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Columbus, MN - So many things have been significantly different about the 2020 harness racing season, not only at Running Aces in Minnesota, but at so many venues across North America and likely across the world as well.   One difference this year at Running Aces that has been fun to see develop over the summer season is the leaderboard for our top ten trainers. On this year's list there are many rising stars, joining stalwart top trainers like Kathie Plested-Wiseman, Justin Anfinson, Gene Miller and Tim Maier.   Today we want to shine the spotlight on those rising stars and highlight some of their impressive accomplishments over the current racing season.   Jessica Johnson jumped out to a big early lead in the standings by posting lots of early success in both June and July. Johnson is in her first year as head trainer for Roland racing stable - she has been a key figure in the operation for many years but this is the first season that she has been listed as the trainer of record.   After her very fast start she has been able to maintain her lead in the standings all the way into the final week of the season, and currently holds a five win lead at the top with 36 wins, and is sporting an overall win percentage of 20.4% and a U.T.R.S. rating of (.354). Headliners in the Johnson barn this summer have included sophomore trotting filly Teachmehowtotory and sophomore pacing colt It's A Marcs World. Both are the current seasonal leaders in their respective divisions of the Minnesota-Sired program.   Richard Bertrand is in the midst of his best season ever both at Running Aces and overall. The Michigan native has been a regular at both Cal-Expo and Aces for many years and credits improved stock and loyal owners as key factors in helping him become one of the top trainers in Minnesota this season.   Heading into the final 6 days of the meet he is sitting second in the standings with 31 wins and has a win percentage of 13% and a rating of (.238). Top performers for Bertrand include upper condition level pacer Mystery Dragon, 4 year old pacer Haulin' Oats, and veteran 14 year old pacer Best Dream Seeker to name a few.   Edwin Quevedo is a trainer that came onto the scene at both Cal-Expo and Running Aces about five years ago and has proven to be a solid horseman. He has steadily advanced up the rankings over the past three seasons, hitting the top five for the first time at Aces last year, followed by a close second place finish at Cal-Expo last winter and is currently a close third in the Aces standings with 29 wins and a solid winning percentage of 21.3% and a solid rating of (.326).   Quevedo is on pace to record his highest career seasonal win total to date. The star of the Quevedo barn this season is the standout Open pacer Heza Real Diamond, who has won ten of nineteen starts this year.   Williams Hernandez has followed the same Cal-Expo and Aces circuit since becoming a full-time trainer in 2016 and has also ventured to New York and New Jersey in the past couple of years. He has proven himself as a solid horseman as well and is currently among the top 10 trainers in Minnesota with 19 wins and a strike percentage of 16.2% with a (.299) rating. He is also on pace to post career best totals this year across the board. Top horses for Hernandez include Open trotter Muscle Ave and Open level pacers Paklane Jet and Prologue.   Edward Hernandez, (brother to Williams) is a relatively new trainer - in just his second year as a full time trainer, and ranks among the top trainers this summer with very impressive numbers. He leads all trainers at Running Aces in win percentage at a stunning 33.3%, and U.T.R.S. rating with a phenomenal (.511) and he has 15 wins to his credit so far at the meet. He has posted standout performances with sophomore pacer So So De Vie and 8 year old pacer PH Kenny.   Chris Scicluna made his Aces debut this season and has also posted solid numbers to rank amongst the top ten. The Australian native has racked up 19 wins in Minnesota so far and shows an impressive win percentage of 27.5% and a very strong rating of (.420). He is also on pace to post his career best seasonal win total and U.T.R.S. rating. Scicluna's top performers at Running Aces have included Open-level pacers Keep On Rocking A, Hoo Nien A and top pacing mare My Kiwi Lady N.   Ariel Alvarez is one of the newest trainers at Running Aces. The 25 year old secured his full trainers license this July and has posted very impressive early numbers. Alvarez has picked up 9 wins from his first 43 starts, with 24 top-three finishes. His win percentage so far is an impressive 20.9% and he sports a current U.T.R.S. rating of (.388). The star of the Alvarez barn has been six year old pacing mare Lakota Law, who recently won four consecutive races.   The Minnesota Harness Racing season is beginning to wind down, with just six racing days to go before the curtain call on October 4. Live Racing is conducted every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm CDT. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces 

