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Story Book extended his winning streak to nine in a row, the harness racing betting favorite left hard from the rail and took the lead in the first turn, Astor driven by Jason Ryan gained the lead at the quarter pole in 29.0 and continued to show the way past the half in 58:2. At the quarter pole BB Smash started his move on the outside, at the top of the lane, he made a bold 3 wide move, Astor still had the lead at the top of the stretch, but when the passing lane opened up, Stalbaum tipped Story Book to the inside and the diminutive son of American Ideal easily withstood the challenge of Astor to prevail by a length in 1:58:4, to give Larry Stalbaum his 2nd win of the afternoon. Also on the afternoon leading dash winning drivers Bruce Aldrich won 3 and Jim Taggart Jr bagged 2 wins by Shawn Wiles

The Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA scribes know talent when they see it and they have been on the money with their recent choices for their annual Rising Star Award recipient. In recent years they've cited Jordan Stratton, Jimmy Marohn, Jr. and Austin Siegelman but through the years they've named George Brennan, Jimmy Taggart, Jr. and Greg Merton to name a few. This year their Rising Star Award will go to 25-year-old Jason Ryan and it just so happened that he won four races on the Tuesday card(Nov. 11) here at the Mighty M. His first victory was with Tiffany Barrett's Kevin's Apple ($27.40) in 1:58.2 and he followed that with a 1:56.3 triumph behind Steven Moore's KB's Bad Boy ($15.60). With win number three he lit up the toteboard with Laurie Patistas's Jet Set Style in a 1:56.4 mile. The pacer paid $72.50, $17.20 and $13.60 across the board. Ryan capped his afternoon when he won the 12th and final race with Andrew Adamczyk's See You Smile in a time of 1:55.4 and that win was worth $17.40 for each two dollar mutuel ticket. "After the races were completed somebody called me 'longshot Ryan because all my winners paid double figures," Ryan said. "I know a couple of them had a decent chance but I was certainly surprised with Jet Set Style being 35-1 from the rail. But (trainer) Lounsbury had one (Mr Tommy Fra) in there that was odds-on and he never got untracked from the seven hole. Starting from the inside I got a two-hole trip and my horse finished strong." The transplanted Canadian began the season here at the Mighty M in early January and he opened some eyes with his driving abilities over the months that he was here. He later moved on to Saratoga Raceway and then during the late summer back Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minnesota where he competed well the previous year. But this season at the Minnesota race track Ryan finished as leading driver with 90 winners. When that track closed he moved back to Monticello Raceway and he plans on being here throughout the winter. He currently had driven 148 winners thus far this season which is his best output thus far in his fledgling career. Asked what the future will bring he replied "I'd like to race at Yonkers and the Meadowlands in the future but I know I'll have to pay my dues before I'll be able to," Ryan admitted. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

COLUMBUS, MN. - The curtain fell on the 2014 season at Running Aces Harness Park on Saturday night, but not before eleven Minnesota State Champions were crowned. Leading driver and trainer awards were also presented before the capacity crowd on closing night.   Jason Ryan, a 26-year-old Prince Edward Island native, captured his first Minnesota driving title in just his second summer at Running Aces. The talented reinsman, headed to New York in the coming days, won the dash title with 90 wins during the 53-night meet to outdistance reigning champion Nick Roland, who finished second with 81 victories.   Tim Maier garnered his second straight training title at Running Aces, defending his 2013 championship with 35 winners. Five trainers still had an opportunity to win the hotly-contested title going into the final two nights. Steve Wiseman and Nick Roland deadlocked for second with 33 triumphs from their respective stables, while Dave Flinn and Jesse DeLong notched 32 winner's circle trips each.   Becky Badger Baby (Nick Roland) won the $20,000 Minnesota State Championship for two-year-old trotting fillies, despite a break in stride behind the gate. It was the fifth win in a dozen freshman starts for the tiny filly, owned by Dale Hein and Royal and Barbara Roland, who beat Al Mar Reba Babe (Gerry Longo) and Sweet Nola Kate (Brett Ballinger).   