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Columbus, MN - Running Aces closed out it's 2019 live harness racing season with a bang on Saturday night (September 14), hosting the track's annual Night of Champions program which featured some strong numbers, first in the form of record purses of $543,500 - the richest harness racing card in the states history, and 111 Minnesota-Sired horses participating in the historic card, also a new record.   The strong closing night numbers were icing on the cake for another successful season at the Minnesota track, for the fifth consecutive year, a new record was set for total wagering on the tracks live racing product.   The large and enthusiastic on-track crowd was treated to some great racing throughout the night, dominated by many impressive favorites delivering as expected, but the night was not without some upset winners, too.   Burning Blaze turned in another ultra-impressive performance in the $40,000 three year old colts & geldings pace, with a gate-to-wire win in 1:55.2 with Steve Wiseman in the sulky, easily dominating over some very strong competition. This was back-to-back Championship titles for the 2018 Minnesota Harness horse of the year, who struggled somewhat during the early stages of his sophomore campaign, but returned to his best form over the past two months.   Burning Blaze was favored at 3-5 in the wagering and returned $3.40 for every $2.00 ticket. The winning margin was 2-3/4 lengths over Trump Train (Don Harmon) and SB Bodacious (Rick Magee). The winning owners are Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and Edward Gutin, and the winning trainer is Justin Anfinson.   Bunkerhill Phil turned an impressive win of his own in the $50,000 two year old colts & geldings pace, to pick up his tenth win of the season and pace to a new lifetime mark in 1:56.1 with driver Don Harmon in the bike, they did it the hard way with a tough first-over trip for more than five-eighths of the mile. Get My Good Side (Steve Wiseman) rallied for second money, while Dubberyoo (Dean Magee) was home in third.   Bunkerhill Phil was the heavy favorite and returned $2.80 on top. The impressive gelding is owned and trained by Mr. Gene Miller.   Susie's Sister ($2.80) and driver Don Harmon dominated the $50,000 two year old filly trot as expected, turning in a 1:59.1 track record performance with her ninth career win in thirteen outings. The impressive filly by Claudius Augustus is owned by Lynchris, LLC and is trained by Don Harmon. Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland) was by far the best of the rest in the record mile, while Double My Decker (Rick Magee) got home third.   Watchmeneighneigh provided the longshot players with a late-card delight in the penultimate race of the season, scoring a sharp closing win in a career best mile of 1:53 at no less than 57-1 on the board, in the $40,000 three year old colts & geldings pace. Driver Dean Magee worked out a perfect second-over trip and tipped wide into the lane with plenty of pace to get up right on the wire and upset heavily favored Stuckey Dote in a thrilling finish, with Deweydiddonegood (Mooney Svendsen) an impressive third.   The winning tickets on Watchmeneighneigh picked up $117.00 for every $2.00 bet.   The Championship victory was career win number eight for the gelded son of Voracious Hanover, and boosted his career bankroll to $89,045 for owner/breeder Richard Davelaar. The winning trainer is Gordon Graham.   Other repeat Champions were: Twilight Tinker (2:01.1), Al Mar Reba Babe (1:56.4), Windmeupnwatchmego (1:55.3), French Eclipse (1:57.2), and Place N First (1:55).   Other first time Champions were: Ice Storm (1:59.1), Hearduwhispermynam (2:01.2), and Huftalookatdatfany (1:58.4)   Trainer Gordon Graham had four winners on the Night of Champions program.   Owner/Trainer Jenni King sent out three winners on the historic night.   Driver Dean Magee was recognized as the the Leading Driver of the season, picking up three Championship victories on Saturday for a grand total of 87 wins for the meet and his third Leading Driver title at Running Aces, and trainer Kathleen Plested was honored as the Leading Trainer of the 2019 season with 40 wins to post her third consecutive title in a row at Running Aces.   Drivers Nick Roland, Don Harmon, Rick Magee and Steve Wiseman all had two wins on the Night of Champions card.   Running Aces offers year round action with Simulcast Racing 11 am to Midnight everyday and Casino action 24/7. Live Racing will return in May of next year. Visit RunAces.com for information about upcoming events.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces                           

Columbus, MN - Real Gorgeous became the fastest harness racing horse in Minnesota history when he paced to his fifth consecutive victory at Running Aces in 1:50.1 on the Sunday (September 8) program. The 5 year old son of He's Gorgeous is owned, trained and driven by Jared Seekman.   Undefeated at Running Aces this season, Real Gorgeous ($2.80) was the overwhelming favorite to pick up number five in a row. Starting from post five, Seekman floated his charge away in fifth position, taking his usual seat toward the back of the pack early while Holdingallthecards (Dean Magee) engaged in an early speed battle with Whatchyastarinat (Darrel Wright) through a sizzling opening panel in :26.1, and then continued to pace strong with a :54.2 half mile, before Real Gorgeous launched his customary mid race first-over attack.   Real Gorgeous swept right on by Holdingallthecards as they straightened down the backstretch and opened up by three lengths, while Whatchyastarinat vacated the three-hole to come after Real Gorgeous and began cutting into the margin around the final turn as they completed three-quarters of a mile in 1:21.4.   