Columbus, MN - The featured events on the Wednesday afternoon (September 23) Harness Racing program at Running Aces were the freshman trotting events with two divisions going for $11,500 each.    The colts and geldings division went to heavily favored Rush To The Bank (Nick Roland, $2.20) who was never in doubt while posting a gate-to-wire score by two lengths over Oh Danny Boy and Ice Titan in 2:02.1. The victory today made it five in a row for the clear leader in this division, and likely favorite for the Minnesota Day of Champions program on October 3.    The winner is a gelded son of Banker Volo, owned by Jeralene Roland and Vickie Rush and is trained by Dan Roland.    The filly division went to Coatofmanycolors ($27.40), who rallied from well back to get up for a one length tally in 2:02.1 for her first lifetime win in just her second career start. It's So Fluffy was home in second and The Royal Queen checked in third.    The winning filly is by Tymal Templar, owned and trained by driver Jenni King.    Justlikehim (Jacob Cutting, $14.80) trotted to a new career mark of 1:54 in the $8,500 Open Handicap Trot, converting a pocket trip into a 3/4 length tally over Magic Mvp and Pridecrest. The winner is a 5 year old gelding by My Mvp, owned by Orlando Nevarez and trained by Edwin Quevedo.    The 1:54 mile was just one-fifth of a second off of the track record.    Driver Steve Wiseman led the program with two winners and trainer Kathie Plested-Wiseman registered two winners as well.    The Pick-5 Jackpot now stands at $14,916.02 for Saturday (September 26).    Live Racing continues at Running Aces through October 4, with action four days a week at 1:00 pm CDT.    Photo: Rush To The Bank made it five in a row on the freshman trot      By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Tuesday afternoon harness racing program at Running Aces was the Minnesota-Sired freshman pace with three divisions and a total purse of $23,000.   The $8,625 Colts and Geldings division was headlined by heavy favorite Twilight Sunset (Rick Magee, 1-5) who was trying to maintain unbeaten status - in search of his fifth consecutive win in as many career starts. The clear second choice in the seven horse contest was Alilthundadownunda (Nick Roland, 3-1).   Rick Magee fired fastest of all off of the gate from post seven with the favorite, quickly establishing the lead over longshot SD Watch Me Now (Brian Detgen) and Marc In The Box (Duane Roland). Nick Roland took back to fourth from post one with Alilthundadownunda and sat patiently through early fractions of :28 and :58.3.   Marc In The Box pulled first-up down the backside and applied moderate pressure to the leader before dropping back midway through the last turn, while Alilthundadownunda tipped three-wide with plenty of pace as they rounded for home.   Twilight Sunset dug in gamely but was unable to fend off Alilthundadownunda ($8.60) who got a neck in front on the line in 1:56.3 for his first career win.       The winner is a gelded son of Malak Uswaad N, owned by Set The Pace Racing LLC and trained by Jessica Johnson.   The $8,625 "A" spilt of the freshman filly pacers went to She's A Showstopper (Jacob Cutting, $13.40) in 1:58.2 for her third career win. The It's That Time filly is owned by Van Otterloo Stables and trained by Gordon Graham.   Of Great Worth (Dean Magee) was home second, just ahead of race favorite May Day Maggie (Mooney Svendsen).   The $5,750 "B" split went to Muffin Top (Braxten Boyd, $3.60) who rallied from off the pace and drew away late to post her first career win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:59.1. The daughter of Vlos is owned and trained by her breeder Wendy Haberberg.   Tootsie'sonaterror (Brian Detgen) was second and JK Saving Grace (Tim Maier) was third.   Driver Jacob Cutting led the program with two wins, registering his third consecutive driving double.   The 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot Carryover is now at $13,809.00   Live Racing continues at Running Aces through October 4, with action four days a week at 1:00 pm CDT.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces   