Moonshinenmonkeys (Rick Magee) upset stablemate Queen Of Denial (Nick Roland) and Dancin Debby (Jason Ryan) to earn the lion's share of the $20,000 two-year-old filly pace division. Mark King bred, broke and owns the champion filly who more than doubled her rookie season earnings with her second career win in 1:57.   Go See Lo Go (Nick Roland) continued his domination of the two-year-old trotting colts ranks with an easy 2:02.1 front-end score over Al Mar Skip Bo (Rick Magee) and Lunar Trouble (Dave Flinn). It was the ninth win in twelve starts and eighth in a row for the pride of the Lorenzo Gooch stable.   Toatsmygoats (Jason Ryan) was tons the best in the freshman pacing event, sailing to a 1:56 victory over Gooch's Hot Rod (Gerry Longo) and Holla At Ur Boy (Rick Magee). Now seven out of eight, all at Running Aces, the winner's share of the $20,000 purse pushed Toatsmygoats earnings to $47,000 for the Van Otterloo Stable.   Al Mar Pizzazz (Tim Maier) produced the only serious longshot win on the evening, shocking the three-year-old filly trotters at odds of 17-1. Trainer Ulf Holm-Johansen and partner Vern Devine was ecstatic with the 1:59.1 score, her fifth of the season but first against the best sophomore distaff trotters in the state. She's A Foxie Lady (John DeLong) was second with another longshot, Country Cheerio (Jason Ryan) getting up for third.   Delco Voracious (John DeLong) duplicated her 2013 Minnesota State Championship with a 1:54.3 clocking to capture the 2014 title. It was the tenth win in just 17 starts for Jesse DeLong's top filly who now has over $75,000 in earnings as she topped slightly-favored Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) by a nose with Dakota Law (Nick Roland) awarded the show dough.   Driver John DeLong was back in the winner's circle with his brother Ben's three-year-old trotting colt, Chewy Dunkerton, in the very next race. With 14 wins over two years of racing at Running Aces, the colt is rapidly approaching $100,000 in earnings. His 2:00.1 final time was just over a length better than T-U-R-B (Nick Roland) and Lo Rail Crossing (Gerry Longo).   Favored Bunkerhill Bill (Gerry Longo) did not disappoint in the $20,000 final for sophomore pacing colts. Gene Miller's homebred won for the third time in his most recent four starts, topping V Mack (Kim Pluta) and Black Hammer (Tim Maier) in 1:54.3.   Out of the former claiming mare River Bend Raider, who toiled at Running Aces for several years before heading to the breeding shed, Bunkerhill Bill has earned $45,285 thus far in his first season of racing. The final three races on the closing program were $10,000 events for aged Minnesota-sired horses.   Blazing Fury (Rick Magee) bested the pacing mares with a 1:54.4 success over stablemate Cheese Plumper (Tim Maier) and Place At The Beach (Kim Pluta). The Van Otterloo Stable owns the first two finishers and trainer Dave Flinn conditions all three of the top finishers.   Skeet Thunder (Kim Pluta) proved best in the division for older trotters, beating RA's Shakinthtbacon (Rick Magee) and No Recess (Brandon Jenson) in 1:59.3. Andrew Anfinson owns the winner.   The final race of the season went to Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland), who has enjoyed a very good season with a dozen top three finishes in 15 starts against top condition and open horses. Owned by the Trot-Away Stables, the five-year-old gelding paced away from I'm Blue Too (John DeLong) and Peanuts (Lemoyne Svendsen) to bring down the curtain on the 2014 Running Aces season.   From the Running Aces press box  

COLUMBUS, MN. - With the 2014 season rapidly winding down, R Gauwitz Hanover won the final weekly $8000 Open Pace at Running Aces on Sunday night.   There are just two overnight race programs left on Tuesday and Wednesday nights of the coming week, both at 7 p.m. (CST), then the curtain comes down on the successful 53-night summer session next Saturday night with the annual Minnesota State Championships card worth a total of $190,000 in purses. Post time for the special final 11-race program is 5:00 p.m. (CST).   Driver Rick Magee sat R Gauwitz Hanover fourth along the pylons until the head of the stretch, then found a seam of racing room and clocked a :27 final panel to just edge Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) and Silver Spir (Jason Ryan) in 1:51.4. It was the fifth win at Running Aces for the five-year-old gelded son of Modern Art, three coming in open company. Laurie Patistas owns the classy gelding who will be returning to New York to race very shortly.   