In the homestretch, a furious battle ensued, with Real Gorgeous bracing for the strong challenge from Whatchyastarinat who tried hard to get by, but Real Gorgeous dug in deep and responded gamely to hang on for a half-length victory and an all time/all age track record mile of 1:50.1.   The previous record was set by Nine Ways, in the $50,000 Dan Patch FFA Pace on July 21st of this year, when he and driver Dean Magee stopped the timer in 1:50.2 to better his own 1:50.3 mark from his Dan Patch elimination win on July 14. Before that, a record of 1:50.4 stood for 6 years, tied by several horses but never beaten before this season.   The $16,000 Open Handicap Trot was also a featured event on Sunday's program, and Winning Lyric ($4.60, Dean Magee) delivered another impressive victory for his sixth win of the year, trotting the mile in 1:55.3 to defeat a very game My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) who was an impressive second. Winning Lyric is owned by Terrence Smith and trained by Edward Hernandez.   MD Magic ($4.00, Nick Roland) was much the best again in the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old Trot, with a sharp score in 2:00.1, and heads to this coming Saturday's Night of Champions program with 7 wins and $62,550 on the season, and a chance to break the single-season record ($70,300) for earnings in the Minnesota program, that he himself set last year as a freshman. MD Magic is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC. and is trained by Nick Roland.   Driver Steve Wiseman led the program on Sunday with 4 wins, while Leading Driver Dean Magee added a Hat-Trick to his impressive season's win total (83).   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday night (September 10) for the final Dollar Night program of the season. Post time on Tuesday is 7:00 pm, and the card will feature a Pick-5 Jackpot carryover of $6,915.25 and a Hi-5 Carryover of $1,323.08.   by Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - The Sunday evening (August 25) harness racing program at Running Aces featured Open Handicap events for both Trotters and Pacers as the highlights of the eleven race card.   The $15,000 Open Handicap Trot drew a field of seven starters on the gate, with last week's winner Winning Lyric sent off as the overwhelming public choice at 3-5 on the board.   French Eclipse (Rick Magee) were first to the front, but Banker Volo (Nick Roland) quickly took over before the :28.0 quarter, and Dean Magee and Winning Lyric launched an early first-over attack near the :58.2 half mile to surge to the front, while It's A Horse (Tim Maier) immediately came after the new leader and applied heavy pressure down the backstretch and onto the final turn.   Winning Lyric ($3.40) fought back gamely as they turned for home and began to pull away from the field, trotting strong to the wire for a 2-3/4 length victory and two wins in a row, with It's A Horse and French Eclipse hitting the line together in a dead-heat for second in a sharp 1:55.2 mile over a track listed as good.   Winning Lyric has had a fantastic campaign this summer at Running Aces, with 5 wins, 4 seconds and 3 thirds from 13 starts for owner Terrence Smith and trainer Edward Hernandez.   Fox Valley Nemitz and driver Brian Detgen picked up a big win in the $17,000 Open Handicap Pace to get home first from post 7 in a talented 10 horse field.   Contemporay Legend (Rick Magee) flew off the gate for the early lead while Bettor's Promise (Mooney Svendsen) left alertly and both Firedrake (Nick Roland) and Nine Ways (Dean Magee) also came away charging fast into the first turn looking for a front position, through a fast :27.1 opening panel.   Firedrake pressed up alongside Contemporay Legend and led through the middle stages (:56.0 and 1:24.2) but was parked the entire way, never finding the pylons.   Despite the brutal trip, Firedrake continued to fight on and eventually cleared, only to face immediate strong pressure from Nine Ways who had also been out the entire way. Firedrake turned back the challenge of Nine Ways, then fought off Skim The Top (Don Harmon) but was unable to withstand a furious late charge from Fox Valley Nemitz on the far outside.   Fox Valley Nemitz came from way off the pace and rallied 3-wide around the final turn, finding clear sailing in about the four-path in the lane to sweep by for a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:53 over Firedrake who kept the rest of the field at bay and held second in a monster effort.   Fox Valley Nemitz ($30.00) now has five wins in sixteen outings this year, with earnings of $45,855 for owner Susan Holm-Johansen. The winning trainer is Ulf Holm-Johansen.   Drivers Jared Seekman and Dean Magee led the program, each with a driving double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday (August 27) with a full menu of Carryover pools: $851.54 for the Early Pick-3, $1,847.25 for the Early Pick-4, $2,268.90 for the Jackpot Pick-5, and $1,067.17 for the High-5. Post time for the 12 race program is 7:00 pm central.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - The Sunday evening (Aug 11) harness racing program at Running Aces featured the $17,000 weekly top pacing event, headlined by Nine Ways who was sent off as the 1-2 favorite from post nine in the ten horse Open Handicap field.   Driver Dean Magee fired up his ultra talented 5 year old pacer early and utilized his early speed to settle an early skirmish with Firedrake (Nick Roland) who also peeled off the gate quickly from post eight, the result was a sizzling opener of :26.2 with Nine Ways clearing the lead just at the quarter.   Nine Ways kept the bulky field in chase mode throughout, posting solid fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.3 through the middle stages, with Fox Valley Nemitz (Brian Detgen) braving the first-up trip but never drawing on terms with the leader.   