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COLUMBUS, MN. - It has been ten straight programs since the 50-cent Pick-6 wager has been solved at Running Aces Harness Park resulting in one of the largest Pick-6 pools in recent harness racing memory.   The Wednesday night (July 16) pool, in conjunction with the USTA Strategic Wagering platform, is guaranteed to reach $50,000 with some experts predicting that the final payout figure might even exceed $60,000.   A pair of longshots, 20-1 Western Willow (Tabatha Canarr) and 24-1 Petite Courageuse (Kody Massey), dashed the hopes of most of the bettors who had pumped the potential Tuesday night payoff to over $35,000 if a single 50-cent winning ticket had been sold. The other four winners were Skeet Thunder (Nick Roland), who returned $3.60 to win, Dragons Wail (Gerry Longo) $7.40, Go See Lo Go (Roland) $10.00, and Everyone's Desire (Jason Ryan) $12.80.   The Wednesday program begins at 7:00 p.m. (central time) and the Pick-6 comprises races three through eight. It includes everything from a maiden pace for a $3000 purse to an Open Trot chasing a $12,000 pot. There are five full nine-horse fields (four paces) slated and one seven-horse conditioned trot.   Free past performance pages for the 50-cent Running Aces Pick-6 will be available via a link for all the USTA Strategic Wagers that can be found at: ustrotting.com.   From the Press Box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - For the second consecutive week an invader from Chicago captured the Open Trot at Running Aces on Wednesday night.   Rock Hollywood, a seven-year-old gelding who hadn't won in 21 starts over two years, trotted to an impressive victory over last week's winner Trot Fudge Sundae (Rick Magee), another recent Chicago newcomer, and Franky Provolone (Jason Ryan) to earn the winner's share of the $10,000 purse. Leading driver Nick Roland made a quarter-move to the front and never looked back winning by a length and a quarter in 1:55.4, just one second off the all-time track trotting record.   Although Rock Hollywood was bred in Illinois and earned over $200,000 in his formulative years, he raced exclusively in Norway in 2013 and early 2014 before being returned to the United States. He had two place finishes in Chicago after being returned to North America before being shipped by owner Mike Brink to trainer Brett Ballinger at Running Aces.   Toatsmygoats equalled a long-standing track record for two-year-old colts when he destroyed a field of Minnesota-sired freshmen pacers in 1:56.3. It was the Relentless Yankee colt's second win in as many tries, both chasing $13,000 state-restricted purses, for the Van Otterloo Stable, trainer Dave Flinn and driver Jason Ryan. The quick clocking matched the one of Chewy Baca--also owned by the Van Otterloo Stable and trained by Flinn--in 2011.   The 50-cent Pick 6 wager went unsolved for the seventh straight program producing a carryover of $4,298.87 into the wager on Saturday night when racing resumes at Running Aces. The wagering pool could exceed $8000 by the time the bet begins on the fifth through tenth race on Saturday. Post time is 7:00 p.m. central.   From the Press Box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - R Gauwitz Hanover won the $10,000 Open Pace at Running Aces Sunday night to become the first double winner of the weekly feature in the first six weeks of the meet.   The five-year-old Modern Art gelding, who lowered his lifetime record to 1:51.3 with the victory, had also won in week four of the meet for owner Laurie Patistas. Rick Magee was in the sulky this time around as trainer Jason Ryan had an uncoupled stablemate, Silver Spir, in the race and finished second by three-quarters of a length. Smarter Yet (Kim Pluta), last week's winner, was a close third.   Ryan also trained and reined another swift winner when Threestepstoheaven captured a $9000 undercard event which featured a mix of conditioned horses and $12,500 claimers. Anthony Artuso owns the son of Rambaran who just edged It's Getting Hairy (Rob Dinning) and Canadian Touch (Steve Wiseman) in 1:52.   Owner-trainer Jesse DeLong also had a nice night winning back-to-back races. Mister Virgin (Nick Roland) captured a $5000 condition-claimer in 1:54.3 and I'm Blue Too (Steve Wiseman) followed up with a 1:53.2 tally in a $6000 condition and $7500 claimers race.   The driving star of the night was Rick Magee, who won the final four races on the program, including the Open. The 36-year-old Wisconsin native now has 24 wins at Running Aces in 2014 to secure his fifth place position in the dash standings and narrow the gap on the leaders. Defending champion Nick Roland has the slight edge with 33 wins, followed by both Jason Ryan and Steve Wiseman with 31, Tim Maier with 26 and Magee with 24.   Racing resumes Tuesday night at Running Aces and will feature an estimated $4000 50-cent Pick Six wager on races three through eight. Post time is 7 p.m. central time.   From the Running Aces Press Box