Columbus, MN - One of the most impressive Harness Racing performances over the weekend at Running Aces was that of three year old pacing filly Shesureissomething who wired the field on Sunday afternoon (September 20) to pick up her fourth straight win.    Sent off as the 4-5 favorite in a $4,000 conditioned event, Driver Rick Magee wasted no time moving the daughter of  So Surreal right to the front, securing a solid early lead and posting a fast opening stanza of :27.2 before settling down for a breather of :30 seconds in the second panel.    Shesureissomething ($3.80) was never in doubt and paced a strong final half mile of :56.3 to complete a career best mile in 1:54 over Changing Colors (Steve Wiseman) and Officer Jim (Dean Magee).    The winning filly is owned by Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte and is trained by Justin Anfinson.      It's A Marcs World (Nick Roland, $4.80) captured the $4,500 Sophomore Open Handicap Pace on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 19) with a sweeping late rally as the field turned for home to draw away by 3 lengths in 1:54.3 over Bunkerhill Phil (Braxten Boyd) and So So De Vie (Mooney Svendsen).    It was the seventh win in ten starts this year for the impressive son of Marced Card, owned by Duane Roland and trained by Jessica Johnson.    On Saturday, Driver Nick Roland piloted three winners while Jacob Cutting registered a double. Trainers Williams Hernandez and Richard Bertrand had two winners each.    Jacob Cutting picked up another two wins on Sunday, along with Mooney Svendsen.    Live Racing continues at Running Aces four days a week, through October 4. Post times are at 1:00 pm CDT every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.    By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN - Running Aces and Minnesota Harness Racing, Inc are hosting a special day for driver Steve Wiseman this Saturday (September 19) during Live Racing.   The event is a fundraising benefit for Wiseman who continues to battle stage four cancer. He has been undergoing treatment since his diagnosis late last winter and has subsequently missed most of his opportunities to drive due to the side affects of the treatments. He has recently gotten promising reports from his doctors and he remains in very good spirits and remains determined to do whatever it takes to fight and beat the illness.   Guests at Running Aces will be able to purchase Hats, T-Shirts, Wristbands and more with all proceeds going to benefit Wiseman.   Post time on Saturday is 1:00 pm central.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces      

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Wednesday afternoon harness racing program at Running Aces was the $9,000 Open Handicap Trot, headlined by heavy 2-5 favorite Mandeville (Nick Roland) who was looking to extend a two race winning streak and was returning to action off of 22 days rest.   After two scratches reduced the field to five, Mandeville got to move in two spots on the gate and was fastest off the car from the outside spot. Justlikehim (Jacob Cutting) also left alertly from post four and got away second, but after sensing the slow early tempo (:29 and :58.3) went on the attack before the half mile.   Justlikehim was parked and pressuring the leader all the way to deep stretch, but Mandeville ($2.80) was able to fend him off and post a gate-to-wire victory by one length in 1:55.3 with Magic Mvp (Chris Scicluna) getting up right at the wire to snag second away from Justlikehim.       Mandeville now has seven wins in twelve outings this year. He eclipsed the quarter-million dollar mark in career earnings ($254,169) with today's victory. Gerald Longo is the winning owner and trainer.   Trainer Alexia Kehl swept both divisions of the two year old Open Trot, scoring in the first $4,500 division with filly Sunny P (Dean Magee, $8.40) in 2:08.2 for her first lifetime win for owners Neil Goldstein and Mercedes Cabrera.   In the second $4,500 division, Kehl was victorious with her own gelding Oh Danny Boy (Darrell Wright, $9.80) who also picked up his first lifetime win with a one length tally in 2:03.2.   Driver Nick Roland led the Wednesday program with three winners and Dean Magee registered a driving double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday (September 19) with first post at 1:00 pm CDT and will feature a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $10,993.47.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - My Kiwi Lady N scored her fourth win of the season, with a solid three length tally in 1:53.1 to take the Tuesday afternoon (September 15) harness racing feature at Running Aces.   Sent off as the 4-5 favorite from her assigned outside seven post, Driver Jacob Cutting floated My Kiwi Lady N off the gate in fourth position and picked up immediate cover as Another Beach Day (Braxten Boyd) was locked in battle early with race leader Amasa Arion (Rick Magee).   The early battle up front produced quick opening fractions of :27.2 and :56 seconds and My Kiwi Lady N benefitted from the live cover all the way into the final turn before tipping three-wide and taking the lead as they swing for home.   My Kiwi Lady N ($3.80) had plenty of pace and drew away from the field in the lane, stopping the timer in 1:53.1 while Motu Moonbeam N (Mooney Svendsen) closed from the back of the pack to be a clear second, and Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) came from last to nab third.       