A handful of the leading drivers at Running Aces have agreed to join the groundswell of support the harness industry is showing for A.L.S. through the "Ice Bucket Challenge." Jason Ryan, Nick Roland, Steve Wiseman, Tim Maier, Kim Pluta, Gerry Longo and Lemoyne Svendsen have all agreed to make an ALS donation and get doused with a water bucket full of ice and water at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday night, just prior to the races.   From the press box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - Trot Fudge Sundae continued the rotation of winners of the weekly $8000 Open Trot on Wednesday night at Running Aces.   In the process the four-year-old American Native mare broke the track record for her age, sex and gait by four-fifths of a second. Her 1:55.2 clocking eclipsed the previous best of Heartsaregonnaroll established in 2013.   Driver-trainer Rick Magee was content to sit in the pocket through fractions of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:26.2 before collaring frontstepping Wilamar Valley (Tim Maier) and holding off third place finisher Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman).   Again the entire field was less than three lengths apart at the wire. Trot Fudge Sundae is owned by the partnership of James Bafia, Eugene White and the Dirk Simpson Stable.   Toatsmygoats continued his domination of the Minnesota-sired two-year-old pacing ranks with his sixth win in seven tries in an $11,500 race for the state's best freshmen. As a prohibitive favorite, leading driver Jason Ryan (who was celebrating his 26th birthday), was able to control the throttle through a pedestrian first half then accelerate through a fast final half to triumph in 1:56.2 over Queen Of Denial (Nick Roland) and Moonshinenmonkeys (Rick Magee).   Toatsmygoats has now earned $37,000 in seven starts for the Van Otterloo Stables and will be one of the headliners when the Minnesota State Championship races for $20,000 purses go postward on closing day, August 30.

COLUMBUS, OH. - Harness racing driver Lemoyne 'Moonie' Svendsen reached the coveted 3,000 wins plateau at Running Aces on Sunday night.   The 55-year-old Minnesota native (born in Albert Lea) drove his first winner at an Iowa county fair at age 16 in 1975 and has won races each of the 39 years since then. The likeable green and yellow-clad reinsman is also approaching the coveted $10 million earnings mark with horses he has steered in his career.   Svendsen's best year was 2011 when he guided 266 winners and just lost the dash title at Cal Expo (to Luke Plano) in the waning weeks of the meet. Lemoyne has been a mainstay in California harness racing circles for the past 15 years and has been making his summer home at Running Aces for the past five years.   He also won 206 races in 2009 and over 100 times in ten other seasons. Earlier in his career Svendsen won dash titles at both Quad City Downs and Thunder Ridge.   The milestone triumph came with Meritage Hanover, fittingly owned and trained by fellow native Minnesotan Mark Anderson, for whom Svendsen has driven regularly over the past couple years.   An adept passing lane move allowed Svendsen to gain a thrilling half-length 1:54.3 victory over Gencor's Z Tam (Jason Ryan) and Nancy's Skyscape (Gerry Longo) in a bottom claiming class event. Off at 7-1 odds, Meritage Hanover rewarded $2 backers with a $16.40 win mutuel.   The elated newest member of the 3,000 Wins Club was joined in the winner's circle by his immediate family--wife Jodi, son Sonny and daughter Kaitlyn.   "My dad got me started in this business as a kid and its all I've ever done," chuckled Svendsen after the race. "I'll never forget the thrill that my first win with a horse called Miss Lasko forty years ago gave me. For that matter, this one was pretty darned thrilling, too. I must say every win between those two has been exciting as well. Winning never gets old!"   Gregg Keidel        