As the top pacers straightened for the wire, Firedrake was raging with pace in the pocket, and charged at the leader on the inside, but Nine Ways remained game to the wire, getting home 3/4 of a length ahead in 1:52 to post his eighth consecutive win, and remain unbeaten on Minnesota soil this summer.   Fox Valley Nemitz held gamely for third.   Nine Ways ($3.00) is owned by Antonia Storer, and trained by Tim Maier and has now earned $134,360 this season and $286,904 lifetime, with 26 career wins.   Major Al-Mar posted his second career win in eleven starts and highlighted a huge night for trainer Alexia Kehl, who won 3 races on the program. Rick Magee was patient in the early stages with Major Al-Mar and then got the son of Money Talks rolling around the far turn, before sweeping by the field in the stretch to capture the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired three year old Trot in 2:00.1 to equal his career best time.   Major Al Mar ($4.00) was unraced at age two, but is having a fantastic sophomore campaign, with earnings of $34,160 for owners Glen, Marlene and Jodi Wilson.   Lone Pine Shuzy (Jesse Yoder) was second, and Gregory John (Tim Maier) picked up third.   Driver Brett Erickson picked up his first pari-mutuel win in the night's opener, steering Princess Legacy ($7.80) to victory in a $5,500 conditioned trot event.   Drivers Jesse Yoder, Rick Magee, Dean Magee and Steve Wiseman all completed doubles on the Sunday program.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday (Aug 13) with first post at 7 pm central.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces: 

Columbus, MN - Nine Ways was back in harness racing action at Running Aces on Sunday (Aug 4) making his first appearance since becoming the first two time Dan Patch FFA champion on July 21. The Standardbred star of the Tim Maier barn was sent to post as the 3-5 favorite from his assigned nine post in the featured $16,000 Open Handicap Pace.   Nine Ways served notice right away that he was playing with his "A" game yet again, firing hard from the far outside and overtaking Firedrake (Nick Roland) for the early lead through a speedy first quarter (:26.2). Dean Magee kept his pacer rolling through the middle stages (:54.4 and 1:22.4) while turning away a strong challenge from Top Notch (Joe Casagranda), who ultimately slipped into the pocket in front of Firedrake.   Nine Ways continued to pace strong as they rounded for home and Firedrake was raging with pace and looking for room, and surging along the inside. Nine Ways ($3.40) easily kept Firedrake at bay to the wire, getting home 1-1/2 lengths ahead of his top rival in 1:51.3 for his seventh straight win, and remaining unbeaten in six local starts this summer. A strong battle for third between late closers Annihilator and Fox Valley Nemitz resulted in a dead heat for that spot.   Nine Ways is a 5 year old Delmarvelous prodigy, out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Nine of Hearts. He now shows 10 wins in 28 starts this year, with $125,860 in seasonal earnings. The winning owner is Antonia Storer.   The $14,000 Open Handicap Trot event went to Winning Lyric this week, who swept the 6 horse field from last to first from post six. Dean Magee was unhurried in the early stages with Winning Lyric, while My Uncle Cuz posted all of the fractions, and French Eclipse was in the pocket. The fractions were sensible (:28.1, :57.2 and 1:26.2).   My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) remained strong into the homestretch, but Winning Lyric and Pridecrest (Steve Wiseman) were both charging hard on the outside. Winning Lyric ($4.80) got his nose to the wire first in the 1:55 mile delivering as the race favorite for his third win in ten starts this season. The winning owner is Terrence Smith, and the winning trainer is Edward Hernandez.   Driver Dean Magee posted a Grand Slam of four wins on the card, and swept both feature races. Rick Magee picked up a driving double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday (August 6) with local post time at 7 pm, and a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot of $6,252.81.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - Running Aces recognized current leading Harness Racing driver Dean Magee on Saturday night (Aug 3) for his career accomplishment of $30 million in purse earnings.   The milestone was celebrated with the presentation of a banner in the winner's circle, after Dean piloted Contemporay Legend to victory in race three, for a new lifetime mark of 1:52.2 for the 5 year old Mystery Chase gelding for owner/trainer Mark Anderson.   That was the first of three wins on the program for Magee, affectionately known to family, friends and fans alike as "Bobcat". He currently stands atop all drivers at Running Aces as the leading driver of the season - with 12 wins separating him from his closest rival.   Magee has won 4,796 career races and appears on the board in the top three in over thirty-five percent of his trips to the gate.   The Wisconsin native has been plying his trade as a Sulky sport driver since 1981, and spent many years as a regular top reinsman on the Chicago Harness Racing circuit, amassing solid numbers year after year. His biggest year in the win column was 1990, that year he piloted 321 winners. In 2001, he posted his best seasonal purse earnings total of $1,814,082.   One of the biggest and most memorable wins of his driving career came in 2003, when he steered Yankee Cruiser to victory in the $1.5 million North America Cup at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada. The victory would serve as a tribute to the late Brian Pinske, who had been the trainer of Yankee Cruiser before his untimely death.   Dean has been a regular driver at Running Aces since the tracks opening in 2008, and is always among the top drivers every season. In the two previous seasons he has made a late run for the title, coming close both years but finishing second. This year he has dominated since week one, and continues to deliver solid wins night after night.   The track's all time leader Nick Roland currently sits second, and defending champ from the past two years Steve Wiseman sits third, but as the 2019 season heads for the far turn, they've got alot of ground to make up to try and catch the "bobcat".   Live Racing continues three nights per week at Running Aces, Saturday and Sunday at 6 pm and Tuesday at 7 pm central. The Sunday (Aug 4) program features a Pick-5 Jackpot carryover of $5,016.65.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces  