The winner is a 7 year old daughter of Art Major, owned and trained by Chris Scicluna. She now has fourteen career wins and just eclipsed the century mark in career earnings ($104,392) with today's victory.   Spectacular Sunset (Rick Magee, $4.40) captured the $5,500 two year old Open Pace for his second career win in just three starts. After following in the pocket through the first half mile, Magee came after the leader Alilthundadownunda (Nick Roland) down the backside and these two traded blows all the way to the finish.   After appearing defeated in deep stretch, Spectacular Sunset dug down deep and surged to the wire to secure a one length score in 1:56.3 over Alilthundadownunda with SD Eliminator (Brian Detgen) well back in third.   The winner is a stud colt by Artspeak, owned by Janna Lee Rucker and trained by Magee.   Lakota Law (Dean Magee, $3.00) picked up her fourth straight win when she hit the wire in a 1:55.1 dead heat (with Velocity Layla, Tim Maier, $3.80) in the Tuesday finale. It was a seasonal mark for Lakota Law, owned by Troshu Racing and trained by Ariel Alvarez.   Nat A Cam (Dean Magee, $3.40) notched another win for 99 year old owner Keith "Dudley" Carey, pacing to a new career mark of 1:55.3 for her fourteenth career win. The impressive 4 year old daughter of Millionaire Cam is trained by Justin Anfinson.   Drivers Dean Magee and Jacob Cutting dominated the program on Tuesday, with Magee nabbing four wins for a Grand Slam and Cutting picking up three wins for a Hat-Trick. Cutting also registered two training wins on the day.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Wednesday (September 16) with first post at 1:00 pm CDT and features a carryover of $9,823.68 in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Sunday afternoon Harness Racing program at Running Aces was the $13,800 Minnesota-Sired sophomore "A" trot with a talented field of seven going into battle.     Al Mar Why Not (Tim Maier) was fastest off of the gate and had the early lead as they registered a first quarter of :29.3 before Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland) took control near the 3/8 mark. Driver Rick Magee launched Hearduwhispermynam towards the front near the half mile mark (1:00.3) and quickly cleared to the lead as they headed down the backside.    Once on the lead, Hearduwhispermynam was immediately pressured by Susie's Sister (Brady Jenson) and those two continued to battle all the way into deep stretch, where Hearduwhispermynam ($3.80) was able to battle back and regain control for a solid one length score in 1:57.1 over Susie's Sister and SB Madam Secretary (Darrell Wright).    The winner is a gelded son of Braggart, owned and trained by his breeder Jenni King. He now has five wins in eleven starts this year.    Double My Decker (Dean Magee, $3.20) posted a very sharp three length tally in the $9,200 sophomore "B" trot in 2:00.1 for a new career mark. Bekkum's Black Rose (Nick Roland) was home second, and Al Mar Lovie Dovie (Rick Magee) was third. The winner is a filly by Braggart, owned by Jesse, Ben and Eric De Long and trained by Justin Anfinson.    Glitter N Ginger (Braxten Boyd, $3.40) posted her third straight win with another dominating performance in a $3,800 claiming-conditioned pace. The 1-3/4 length score was her third win in her last four starts for owner Brett Boyd Racing and trainer Gene Miller.    Drivers Nick Roland and Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen led the Sunday program with two winners each.    Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, September 15, with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature a $9,011.66 carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager.   By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN - Hoo Nien A (Jacob Cutting) rallied from off the pace to take the $8,500 harness racing feature at Running Aces on Saturday afternoon (September 12).   Stuckey Dote (Darrell Wright) and Heza Real Diamond battled up front through a torrid opening half mile (:25.3, :54.4) while Jacob Cutting bided his time at the back of the pack with Hoo Nien A.   Parklane Jet (Dean Magee) launched a first-over attack down the backside and Cutting picked up the cover before rolling three-wide around the final turn with Hoo Nien A ($7.00) who surged to the front and drew away late to win by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:51.3.   Heza Real Diamond held second and Stuckey Dote was third.       The winner is an 8 year old gelding by Always A Virgin. He now has 22 career wins and $167,548 in the bank. Chris Scicluna is the winning owner/trainer.   The $11,500 Minnesota-Sired sophomore filly pace went to It's Pacific Time (Rick Magee, $2.10) who dominated in gate-to-wire fashion from post eight with a 1:56.4 mile for her ninth win of the season for owner John Hendricks and trainer Joel Mc Danel.   Huftalookatdatfany (Nick Roland) was second and Catchmeinadream (Jacob Cutting) was third.   The $6,900 sophomore colts & geldings pace went to Bunkerhill Phil (Braxten Boyd) in 1:58 for four wins in a row. The winner is a gelding by Vlos, owned and trained by Gene Miller.   Driver Jacob Cutting led the Saturday program with three winners - scoring a natural Hat-Trick in races 5,6 and 7. Rick Magee posted a double.   Live Racing continues at Running Aces through October 4, with action four days a week at 1:00 pm (CDT).   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces                                