COLUMBUS, MN. - Running Aces Harness Park, now in its seventh season, established a new handle record on Sunday night when $270,252 was bet on the 11-race program which featured fuller-than-normal fields and highly competitive races.   Over one-half of the races were decided by a half-length or less and only one winner had more than a two length advantage at the wire.   Only two favorites prevailed on the night with win prices ranging from a low of $5.80 to a high of $21.80.   The weekly Sunday feature, a $10,000 Open Pace, was captured by Headsup Yankee in 1:52.3.   The five-year-old Minnesota-sired gelding has made steady progress since joining the open ranks three weeks ago, finishing third and then second before Sunday's victory.   The son of Relentless Yankee is owned by Ken Stauffer's Trot-Away Stable and was trained and driven by Nick Roland.   He beat Silver Spir (Jason Ryan) and Del Rio Seelster (Lemoyne Svendsen).   The win was one of four on the night for Roland, who also scored with Justthewayitis, Split Ticket and Gift Of Honor.   A Running Aces newcomer, Native's Revenge, shocked a group of conditioned horses and optional $5000 claimers with a nine-length dominating performance clocked in 1:51.4 for new trainer-driver Steve Wiseman.   A recent arrival from Hoosier Park, where the four-year-old Allamerican Native gelding was no better than fourth in his last six outings, Native's Revenge went directly to the lead in his initial Minnesota appearance and never looked back throwing an impressive :54 final half.   The winner, who beat Peanuts (Rick Magee) and Peyton's Troubador (Kim Pluta) is owned by Harold Actkinson.   Leading driver Jason Ryan visited the winner's circle three times on Sunday, guiding She's A Foxie Lady, Terror Time and R Gauwitz Hanover to narrow victories.   Only four weeks remain in the Running Aces season with live racing presented each Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through August 30.   Gregg Keidel - Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - Jason Ryan hit a grand slam on Wednesday night at Running Aces, winning four of the eight races to pull one win ahead of Nick Roland, who fashioned a three-bagger of his own, in the local dash derby.   Ryan now has 54 wins after 36 nights of the summer-long 53 program meet; Roland is the current runnerup with 53 victories. Tim Maier and Steve Wiseman are deadlocked for third with 40 tallies apiece. Rick Magee rounds out the top five with 38 trips to the winner's circle.   Ryan got off to a great start winning both ends of the early daily double. He guided Toatsmygoats to a decisive win in a $13,000 Minnesota-sired two-year-old pace; then followed up with a narrow score behind Franky Provolone in an $8000 Open trot.   Toatsmygoats, owned by the Van Otterloo Stable, trounced Well Then Lets Go (Maier) and Queen Of Denial (Roland) in 1:57.2. Robin Clements's Franky Provolone topped Wilamar Valley (Maier) by less than a length in 1:55.4 with Sharpshootennorris (Wiseman) garnering the show money.   Ryan also scored a 1:53.4 win with Serious Art in a $5000 race for condition horses and $5000 claimers; and a $3000 race for $3500 claimers with Terror Time.   Roland's trio of winners were Glittering Muscles (1:59.2) in a $5000 condition and claiming trot; Tyson L (1:56.1)with a score versus $4000 claimers; and Boot Scootin Bow (1:54.2), who topped bottom condition pacers.   From the press box at Running Aces  

It was Friday, August 19, 1960. Six starters lined up behind the starting gate for the once two dash event. Dee's Boy picked up the first dash victory in 2:06 for driver Lloyd MacAuley. Newport Frisco picked up the second dash victory in 2:06.3 but despite having the better summary (2-1), Dee's Boy and MacAuley were declared the first ever winner of the Gold Cup and Saucer. The first ever Gold Cup was contested for a purse of $2, 500, now in 2014, the 55th edition of the Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer will race for the largest purse in the race's history $75, 000. The prestigious race isn't about the money. It's about the show. It's about the people. It's about Prince Edward Island. When the horses hit the track for post parade and they walk in front of the grandstand, the lights go dark and Kerri Wynn MacLeod sings the Island Hymn as thousands of people in attendance stand for this Island tradition. The only thing in site is the Farris Wheel from the carnival lit up in the background. The rail horse parades down the track, whether it be Eighteen, R Js Dexter. Winner's Accolade or Kilkerran Ingle, as soon as that spot light from above picks up the first horse and the sound of track announcer's voice booms over the crowd, chills instantly spill down a person's spine. During those 54 years of bone