COLUMBUS, MN. - For the second consecutive week Lady's Art captured the Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Running Aces besting a full field of nine for a $12,000 purse. Harness racing reinsman Steve Wiseman, who also trains the five-year-old Art Major mare, was content to sit in the pocket throughout until tipping to the outside with a sixteenth of a mile left and collaring pacesetting Country Jewel (Nick Roland) by a neck in the final few strides. New Manhattan (Jason Ryan) finished third.   The 1:52.2 clocking was just one-fifth of a second slower than her track record setting performance a week earlier. Owned by Kenneth Seastrom and James Kouretas, Lady's Art now boasts 15 career victories and $113,709 in earnings.   That's Mara (Kim Pluta) was impressive winning a $7500 condition race in 1:53.1 on the undercard. The upset winner, who paid $40.40, was 2-1/2 lengths better than Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier) and Free Girl (Rick Magee). It was the tenth career triumph for the five-year-old daughter of Lis Mara who is owned by A Piece Of The Action LLC Stable and conditioned by George Reider.   Gregg Keidel  

COLUMBUS, MN. - A newcomer trotted into Minnesota on Wednesday night and quickly gained everyone's attention with a 1:56.4 triumph in Running Aces' $9000 Open Trot.   Trot Fudge Sundae, a four-year-old daughter of American Native who had been toiling at both Balmoral Park and Hoosier Park, was the only mare in the distinguished field of classy squaregaiters, and she quickly showed her heels to the field of geldings who watched her sweep from fourth in the early going to a three-quarter length victory over Sharpshootennorris (Steve Wiseman) and Franky Provolone (Jason Ryan).   New trainer Rick Magee was also the sulky-sitter for the winner's 19th career win in just 42 starts, increasing her earnings to $313,517 for partners James Bafia, Eugene White and the Dirk Simpson Stable, who got an immediate reward for sensing a change of scenery to Minnesota would do the mare some good.   It was one of two victories on the program for Magee, who also guided KDK Bellagio to a narrow neck victory over Sgt Charlie (Ryan) and Emery Vern (Tim Maier). It was the fourth consecutive win for the 12-year-old gelding owned by K C Carvalho and trained by Tim Brown, the last three in $4500 claiming company.   The most thrilling race of the night came in the nightcap, however, when a full field of nine $3500 claimers finished within four lengths at the wire, eight of them within 2-1/4 lengths. The photo finish camera determined that Haroun Hanover (Ryan) had edged Johnny Walker (Rob Dinning) and Hiho Legacy (Wiseman) to complete a $196.20 trifecta.   From the Running Aces Press Box

COLUMBUS, MN. - The first leg of the summer-long Minnesota-sired two-year-old pace program was highlighted on Wednesday night at Running Aces with Toatsmygoats (Jason Ryan) winning the initial $13,000 race in 1:58.3.   Owned by the Van Otterloo Stables and trained by David Flinn, the son of Relentless Yankee sat third or fourth throughout the majority of the mile before exploding with a final :28.3 panel to down Queen of Denial (Nick Roland) and Gooch's Hot Rod (Tim Maier).   It was the very first money start of the winner's career with just a 2:01.2 qualifier previously under his belt. Toatsmygoats paid $5.80 to win as the second choice of the betting public.   An $8000 Open Trot was also presented with Sharpshootennorris (Steve Wiseman) winning for the third time in four tries since arriving at Running Aces from California. Bette Calice's standout 11-year-old gelding beat Natural Forces (Kim Pluta) and Franky Provolone (Maier) for his 48th career victory.   Driver-trainer Tim Roach also enjoyed a monster night when all three of the horses entered from his stable found the winner's circle. Captiva Bounty scored in 1:55.4 to win a non-winners of two races conditioned claiming pace; Dr Lon beat a full field of $3500 claimers in 1:54.1; and Gogetembrady sped to a second straight triumph, this time in 1:53.4, to capture a $5500 conditioned pace.   From the Running Aces Press Box