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Wednesday afternoon (September 9) harness racing program at Running Aces was the $11,500 Minnesota-Sired freshman colt & geldings trot with a field of seven square-gaited rivals lining up behind the gate.   The overwhelming 1-9 favorite in the race was a Rush To The Bank (Nick Roland) who was coming into the event with two wins in a row, and five wins in ten career outings.   Driver Nick Roland sent the favorite straight to the front and dominated the affair with moderate fractions of :30.1, 1:02 and 1:32.2 over the rain-soaked oval, which was rated as good.   There was never an anxious moment for Rush To The Bank ($2.10) as he kept his rivals well behind throughout the mile, and kicked home in :30.2 to check in 7-3/4 lengths ahead in 2:02.4.       Half-brother Hide Your Banker (Brandon Jenson) got up for second over Oh Danny Boy (Darrell Wright) to complete the Banker Volo-sired Exacta that returned a handsome $71.40.   The winner is a gelding out of the Valley Victor mare Vacation Valley, owned by Jeralene Roland and Vikki Rush and trained by Dan Roland.   Trotstyle Takeover (Mooney Svendsen, $13.60) scored her first career win in the $11,500 freshman filly trot in 2:07 - closing late to just get up over the Banker Volo filly It's So Fluffy (Dean Magee) by a nose. Sunny P (Darrell Wright) was home third.   The winning filly is by Braggart and is owned by trainer Brett Ballinger, along with Darren and Suzanne Taylor and Benvenga Racing.   PH Kenny (Darrell Wright, $7.20) extended his winning streak to five in a row in a $12,000 claiming pace with another sharp mile in 1:55.4 over the surface that had been down-graded to sloppy. Gerald Longo is the winning owner and trainer, having claimed the horse last time out. Previous connections Jose Cervantes and Edward Hernandez claimed the 8 year old Lis Mara gelding back today.   Driver Mooney Svendsen led the program with his second consecutive Hat-Trick day, and owner Benvenga Racing had two winners on the program.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, September 12 with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature two carryover pools - $7,374.18 for the Pick-5 Jackpot, and $1,458.55 for the Early Pick-4.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces 

Columbus, MN - Harness racing owner Keith Carey had plenty to celebrate on Tuesday (September 8) after his 4 year old pacing mare Nat A Cam scored a career best win at Running Aces in 1:57.    At 99 years young, Carey is the patriarch of an Iowa family that is deeply rooted in the sulky sport. Keith has been involved in Harness Racing for as long as anyone can remember, and he got started some 70 or 80 years ago with his brother Red Carey.    Affectionately called "Dudley" by family and friends, Keith Carey adores his mare and holds her dear because she was the last horse that he and his late wife of 66 years, Katherine had together. Katherine passed away in 2017 at the age of 93.    Carey has had more than one offer to sell his mare, but will not part with her. She has had lots of success at the county fair tracks in Iowa and also won this summer at Kahoka, Missouri. The win at Running Aces was her thirteenth triumph from 35 career starts. She is by Millionaire Cam and out of the Blissfull Hall mare Nat-a-tat-tat, whom the Carey's had as a broodmare.    Carey's grandson Curtis shared with me that his grandpa loves to take care of the mare when she is at home at the farm and noted "he does her stall himself every morning, and he loves to be there to feed her at dinnertime too."    Keith Carey's Columbus Junction farm is the base of operations. He has had the "farm for at least 70 years" according to Curtis, who was thrilled when his grandpa came up with the idea to send the mare up to Running Aces to take her shot at the "big-time" at the Pari-mutuel track. The Carey's have a good relationship with trainer Justin Anfinson who was more than willing to bring the mare up to Minnesota for the tryout.    Dudley wanted his great-nephew and Running Aces all time leading driver Nick Roland to drive his mare, and always  prefers that Nick's brother - Will Roland drives his mare in Iowa. As it turned out, Nick had a filly of his own in the same race and they decided to call on veteran reinsman Darrell Wright for the drive.   