The Tuesday evening (July 2) Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured the $16,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace with a talented field of eight facing the starter and looking for the weekly title as top distaffer on the grounds. Juslikeaqueen (Dean Magee) was the talk of the toteboard, coming into this week's Mares' feature fresh off of her impressive win upon local debut a week ago, when she launched a furious late-stretch charge to get up at the wire in 1:52.3 for a half-length score. This week she and Leading Driver Dean Magee employed a different strategy - they went straight to the lead and never looked back, taking the field on a merry stroll through fractions of :27, :56.2, and 1:24.3 before pacing a strong :28.1 final panel to keep the field well in arrears at the wire in 1:52.4. Juslikeaqueen ($2.40) was 3½ lengths ahead of 128-1 longshot Strings (Don Harmon) and 46-1 longshot Cay's Blessing (Darrell Wright) at the finish. The resulting $2 Trifecta of $1,148.20 was an impressive number considering the 1-5 favorite delivered the win.  Juslikeaqueen is the lone mare nominated to the 2019 Dan Patch Free-For-All Pace which gets underway with elimination races on Sunday, July 14. The 5 year old daughter of Palone Ranger is owned by Antonia Storer and trained by Tim Maier.  Two $10,000 Opens for two year olds were contested on Tuesday night, one each for pacers and trotters. The $10,000 pace event went to Waco Sassy Kid ($2.80,Nick Roland) who made it two in a row at Running Aces with a 1:58.4 score, and remains a perfect 4-for-4 lifetime for owner Ronald Lamar Burks and trainer Lorenza Gooch. The $10,000 trot event went to Miss Gracious (Dean Magee) who also achieved two wins in a row, and also remains unbeaten in those two career races. Miss Gracious ($5.40) is owned and trained by Jeffrey Ryan.  Driver Dean Magee led the night with 3 winners for a Hat-Trick, and remains at the top of the Driver Standings through the first 21 nights of the 2019 season.  Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen completed a natural driving double with tallies in races seven and eight.  The .20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager has a carryover of $2,034.71 for the next card of Live Racing at Running Aces - Saturday, July 6 with first post at 7:00 pm (CDT). By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack    

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

Trainer Jenna Cornelison is certainly getting her name out there with the 12-year-old pacer Beckys Dreamboat, who has rattled off back-to-back victories for Dean Magee, including a 9-1 upset from the demanding 10 post last weekend. Jenna owns Beckys Dreamboat in partnership with Tyler Gunderson and he is one of three performers in her care. A 33-year-old Sacramento native, Jenna has had a love of horses from as far back as she can remember and cut her teeth in the sport of harness racing working for Gene Vallandingham. "Gene had a pacer named Run Baby Run who I got as a riding horse and in 2005 I ended up going to work with him here at Cal Expo," Cornelison explained. "In 2007 I went back East with Pete Foley and spent four years at Pocono." Jenna, the mother of two daughters age 5 and 8, was out of the game for a brief period, but returned in 2012 and eventually came back to California to once again work at the Vallandingham barn. "I've had my license for some time, but it's only in the last sixth months that I've been using it," she related. "I just love coming here each morning and having those three heads sticking out and waiting for me," said Cornelison, who is always looking to add to the stable. "The real satisfaction comes after putting in all that work, sometimes in the cold and the rain, and then watching them go out there and give everything they have in a race. It's very rewarding." Sire Stakes, pair of Opens head program An Open Pace featuring King Of The Crop; an Open Trot that brings out Silverhill Volo, Silverlode and Its a Horse, and a trio of California Sire Stakes get the marquee treatment Friday night at Cal Expo. There will be 11 races with first post set for 6:10 p.m. and two of the Sire Stakes will be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card. King Of The Crop is an 8-year-old son of Little Steven who carries the banner of Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Kathie Plested with Plested training and Steve Wiseman at the controls. After a pair of needed outings following a return from Pennsylvania, the hard-hitting gelding has recorded two solid victories at the head of the class. King Of The Crop, who has multiple Sire Stakes tallies, pushed his career bankroll to the $166,000 plateau and sports a 1:50 4/5 mark that was established two years ago. Looking at the Open Trot, Silverhill Volo is an 8-year-old son of Muscle Hill who is owned, trained and driven by Chip Lackey. He comes into this assignment with $142,000 on his card and a 1:55 1/5 mark that was set four years ago. After a string of four straight runner-up finishes, the Lackey colorbearer was a game winner of the most recent top dance for the division, coming first-over into favored Silverlode turning for home and coming away by two lengths over the sloppy going. The latter is a 10-year-old British Sterling mare who has several Sire Stakes trophies on her mantle to go with $231,000 in earnings and a 1:54 3/5 standard. She was a handy winner in the Open II Trot on January 18 and was overhauled late in that last mile while doing the heavy lifting as the 4-5 favorite. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness            