COLUMBUS, MN. - R Gauwitz Hanover, the longest shot in the field, captured the $8,500 Open Pace at Running Aces on Sunday night, speeding to a 1:53.2 score for driver Kim Pluta over favored Del Rio Seelster (Tim Maier) and Restless Yankee (Nick Roland).   Laurie Patistas owns the five-year-old gelded son of Modern Art. It was the 12th career tally for the winner from just 48 lifetime starts. He is trained in Minnesota by Jason Ryan, who drove stablemate Threestepstoheaven to a fourth place finish in the same heat. Going off at nearly 14-1, R Gauwitz paid $29.80 to win.   The quick time was one of five races that ended in 1:53 and change clockings on the night. Others were won by Silver Spir (Tim Maier) in 1:53.3 to best an $8,000 top conditioned class; Lifetime Louie (Rick Magee) who won a $6,500 conditioned race in 1:53.3; Gogetembrady (Tim Roach) who destroyed a $5500 conditioned field in 1:53.4; and Second Thoughts (Tim Roach) who surprised a $2500 bottom conditioned class in 1:53.4. Roach trains both of the horses he steered to victory.   Driver Jason Ryan scored a triple on the program, while reinsmen Rick Magee as well as Roach notched doubles. On the training side, conditioner Jesse DeLong and assistant Tabitha Canaar triumphed in both $6,500 splits of the Minnesota-sired three-year-old trots. Chewy Dunkerton (Nick Roland) won the colts split in 2:00.4 and stablemate She's A Foxie Lady (Jason Ryan) won the fillies division in 2:00.2.   Trainer George Reider also sent two to the winner's circle in Lifetime Louie and the trotter Axle (Rob Dinning), who scored in 1:57.3 in a $6,000 top conditions race.   From the Press Box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - Driver Steve Wiseman enjoyed a stellar night at Running Aces on Saturday establishing a track record in the very first race and copping three other races before the ten-race program concluded.   Wiseman quarter-moved Lady's Art to the front in the $8500 Fillies and Mares Open pace and never looked back, establishing a 1:52.1 track record for mares of any age in the program lidlifter. Wiseman also trains the five-year-old daughter of Art Major who is owned by Kenneth Seastrom and James Kouretas.   Nocturnal Rose (Tim Maier) and Keystone Christa (Jason Ryan) were next to cross the finish line, but were no competition on this night for Lady's Art, who paid $8.00 as the second choice.   Wiseman's other winners were Yanklet Hanover and Gravelsinmytravel, both owned by Van Otterloo Stables and trained by Dave Flinn; and Blazin With Pride, who triumphed in the nightcap for owner CC Racing LLC and trainer Justin Anfinson.   Reinsman Nick Roland also had a memorable evening as he inched closed to the coveted 1,000 wins milestone with three trips to the winner's circle, bringing his lifetime total to 997. Included in the 31-year-old driver's scores was an upset win in the $13,000 Minnesota-sired three-year-old pace with the filly Dakota Law from his stable.   The daughter of Hot Pans picked a good spot to break her pari-mutuel maiden for owner Curtis Alan Vos as he watched her duck to the inside passing lane at the top of the stretch and pass FF Big Show (Ryan) and Maby Bonkey (Rob Dinning) in the final strides.   Roland also won a $4500 distaff conditioned pace with Two Cam, owned by Brenda McDonald and conditioned by Jeff Ryan, when she also zoomed up the inside to best Ha Jung (Ryan) and Shes Astreos (Lemoyne Svendsen); and Fox Valley   Yavonne, who copped a $5000 conditioned trot in 1:56.3 for owner Dr. Patrick Graham and trainer Brett Ballinger. JC Who Dini (Wiseman) and No Recess (Brandon Jenson) banked the place and show money.   Running Aces presents an 11-race program on Sunday night (June 22) including an $8500 Open pace and a pair of $6500 divisions of Minnesota-sired three-year-old trots. Post time is 6 pm (CST).   From the Running Aces Press Box