Nat A Cam turned in a stellar performance in her "tryout" - making two moves in the mile and drawing away from the field late by 3-1/2 lengths and lowering her career mark by 3-3/5 seconds.        Dudley was watching on RTN from his daughter's home in Iowa. He was filled with excitement and was vigorously rooting "come on sweety ..." and was overcome with joy and pride after the big win.    Five generations of Carey's were all celebrating Dudley's big win with him. He may have even enjoyed a cold beer during the celebrations too, as Curtis notes he often will do after the races at the fair.    Part of the fifth generation, Kolton Hauser got the opportunity to go his first training mile with this mare earlier this year, extending the joy she has brought to Keith out to the new Carey generations too. Curtis Carey reinforced the idea that, no matter what, this mare is not going anywhere. "Grandpa can keep her going as long as wants or is able to, and then we will breed her later on and keep the legacy going".   Rumor has it that Dudley may want to let her stay at Running Aces for at least one more start. After her performance today, it's likely she won't be a longshot on her next go-round, and she'll have plenty of people rooting for her to win one more for "Dudley". He'll be proud of her no matter how she does. And he'll be ready to welcome her back to the farm so he can take care of her. As daughter Nancy Carey noted "she keeps him young and keeps him happy".    The featured event on the Tuesday afternoon harness racing program at Running Aces was the $9,000 Open Handicap Pace for Fillies and Mares, with a talented field of seven lining up behind the gate.   Pull The Shade (Nick Roland) was the talk of the tote-board at 4-5 and left the gate fastest of all to take the early lead from post seven before yielding to Motu Moonbeam N (Mooney Svendsen) just past the :27 second quarter mile checkpoint.   Alwaysalittlemore (Jacob Cutting) came first-up to challenge and pressure the leader down the backside and into the far turn, with Another Beac)h Day (Braxten Boyd) picking up the live cover through the middle stages (:56.4 and 1:25.3).   Motu Moonbeam N turned back the initial challenger, but when Boyd tipped of cover with Another Beach Day there was little the leader could do in response and Another Beach Day ($23.60) surged past to score a 1-1/4 length victory in 1:54.1 for her second win of the season.       It was just her third local start, and third start for her new owner Brandy Boyd - who picked up her very first win as an owner in the featured race of the day with her twenty year old son Braxten in the bike for the win. Gene Miller is the winning trainer.   Motu Moonbeam N held second, and Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) rallied for third.   The $8,625 Minnesota-Sired freshman "A" pace went to heavy-favorite May Day Maggie (Mooney Svendsen, $2.40) for her third win of the season. She dominated the affair from gate-to-wire in 1:59.1 over Brooklyn Wind Up (Brady Jenson) and She's A Showstopper (Jacob Cutting). The winning filly is owned by Rick Huffman and Larry Matter and is trained by Justin Anfinson.   The $5,750 Minnesota-Sired freshman "B" pace went to heavy-favorite Dontcallmefrieda (Nick Roland, $2.80) in 2:03 for her first lifetime win. The winner is a filly by Wind Me Up, owned by Connie and Judith Roland and trained by Jessica Johnson.   So So De Vie (Mooney Svendsen) scored his fourth straight win in a $4,800 conditioned pace for owner Jose Cervantes and trainer Edward Hernandez. The sharp three year-old gelding is a son of American Ideal and he was a 1-1/2 length winner in 1:54.3.   Driver Mooney Svendsen led the Tuesday card with a Hat-Trick of three wins, and Dean Magee registered a double. Trainer Justin Anfinson also recorded a double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Wednesday (September 9) with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $6,614.30.   by Darin Gagne, for Running Aces                                                          

The featured event on the Sunday afternoon (September 6) Harness Racing program at Running Aces was the $13,800 Sophomore "A" trot with a field of eight lining up behind the gate.    Hearduwhispermynam was part of a two horse entry for owner/trainer Jenni King and started from post six with driver Rick Magee in the bike, and the entry was sent off as the third choice in the wagering at just over 2-1.    SD Eliminator (Brian Detgen) was fastest from the gate and had the early lead at the :28.3 quarter-mile checkpoint before SB Madam Secretary (Darrell Wright) took over near the :57.4 half mile mark.    Favorite filly Susie's Sister (Steve Wiseman) picked up the first-over position and Hearduwhispermynam picked up the cover from fourth on the outside down the backstretch and was still fourth as they registered the 3/4 mark in 1:26.1, a reading that brought with it a strong possibility for a track record mile.    