Dean Magee wasted little time making an impression in his California invasion, winning the second race on the opening-night harness racing program with Mystery Dragon and then adding another victory in the sixth race behind Eddie Brush. The 54-year-old Magee comes into this meeting with over 4,700 winning drives and just shy of $30 million in earnings while becoming a mainstay in the Midwest. "I've taken the last couple of winters off," Dean related. "I'd watch the races from here (Cal Expo) and say to myself, "Well man, I wish I could be out there with those guys. "I guess it gets in your blood, and you get a hankering to be out there with everybody and racing. And whether you're doing good or not, they seem like a good bunch of guys to race out here with, so I thought it was time to come out this way." Magee also took advantage of the situation to spend some quality time with his son Taylor. "A big part of coming out here was taking a trip across country with my son. We decided we were going to head out to Cal Expo with the RV. "The only problem was it seemed that everywhere we stopped, the weather was nice when we went to bed, but when we woke up it was cold and rainy," he said with a laugh. "Everybody has been really nice since we got here." One of the biggest wins in Dean's career came in the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine in 2003 with an emotion-filled score behind Yankee Cruiser. The pacer was trained by Tim Pinske, who had taken over the conditioning duties for the 3-year-old following the sudden death of his son Brian at the age of 38 eight months earlier. "I really wanted to win that race for Brian, because this was his horse," Magee noted. "He stuck with me all the previous year when he could have had anybody drive this horse. That win was for him." Scott Ehrlich goes back some 30 years with Dean, beginning when he was announcing the races at Quad City Downs and later when handling those duties at Balmoral and Maywood Park. "I can't tell you how happy I am to see Dean Magee here," Ehrlich said. "My favorite memories with Dean involve a couple of pacers named Armbro Kopas and Olympus Heights." Open Paces get the marquee treatment A $7,000 Open Pace featuring Last Dragon and Allmyx'sliventexas and a $6,000 Distaff Open Pace that provides a rematch between Capitol Hill and Legio X Equestris are in the spotlight at Cal Expo Saturday night. There will be nine races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 7:10 p.m. Last Dragon is an 11-year-old son of Dragon's Lair who is owned by Paul Blumenfeld and is reined and trained by Chip Lackey. He comes into this assignment with eight wins from his 31 trips to the post this season and a 1:49 3/5 mark that was established two years ago. Sent off the 8-5 second choice in last weekend's Open, Last Dragon shot right to the front for Lackey, carved out modest fractions and then blasted home to prevail by two lengths in a 1:53 3/5 performance. Allmyx'sliventexas made an impressive return to California in a conditioned event on that same program, making 50 cents on the dollar look like a gift as he romped home by four and a half-lengths with Mooney Svendsen in a 1:52 2/5 tour. He lands the outside post in the field of eight for Saturday's assignment. A multiple stakes winner over this track the past few seasons, the Hi Ho Silverheels homebred goes about his business for owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson the conditioner. He went over the $150,000 earnings mark with his victory and has a 1:50 career standard that was established this year at Hoosier Park. Capitol Hill is a 7-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover out of the No Pan Intended mare Champagne Blue Chip who carries the banner of George McChrystal and Kathie Plested with Plested training and Mooney Svendsen back in the sulky. She left into a pocket trip last week and overpowered heavy favorite Legio X Equestris in that contest. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday night (Aug. 28) harness racing program at Running Aces played host to the $14,000 Minnesota-Sired 2 Year Old Trot event, and it would feature another impressive performance from MD Magic, who posted his fifth consecutive win in this division. The gelded son of Braggart has now won six of his seven career starts while bankrolling $42,300 for is owners Set The Pace Racing and trainer Nick Roland. This week, MD Magic ($2.40) floated away from the gate in fifth from post five, as a host of others fired out for the front. Driver Dean Magee got MD Magic out and moving near the half mile pole, and he continued to advance, dropping into the pocket behind Dewey's Machine (Steve Wiseman) around the final turn and powering by the leader in the stretch to draw clear for a two length tally in 2:01.1. The $11,000 Mares Open Pace went to Kiss On The Lips (Dean Magee) in another gutsy front-running performance for two in a row. Kiss On The Lips fired fast from her outside six post and was quickly in command, Bettor Lady (Steve Wiseman) mounted a strong first-over attack through the final half mile but Kiss On The Lips remained resilient and battled right down to the wire, keeping a head in front to stop the clock in 1:54.4 for her seventh win of the year. Kiss On The Lips ($6.40) is an 8 year old daughter of Dontgetinmyway, and she is having the best season of her career, with 22 top-3 performances in 33 starts and $62,944 in the bank for owner Peg Hoffman and trainer Gerald Longo. Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman) delivered another impressive performance in the $8,500 Minnesota-Sired 2 Year Old Colts & Geldings pace with a 2 ½ length tally in 1:56.2 for his fifth win in seven starts for trainer Justin Anfinson, and Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) also dominated once again in the $8,500 filly division with a gate-to-wire score off of soft fractions in 1:59 for her fifth win in seven career starts for trainer Gordon Graham. Dean Magee dominated the card with 6 wins, for his sixth consecutive Tuesday program with at least 4 wins. Steve Wiseman and James Yoder each completed driving doubles as well. Live Racing continues 3 nights per week at Running Aces, with first post at 6:00 pm CDT on both Saturdays and Sundays, and first post at 7:00 pm CDT on Tuesdays. The program on Saturday, September 1 will feature a carryover of $29,853.38 in the 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday night (Aug. 21) harness racing card at Running Aces played host to the weekly $12,000 Mares Open Pace, with a solid field of seven distaffers lining up for battle. Gold Star Mysti (James Yoder) was looking for 3 in a row, and was sent off as the 6-5 favorite from post seven. Kiss On The Lips (Dean Magee) was well supported at 7/2 and was one of the fastest off the gate, hooking up in an early battle with Capitol Hill (Steve Wiseman). Kiss On The Lips took control past the quarter, and then immediately faced the pressure of Gold Star Mysti who had floated off the gate to be fourth on the outside around the opening turn. From there, these two Mares battled neck and neck and nose to nose, as they have done on so many occasions here at Running Aces. Kiss On The Lips maintained the slightest advantage throughout the epic battle, and held off a fierce late lunge at the wire to hold Gold star Mysti at bay and register a half-length victory in 1:53.3 for the fastest mile of the night. Whatitdo Babyboo (Rick Magee) closed from the back of the pack to pick up the pieces in third. Kiss On The Lips ($9.20) is in the midst of her career best year, with 6 wins to her credit and $57,444 in the bank for the season after completing her 35th lifetime victory. She is owned by Peg Hoffman and trained by Gerald Longo. MD Magic continues to dominate the 2 year old trotting scene in Minnesota in 2018, as he picked up his fourth consecutive score in the $14,000 event on Tuesday. Driver Dean Magee sent him right to the front from post four in an abbreviated field, and was never in doubt, drawing away from the field with every stride and registering a 5 ¾ length win in a new lifetime mark of 2:00.1. MD Magic ($2.40) is a gelding by Braggart out of the Striking Sahbra mare Magical Debut, owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC and trained by Nick Roland. Burning Blaze (Rick Magee) dominated, as expected, in the $8,500 Minnesota-Sired 2 year old Pace for colts & geldings, with a solid gate-to-wire tally in 1:56.4 for his fourth career win in 6 starts. Burning Blaze ($2.40) is a gelding by Wind Me Up, owned by Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and Edward Gutin and he is conditioned by Justin Anfinson. Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) was another dominant winner on Tuesday night, delivering as the 1-9 overwhelming choice in the $8,500 Minnesota-Sired 2 year old filly Pace. The ultra-impressive filly by Wind Me Up took off right out of the gate from post four and rallied past Trinitysfancyfilly (Brian Detgen) to take the lead near the quarter, and the race was over from there, as Windmeupnwatchmego ($2.10) widened with every call and poured it on in the lane to get home 8 ¾ lengths ahead of the rest in 1:56.2 for her fourth win in six career starts. She is owned by Richard Davelaar and trained by Gordon Graham. Live Racing continues three nights a week at Running Aces, with first post at 7:00 pm CDT on Tuesdays, and first post at 6:00 pm CDT on both Saturdays and Sundays. The 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager has a carryover of $22,113.10 for Saturday night, August 25. by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces    

Columbus, MN - The Saturday night (Aug. 18) featured harness racing event at Running Aces was the $12,000 Open Handicap Pace for Horses & Geldings, with a talented field of seven facing the starter for weekly top honors. Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) was sent off as the 7-5 favorite from post six, but was not a factor on this night. Holdingallthecards (Dean Magee) was last week's winner and was looking to repeat as 3-1 second choice from post three, he fired quickly from the gate to snag the lead away from Firedrake (Brian Detgen) who had charged to the front from post five. After establishing command just before the 27.4 quarter, Holdingallthecards held firm control of affairs with a moderate 57.2 middle half, keeping just enough in the tank to fend off a stretch rally by Firedrake. Holdingallthecards ($8.60) held sway with a half-length tally in 1:52.3 over Firedrake, and Whatchastarinat (James Yoder), for his fourth win in 22 starts this season. The winner is owned by William and Richard Mc Intyre and is trained by Denise Maier. The $14,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 Year old Pace went to Dream Chasin ($25.00), who picked up his fifth win of the year in 13 starts with a 1:55.4 score from gate to wire with Williams Hernandez in the bike. The impressive son of Fancy Schmancy has now banked $27,465 this season for owners/breeders Greg and Michelle Budach. Place At The Beach (Dean Magee) picked up her seventh win in her last nine starts by capturing the $9,000 Mares Claiming Handicap pace in 1:55.3 for her eleventh triumph of the year. The Minnesota-Bred 8 year old by Place To Be has now won 42 career races and $163,618, and paid $3.80 as the favorite. She is owned by Peg Hoffman, and trained by Gerald Longo. Dean Magee posted another big night with four wins on the Saturday program, as he continues to be the hottest hitting driver over the last few weeks, climbing from fifth in the standings to a very strong second in that time period. Live Racing continues at Running Aces on Sunday (Aug 19) with first post at 6:00 pm CDT, and a carryover of $18,547.05 in the Pick-5 Jackpot wager. by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces          