SUMMERSIDE, PE - A mainland invader headlines the Sunday afternoon card at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. Ultimate Luck has been installed as the morning line favorite by the race classifier, and with good reason. The six-year-old Camluck stallion was a bang-up second to Eagle Jolt in a speedy 1:59 mile over the rain soaked Summerside oval in last week's feature. Kenny Arsenault will drive the pacer for trainer Sifroi Melanson and owner Ultimate Stable of Greater Lakeburn, N.B. Upfront Ticket (Marc Campbell) is second pick after a fourth place finish in his East Coast debut. The Dragon Again pacer was racing conditioned classes at Western Fair Raceway in Ontario before making the trek east. Race analyst Jared Stretch has opted to go a different route, selecting Beckenbauer to upset the apple cart from 2 for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and owners Robi and Kurt Hughes of Stratford. The horse was victorious his last start in 1:59.1 at Red Shores Charlottetown. "He's been heating up to say the least with two victories in his last three starts and been doing it in impressive fashion," Stretch said of Beckenbauer. Other entries include Onehotvett (Wade Sorrie), Outside The Wire (Brodie MacPhee), McMaverick (Ken Murphy), Lucky Encounter (Norris Rogers) and Sa Summers Luck (Gary Chappell). Keystone Nobility has rail control in the back-up pace for a $1,600 purse for driver Chappell, trainer Alan Taylor and owner Kent Livingston of Cornwall. The six-year-old Western Hanover mare will have to defeat a tough field including Acton O So Royal (Mark Bradley) and the Rocky Schurman trained duo of Carrera Angel (Campbell) and Tyber Champ (Schurman). The race will also see the Island debut of Darth Bader, co-owned, trained and driven by Ed Harvey of Fredericton, N.B., with co-owner Kathy MacLean of Truro. The owners claimed Darth Bader for $20,000 at Yonkers Raceway in New York in February and left him in the care of Island native Jason Ryan before taking him to the Maritimes. The final race of the 13-dash program will see Lisfinny (Rogers) try to keep a fresh win streak alive. Owned by Mary Jean and Jay Noye of Pleasant Valley, with Jay doing the training, Lisfinny was a winner his last two starts in 2:01.3 and 1:58.3 with Rogers in the bike. The $1,400 class will see Lisfinny have to battle backs challenges from horses like Life Savior (Corey MacPherson) and Pictonian Press (Mark Bradley). by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

COLUMBUS, MN. - The third time was a charm for Natural Forces as he became the third different trotter to win the weekly open feature in as many weeks on Wednesday night.   The five-year-old Lockkeeper gelding, owned by ECS Racing LLC and Kevin St. Charles, was third in his first Minnesota start, second last week despite an early break in stride, and sailed to a 1:56.1 score in his third fray against the best trotters at the meet. Kim Pluta was the sulky sitter for trainer Ronald Merritt.   Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman) finished two lengths back in his first open company competition this season with Northern Inferno (Rick Magee) edging Glittering Muscles (Nick Roland) for third. Quiet Charmer (Jason Ryan) picked up the final paycheck in the seven-horse field.   The 1:56.1 clocking was just three-fifths of a second off Natural Forces lifetime best taken at The Red Mile. The ECS Racing homebred has now won 33 times in 89 career starts and boasts a bankroll north of $260,000.   Seven different drivers and eight different trainers won races on the eight-race program. Rick Magee scored the lone driving double on the card.   From the Running Aces Publicity Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - Threestepstoheaven, the longest shot on the board at 16-1, captured the $8,500 Open Pace at Running Aces on Sunday night.   The eight-year-old Rambaran gelding, trained and driven by the meet's second leading reinsman Jason Ryan, bested Canadian Touch (Steve Wiseman) and Restless Yankee (Nick Roland) in 1:52.2.   The longshot winner was last in the field of six until the top of the stretch when he swung four-wide and exploded past the others with a :28.3 final panel. Threestepstoheaven paid $34.40 to win.   Quickest mile of the evening, however, belonged to Del Rio Seelster who won a $7,500 race mixing non-winners of $5,000 last five starts with $12,500 claimers in 1:52.1. With leading driver Tim Maier guiding his son Daniel's six-year-old son of Western Maverick, the pair downed R Gauwitz Hanover (Kim Pluta) and Mystical Valentine (Ryan) with a brush from fourth to first in the third panel and a closing :27.3 panel to seal the deal.   