Magee followed the cover all the way to the top of the lane and then tipped to find a clear path through the stretch, Hearduwhispermynam ($6.40) responded and trotted away from his rivals by 2-3/4 lengths to register a mile in 1:56 and lower the track mark for sophomore geldings by 3/5 of a second. The previous mark had stood for 9 years (Silence Son, 2012). The mile was also a new career mark for Hearduwhispermynam, and the record mile became the eighth current track record for driver Rick Magee - who currently dominates the speed records at Running Aces. The next closest driver on that list is Steve Wiseman, who has five current records to his credit.    SB Madam Secretary was second and Susie's Sister held third.    The new record holder is a son of Braggart, and out of the Giant Triumph mare Outathebluclearsky. He is owned and trained by his breeder Jenni King and he now has nine career wins in twenty-one starts, with $79,519 in the bank.    The $9,200 "B" division went to Miss Gracious (Mooney Svendsen, $8.60), who closed from well out of it early with a sweeping three-wide rally around the final turn to take the lead at the top of the stretch.    Once on the lead she drew away with every stride and checked in 6-1/2 lengths ahead at the wire over Bekkum's Black Rose (Nick Roland) and Al Mar Lovie Dovie (Rick Magee) in a 1:58.3 mile for a new career mark.   The winning owner is Jeff Ryan and the winning trainer is Edward Hernandez.    Driver Dean Magee led the Sunday program with three winners, while both Rick Magee and Mooney Svendsen each registered doubles. Trainer Rick Bertrand was the leader on the day with a double as well.    Live Racing continues at Running Aces through October 4, with action four days a week - every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm (CDT).     By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN - The Saturday afternoon harness racing program at Running Aces offered a pair of featured events.   The $11,500 Minnesota-Sired sophomore filly pace drew a field of six and was headlined by heavy favorite It's Pacific Time who was sent off as the 1-9 favorite from post six.   Driver Rick Magee sent It's Pacific Time ($2.10) quickly off the gate and surged to an immediate lead, putting two lengths on pocket-sitter Huftalookatdatfany (Nick Roland) as they registered the first quarter in a quick :27.3.   Magee orchestrated a middle-half breather of :59.2 before pacing home in :28.2 to widen the margin to 3-3/4 lengths at the wire over Huftalookatdatfany and Scarlett Ruby (Dean Magee) in 1:55.2.       The winning filly is by It's That Time and is trained by Joel Mc Danel for owner John Hendricks. She has now won eight of eleven starts this year.   Heza Real Diamond (Nick Roland) dominated the Open Handicap Pace for horses and geldings for the second straight week, and for three wins in a row - posting a sharp 3-1/4 length score in 1:52.3 for his tenth win in eighteen starts this year.   After working hard to get to the front from post seven in a :27 second first stanza, Heza Real Diamond ($4.20) was never in doubt once on the lead, and also benefitted from a textbook middle-half breather of :58.4 worked out by Roland.   Stuckey Dote (Darrell Wright) rallied for second and Prologue (Tim Maier) was home third.       The winner is owned by Orlando Nevarez and trained by Edwin Quevedo.   Drivers Rick Magee and Jacob Cutting dominated the Saturday program with three wins each.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (September 6) with first post at 1: 00 pm CDT and will feature a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $4,988.21.   by Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday afternoon (September 1) harness racing program at Running Aces offered co-featured events, each going for a purse of $8,500.   The Mares Open Handicap Pace event was dominated by My Kiwi Lady N (Chris Scicluna) who surged to the front early from post five and made the lead just at the quarter in :27 seconds. Pull The Shade (Nick Roland) and Another Beach Day (Braxten Boyd) both left alertly and then yielded the front to My Kiwi Lady N.   Once on top, the seven year old daughter of Art Major was well in command, benefitting from a :30.1 breather in the second panel and then pacing a strong final half mile in :56 flat to keep her rivals in chase mode. Another Beach Day applied pressure down the backstretch and into the far turn but was unable to sustain her bid beyond the 3/4 mark.   My Kiwi Lady N ($7.80) stopped the timer at 1:53.1 for a 2-1/4 length score over Pull The Shade and Motu Moonbeam N (Dean Magee). The victory was the third score of the season, and 13th lifetime for the winner, who is also owned and trained by Chris Scicluna.       