Columbus, MN - The harness racing featured event on Saturday night (Aug 11) at Running Aces was the $11,000 Open Handicap Trot.   This weeks event drew a field of six of the best trotters around, with Preidecrest (Steve Wiseman) sent off as the 6-5 public choice while looking to extend a two race win streak.   Banker Volo had different ideas about who would reign supreme as the top trotter this week, and he gave notice immediately out of the gate that he was playing with his "A" game tonight. Banker Volo (Rick Magee) sprinted from the gate and took control, posting a sharp :27.3 quarter with Silverlode (Lemoyne Svendsen) floating away into the pocket.   Banker Volo settled down nicely for a big second quarter breather (:57) before turning the flames back on for the :28.2 third panel and trotting strong in the stretch to hold off a fast closing Silverlode to remain a neck in front at the wire in 1:54.1 for a sparkling new track record for aged trotting stallions, eclipsing his own previous record time of 1:54.2 from last June.   For Banker Volo ($7.00) it was the fifth win in fifteen starts this year, and boosted his career bankroll to $396,248 for owner Jeralene Roland. Jenni King is the winning trainer.   The $9,000 Winner's-Over Pace went to Holdingallthecards (Dean Magee) in dramatic fashion, with a very talented field of 6 facing the starter,   Bettor's Promise (Lemoyne Svendsen) was fastest from the gate from post five and Holdingallthecards got away quickly as well to secure the pocket position.   The fractions were solid, :27 and :56, and then the action began to sizzle with Bestinthebusiness (James Yoder) launching a strong first-over attack and creating an outer-flow, the field was stacked up three-by-three as they threw down a :26.4 third panel (1:22.4).   Bettors Promise was still fighting strong turning for home, with Holdingallthecards exploding from the pocket and Whatchastarinat (Steve Wiseman) who saved ground throughout was angling to the outside for a three-horse battle to the wire. Holdingallthecards was fastest to the line, getting up by a neck over Bettor's Promise, with Whatchastarinat a close third.   The teletimer showed 1:50.4 to equal the fastest mile ever at Running Aces. Holdingallthecards ($21.40) is a 9 year old gelding by Cam's Card Shark, he is owned by William and Richard McIntyre of Wisconsin, and trained by Denise Maier.   This was his 47th career win, and pushed his career bank account to $496,025.   The $14,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old Pacing event went to Ridonkuloso who picked up his fifth win in ten starts this season.   The gelding son of Voracious Hanover went gate to wire with a very impressive mile in 1:54.3 to complete a two race win streak and upset the field at 7-1 in the wagering. Ridonkuloso is owned by Mathew Van Oterloo and trained by Brett Ballinger.   Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday night (August 12) with first post at 6:00 pm CDT and a carryover in the 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager of $11,949.88.   by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN - Harness Racing Driver Dean Magee, affectionately known as "Bobcat", had a very big night at Running Aces on Tuesday (July 31). He got the winning started immediately in race one on the program, guiding seven year old gelding pacer Barbosa ($11.20) to a new lifetime mark in 1:52.3 for trainer Gerald Longo. Magee was back in the winner's circle in race 3 with 2 year old trotting gelding MD Magic ($15.00), picking up his second lifetime win in 3 starts for trainer Nick Roland in a new mark of 2:03.1 Magee was again right back in the winner's circle after race four, steering 2 year old pacer Do Da Stanky Leg ($4.40) to his first lifetime win in 2:01 for trainer Gordon Graham in the Minnesota-Sired "B" division. Then, Dean wasted no time returning for another win picture, as he steered 5 year old pacing mare Wizzel Stix ($7.80) to a new lifetime mark in 1:53.4 for trainer Rick Bertrand. Next, he completed the natural Hat-Trick in a big way in race 6, by guiding another 2 year old pacer to victory in the Minnesota-Sired events, he teamed up with filly Windmeupnwatchmego, a daughter of Wind Me Up to win the $10,200 "A" division. They shattered the track record for 2 year old filly pacers, by gunning down odds-on favorite Burning Blaze in the lane to post a 1:54.1 mile and lower the record by 1 and 2/5 seconds while closing eight lengths with an impressive final quarter of 28.1. Windmeupnwatchmego ($9.00) is owned by Richard Davelaar and trained by Gordon Graham. Also of significant note, the top 5 placings in the 8 horse field all went to the progeny of sire Wind Me Up. After a good third-place performance in the featured Winner's-Over Pace with Kiss On The Lips, Dean drove Mighty Fine Hi Ho ($8.00) to victory in race 8 on the program, to complete the 6-pack of wins after steering the 12 year old pacer to two wins in a row for trainer Edwin Quevedo. Two races later, in the $6,800 nightcap conditioned pace Dean topped the night off with yet another win, for his seventh score on the program, when he piloted Place At The Beach to her fifth win in her last 6 starts, and her 40th lifetime score. The razor sharp 8 year old Minnesota-Sired mare by Place to Be, is owned by Peg Hoffman and trained by Gerald Longo. Amazingly, Place At The Beach ($5.80) was only the second race favorite out of the seven wins on the program for Dean Magee. The big night catapulted Magee from fifth in the driver standings all the way to second. Dean is no stranger to success: in a prolific driving career that has spanned 