. Longshots dominated the middle part of the Opening-night program, with Brushin Albert (Dean Magee) registering a 16-1 upset in the third contest, paying a $34.20 mutuel. Race four was won by Cenalta Cougar ($44.80) with driver Tim Maier, who would go on to lead the night with 3 wins. The longshot trail continued in Race 5 when Trinitysfancyfilly (Brian Detgen) scored at just under 10-1 for a $21.60 payout. Stuckey Dote delivered in the featured seventh as the favorite, and Tim Maier completed both halves of the late double while favored in both events (Fox Valley Nemitz, paying $3.80, and Crystal Hotspur paying $5.20) Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday, May 19 with first post at 6:00 pm CT.   Darin Gagne

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