Justlikehim (Jacob Cutting) captured the Open Handicap Trot event that featured a thrilling stretch battle and subsequent three horse photo finish.   Bordogna (Rick Magee) was the heavy favorite and surged to the lead early from post five, while Muscle Ave (Dean Magee) left fast to secure the pocket. Justlikehim launched a first over bid just past the 3/8 mark and took the overland route from there.   Bordogna remained in complete control until they straightened for the wire, when Justlikehim surged alongside the leader and they battled all the way to the line, with Muscle Ave joining them with a late burst of speed.   The photo finish revealed that Justlikehim ($11.00) had a nose in front of Bordogna at the wire, with Muscle Ave beaten just a neck in third.       The mile time of 1:55.1 was a new career mark for the winner, a five year old gelding by My MVP owned by Orlando Nevarez and trained by Edwin Quevedo.   Chris Scicluna led the Tuesday program with two driving wins and two training wins.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday (September 5) with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $4,481.33.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN - The Saturday afternoon (August 29) harness racing program at Running Aces featured the $9,500 Open Handicap Pace for horses and geldings, and the betting public quickly zeroed in on last week's winner Heza Real Diamond as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite.   Driver Nick Roland floated away from the gate in fourth with Heza Real Diamond while Elusive Image (Rick Magee) was quickest off the car and Stuckey Dote (Darrell Wright) surged toward the front early. As they approached the 3/8 marker Roland got moving with the favorite and began a first-over attack that would persist for more than half a mile - gradually wearing down the front runner as they turned for home.   As they straightened for the wire, Heza Real Diamond ($2.60) drew away from his rivals with authority and the battle was on for second - with Hoo Nien A (Chris Scicluna) rallying from well off the pace to just beat Elusive Image at the line for second, 2-1/2 lengths behind the winner in the 1:52.2 mile.       Heza Real Diamond now shows 9 wins in 17 starts this year, and has banked $41,698 on the season. The impressive four year old gelded son of Allamerican Native is owned by Orlando Nevarez and trained by Edwin Quevedo.   Driver Braxten Boyd led the Saturday program with a double on the card, and trainers Tim Maier and Edwin Quevedo each registered doubles on the day.   Live Racing continues at Running Aces every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, and beginning on September 9, Wednesday racing will also be offered. All post times are at 1:00 pm (CDT). The 2020 meet will conclude on Sunday, October 4.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

The Minnesota Harness Racing community is mourning the loss of harness racing accomplished trotter and stallion Banker Volo, who passed away suddenly on Tuesday, August 25.   Banker Volo was a fan favorite at Running Aces since he stormed onto the scene in Minnesota in 2016 and began winning races and setting records immediately. Over his five years on the Minnesota track, he set or re-wrote track records six times, and still holds the record for aged stallions.   Banker Volo won 25 of his 52 races at Running Aces and was on the board in 40 of those 52 trips to the Aces starting gate, earning $191,452 at the Minnesota track. Overall, the son of Yankee Glide made 148 starts with 43 wins, 31 seconds and 15 thirds while bankrolling $489,272 lifetime.   He was owned since 2015 by Jeralene and Daniel Roland, of Grinnell, Iowa. In recent years he was trained by Angie Coleman when at Hawthorne, by Adam Short, Krista Harmon and Mel Owens when at Dayton, by Rick Magee when at The Meadows, and most recently by Jenni King when in Minnesota. His primary drivers at Running Aces have been Nick Roland, Luke Plano and Rick Magee.   He was bred by Kentuckiana Farms and Jorgen Jahre Jr., and as a youngster was a part of the Erv Miller stable. He was unraced at two and took a sophomore mark of 1:52.3f at Pocono, which remained as his overall career mark. At age five he suffered an injury that required rehabilitation and he was sold at the Harrisburg sale and wound up in the barn of Marcus Meander who subsequently sold him to Dan and Jeri Roland. Banker Volo in his last winning run on the 4th of August 2020  Banker Volo has served double duty as a stallion and racehorse since 2016. He stood his first year in Iowa and then switched to Minnesota in 2017, standing at Jenni King's farm. His first Minnesota crops of two and three year olds are now racing, and winning at Running Aces. His legacy on the racetrack will not be forgotten, and his offspring will now carry his legacy far into the future.   Darin Gagne

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