4 decades, the 54 year old Wisconsin native has made 4,660 trips to the winner's circle, and posted 14,431 top-3 finishes in 41,444 calls to the post. He has piloted the winners of over $29 million, and steered such memorable horses as Yankee Cruiser, guiding him to a historic victory in the 2003 North America Cup for the Pinske stables of Minnesota. Also featured on the Tuesday evening program was the aforementioned $11,000 Winner's-Over Pace, with Whatitdo Babyboo ($8.20) not only repeating to top the Open mares tonight, but also besting the boys this week as well and establishing a new lifetime mark (1:53.1) in her second straight win for Van Oterloo Stables and trainer Gordon Graham, who had 3 wins on the night. Whatitdo Babyboo was driven to victory by Rick Magee. Live Racing continues at Running Aces on Saturday, August 4 with first post at 6:00 pm CDT, and a carryover in the 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager of $7,631.84. by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - The Sunday night (July 8) card at Running Aces was a fantastic program of action packed harness racing, and was headlined by the Eliminations for the 2018 Dan Patch FFA Pace, with both of those races producing absolute thrillers.   Each division of the elims went for $15,000, and the top 5 finishers advanced to the Dan Patch Preview (July 15) and The $50,000 Final (July 22).   Trashytonguetalker was the talk of the tote-board in his division, and he did not disappoint his backers, delivering a gutsy and stellar performance from post seven.   Driver Dean Magee fired the 6 year old Art's Chip progeny right off the wings of the gate, while Stevensville (Rick Magee) was away fast from post three for the pocket position, and Bestinthebusiness (Gerald Longo) was on the attack from post six. Bestinthebusiness tried with all his might to sweep past the leader, but the Bobcat would have no part of that, keeping Trashytonguetalker rolling, and delivering his rival a parking ticket.   The early battle resulted in blistering fractions of 26.1 and 53.4 before Bestinthebusiness began to retreat. Stevensville began to take closer order and take aim at the leader as they rounded for home, and passed the 3/4 pole in 1:22, but Trashytonguetalker remained game and would not relent, posting a solid 1/2 length tally and stopping the timer at 1:50.4 to equal the fastest mile ever recorded at Running Aces (Six Gun, Jason Ryan, 2013).   Stevensville was a strong second and To The Limit (Steve Wiseman) had saved ground throughout to be a clear third in the record mile. Trashytonguetalker ($3.60) is owned by Terry Lee Leonard and Christopher Schick, and locally trained by Brett ballinger. The remaining qualifiers in the field were Gold Star Mysti (4th) and I'm An Athlete (5th).   The other $15,000 Elimination division went to Nine Ways (Dean Magee), who turned in a dramatic stretch rally to sweep by all of his rivals in the lane for an impressive tally in 1:51.3.   The early pace was dramatic as well, with a 3-wide battle for the early lead as Firedrake (Nick Roland) charged away from the gate from post three, with Hawk's Red Chief (Rick Magee) immediately engaging from the rail position and Bettor's Promise (James Kennedy) joining the frey as they headed for the quarter.   They were still 3-high as they passed the marker in 26.1. Firedrake was able to wiggle his way into the pocket as Bettor's Promise remained parked and pressing on, with Nuclear Dragon (Kyle Husted) chiming in as they rounded for the half, they were still two and three wide in 54.1. Hawk's Red Chief was ultra game and continued to maintain his command down the backstretch and as they continued to assert strong pressure around the final turn.   They passed the 3/4 juncture in 1:22.3 and the 3-wide battle began to sizzle once again, as Nine Ways had thrown his hat into the ring on the outside. Nuclear Dragon was surging past the leader and Firedrake was finding room at the inside, but Nine Ways was fastest of all to the wire, drawing away by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:51.3 over Nuclear Dragon and Firedrake. Hawk's Red Chief was home 4th and Bettor's Promise secured 5th to advance to the final.   Nine Ways ($33.60) is a 4 year old gelded son of Delmarvalous, he is owned by Antonia Storer and trained by Denise Maier.   The $12,000 Open Handicap Trot also went to post on Sunday night, and was another thrilling contest. Banker Volo (Rick Magee) and Silverlode (Lemoyne Svendsen) both left sharply from the two outside posts and Silverlode won the early battle, as they passed the quarter in 27.3.   Pridecrest (Steve Wiseman) made a sweeping move to the front at the 3/8 pole, and Another Breath immediately launched a first-over attack on the new leader, as they traded blows past the half in :56. Pridecrest maintained the advantage dow the back lane, with Banker Volo tipping second-over as they headed into the final turn and hit the 3/4 mark in 1:25.2.   Rounding for home, the pressure was finally taking its toll on Pridecrest, as Another Breath took a slight advantage, but Banker Volo was trotting strong on the outside and would sweep by for a 1 1/4 length victory in 1:55 over Another Breath, and a fast closing Ideal Jesse (James Yoder).    Tonight's tally was win number four on the season and 35th career tally for Banker Volo ($10.20), who is owned by Jeralene Roland and trained by Jenni King.   Dean Magee turned in a very impressive night, with 5 victories on the card, including a sweep of the Dan Patch eliminations, and Rick Magee picked up a hat-trick of 3 winners as well.   The 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager has a carryover of $4126.97 and the 50 cent Hi-5 has a carryover of $1,531.61 for Tuesday night (July 10), with first post at 7:00 pm CDT.   by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces 

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