Maier visited the winner's circle four times on Sunday while Ryan managed three triumphs and Nick Roland scored a double.   A pair of $6,500 Minnesota-sired races for trotters were also featured. Chewy Dunkerton (Roland) won the colts and geldings split with a 2:01.2 clocking to beat TURB (Ryan) and Al Mar Passion (Rick Magee). The fillies division was captured by Al Mar Pizzazz (Maier) over Majestic Lady Jo (Brett Ballinger) and Montana Eclipse (Lemoyne Svendsen) in 1:59.3. Benjamin DeLong owns Chewy Dunkerton and the partnership of Ulf Holm-Johansen and Vernon Devine own Al-Mar Pizzazz.   From the Running Aces Publicity Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - Providing further proof that there are "certain horses for certain courses," Restless Yankee returned to Running Aces in Minnesota Sunday night after spending the winter at Pompano Park and the spring at Vernon Downs and captured the $9500 Open Pace in 1:53.4.   It was the 45th career win for the seven-year-old gelded son of Relentless Yankee--at least two-thirds of which have been over the excellent five-eighths mile oval. Defending driving champion Nick Roland was in the sulky for owners Robert Lems, who is also the trainer, and his son Ryan Lems.   Restless Yankee raced second-over in the outer flow from before the half as pacesetter Mystical Valentine (Jason Ryan) was putting up fractions of :27, :55.2 and 1:24 while trying to fend off a relentless first-over attack by Canadian Touch (Tim Maier). Just after Canadian Touch cleared in deep stretch he made a break which allowed Restless Yankee to inherit the lead just before the wire. Jebswesternshake (Rob Dinning) rallied late to garner the place position with Mystical Valentine awarded the show dough after Canadian Touch was place from third to sixth for the lapped on break.   The win was one of three on the night for Roland, who is approaching the 1,000 career victories plateau. He also scored with a pair of Jesse DeLong trainees--trotter Chewy Dunkerton in a $6500 Minnesota-sired three-year-old colts race and pacer I'm Blue Too in the $4000 conditioned race nightcap.   Maier notched his second trainer-driver triple in the first three nights of the summer-long meet scoring with Silver Spir (1:52.3), It's Getting Hairy (1:53.3) and Emery Vern (1:55.3).   Adam Hauser had a trainer-driver double as he captured the $6500 Minnesota-sired three-year-old filly trot with Country Cheerio and broke the pari-mutuel maiden of Everyone's Desire in a $3000 non-winners of one race.   Racing resumes Tuesday and Wednesday night at Running Aces with a 7:00 p.m. (CST) post time.   Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Despite torrential rains during the last half of the first Saturday night card of the season at Running Aces, some quick miles resulted in the co-featured pacing events for fillies and mares. In the $9000 mares open it was Keystone Christa (Nick Roland) edging Lady's Art (Steve Wiseman) by a short head in 1:56 over the sloppy surface. Nocturnal Rose (Tim Maier) got the show dough.   The five-year-old Mach Three lass, making her initial Minnesota start after a successful winter season at Pompano Park, sat patiently in third along the pylons until the head of the stretch then found room between horses to engage in a fiesty winning stretch drive. It was the fourth win of the season for Keystone Christa, who is owned by Lee Cullen and is being conditioned in Minnesota by Bev Kingston.   The co-featured $7800 Class A event for state-sired three-year-olds went to the outstanding filly Delco Voracious (Nick Roland) in impressive gate-to-wire fashion. It was the seventh win in just nine lifetime starts for the daughter of Voracious Hanover who also won two-year-old filly honors for owner-trainer Jesse DeLong. FF Big Show (Jason Ryan) finished four-and-a-half lengths back in second with Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) third to cross the wire.   Racing resumes on Sunday night (June 1) with a ten race program featuring a $9500 Open Pace and two $6500 divisions of Minnesota-sired trots. Post time is 6:00 PM (CST).   From the Running Aces Media Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - A warm night, a fast track and an enthusiastic crowd all welcomed live commercial harness racing back to Minnesota on Wednesday night as Running Aces Harness Park presented its firstof 54 programs in 2014.   Barbazon upset a field of talented squaregaiters in the $8,500 Open Trot by leaving alertly, yielding to sit the pocket for most of the mile, then angling out in deep stretch to win by a head in 1:56.4 at 13-1 odds.   It was the ninth on-the-board finish in the last ten starts for the eight-year-old gelding owned by Timothy Hall and driven by newcomer Rob Dinning. Although he appeared to be moving up in class after racing in mid-range claimers at Northfield Park, Miami Valley Raceway, Hazel Park and Hoosier Park in recent months, the razor sharp son of Wilson Wyoming was able to best favorites Sharpshootennorris (Steve Wiseman) and Natural Forces (Kim Pluta) who finished second and third while racing respectably in their own right.   Driver-trainer Tim Maier enjoyed a huge opening night at Running Aces with three trips to the winner's circle, all with charges from his own stable. One of Minnesota's perennial leading conditioners, Maier's trio of wins started with his wife Denise's Sinimatic, who broke his maiden in 1:58.1. The next race Tim guided Terror Time, who impressed in his initial Running Aces season in 2013, to an eye-popping 1:53.2 score in a $3500 claiming pace for owner Robin Clements. The veteran horseman capped of his triple by capturing the finale with Emery Vern, also owned by his wife, in 1:55.3.   Jason Ryan notched a driving and training double with claiming pacers Sgt. Charlie (1:56.2) and Haroun Hanover (1:54.3). Racing resumes on a four-nights-a-week schedule every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night throughout the summer.   From the Running Aces Publicity Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - Horses from nine different states have descended on Running Aces Harness Park in Minnesota to kick off the 54-program live harness meet on Wednesday (May 28) night. Highlight of the initial card is an $8500 Open Trot featuring horses that made their last starts at Hoosier Park in Indiana, CalExpo in California, Scioto Downs in Ohio and a fair in Humboldt, Iowa.   Sharpshootennorris has been installed the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer-driver Steve Wiseman. The 11-year-old gelding has won 45 times and earned $438,892 in his lengthy career. The pride and joy of owner Bette Jean Calice,   Sharpshootennorris enters his first fray in Minnesota off two straight wins at CalExpo. Natural Forces (Kim Pluta), a recent open class winner at Hazel Park, is expected to offer stiff competition as is Axle (Lemoyne Svendsen), Barbazon (Rob Dinning), No Recess (Brandon Jenson) and Quiet Charmer (Jason Ryan).   Running Aces will present programs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday night through August 30.   From the Running Aces Marketing Department

Veteran reinsman Kyle Di Benedetto has driven plenty of winners in his harness racing career; 5,837 to be exact. And he's driven many that have returned a big mutuel payoffs. But when he won the third race I 2:00.3 on Tuesday afternoon (May 13) with Mia Casino from the seven- hole at odds of 140-1 at Monticello Raceway the seven-year-old Bettor's Delight pacing mare paid a whopping $282.00 for win. In that contest Di Benedetto and Mia Casino started slowly and by the halfway point in 1:01 they still were at the end of the eight horse field. As the field headed up the backside Di Benedetto moved his pacing mare into two-horse position and they began some forward movement. By the third stanza they were still five lengths off the leader but in sixth position. As they rounded the final turn Di Benedetto moved Mia Casino down along the pylons and they used the passing lane to score an easy one-length victory over MoDonna and driver Jason Ryan. "Starting in the seven-hole is never an advantage but I thought if we got a little racing luck we could get some money, after all she won in (1):59 flat a few starts back," Di Benedetto said after the race was completed. "She went a real good race today and finished strong. "I can't tell you how surprised I was when I returned to the winners circle and saw she was 99-1 on the (tote) board, but that was only part of the story. She went off even longer (odds) because she paid $282.00 for win. She (Mia Casino) is biggest longshot I ever won with." It was the second victory of the season for Mia Casino whose owned and trained by John Stubits. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

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