chilling action, there have not only been some great races but some memorable race calls as well. In 1968 Miramichi Post became the first Maritime-bred to ever win the Gold Cup. Ten-years later two-time winner Ventall Rainbow was the first horse to make Four appearances in the Cup and Saucer. That very same year Eric and Harry Webby of Dartmouth won a record fifth Gold Cup. In 1980, The Gold Cup trials were first introduced as well the Gold Cup and Saucer consolation debuted. Who can forget 1986 when Phil Pinkney flipped Rev Your Engine out three wide from last just past the 5/8's hooking up with fraction setter Angels Shadow past the three quarters and they battled the whole way down the lane before Rev Your Engine landed on the line a nose in front. How about 1993, When Little Black Book started to open up on the field up the back stretch, "Little Black Book is turning it on, look at her go! Little Black Book has them by four and she's looking for more," said track announcer Kevin 'Boomer' Gallant. She jogged in 1:54.1 just missing her own Canadian record for aged mares on a half mile track of 1:54 that she set in her Gold Cup trial. The record stood for 15 years. 1995, Mike MacDonald aboard Sandy Hanover converted off a three-wide move past the three quarters to become the winningest driver in Gold Cup and Saucer history with five victories. ( Ventall Rainbow twice, Pearl's Falcon, Winner's Accolade were his others). In 1993, Native Born and driver Brett Robinson moved out of the two-hole approaching three quarters, drawing away from the field winning by 12 lengths in 1:53.1 closing it out in :27 flat, setting a new Canadian record for aged stallions on a half mile track at the time. MacDonald almost had number six in 2003, Harmony P, raced in the Consolation the night before, and drew into the final after a scratch. It was a young protege of MacDonald's that nailed his on the line. Mark MacDonald had Sand Olls Dexter coming from the clouds just at wire to nail his old teacher by a nose. Sand Olls Dexter would then win it the following year in the slop giving Mark MacDonald his second of three career Cup victories. Hall-of-Famer Wally Hennessey picked up his second victory in 2005 aboard Driven To Win, establishing a new track record of 1:51.2. Long-time Island horsemen Earl Smith made history in 2008 aboard the longest shot on the board Pownal Bay Matt, leaving from post 8, Smith laid parked the entire mile before getting up in the final strides to become the oldest driver at 59 years of age to ever win the big event. That was also a special day as the Cup and Saucer was raced on Sunday afternoon due to the cancellation of the races on Saturday night. Over its 54 years of winners, The Gold Cup and Saucer has played host to many 'Boom, Just like that!" calls from track announce Vance Cameron. The island would become a buzz wondering who Mike MacDonald would have coming to the big race over the years, but over the last five years the race has grown to see trainers such as Mark Ford, Jeff Gillis and the top trainer in North America make his first trip to the Gold Cup and Saucer last year, Ron Burke. Who can forget last year's Gold Cup and Saucer. In a race full of Cameron's famous race calls, it was arguably one of his most entertaining Gold Cup's to date. As Up The Credit and Carl Jamieson parked out R Caan and Jason Ryan, Cameron voice started to electrify. "There's a brouhaha in the Cup and Saucer, opening quarter, Boom just like that! :26.2." Up The Credit and R Caan slugged it out to the half before R Caan cleared around the 5/8's turn. "Making the front now is R Caan, Up The Credit is second, WOW! :53.2," boomed Cameron. R Caan started to draw away from Up The Credit up the back stretch before the Burke Brigade of Hillbilly Hanover (Gilles Barrieau) and Escape The News (Marc Campbell) started to eat up race track. As they move three-wide past the three quarters with Escape The News the furthest one out, the track record was in clear sight. "Three quarters, amazing. 1:21.4, they got a shot at the track record, they got a shot at the Canadian record," said Cameron as every member in the crowd was now cheering for the record. As they hit the head of the lane it was a battle of the Burke Brigade. The two top drivers in the Maritimes, Campbell and Barrieau dueling it out, both with a pair of Burke horses, Escape The News paced onto the lead by the tote board. "Marc Campbell has won the Gold Cup and Saucer, Escape The News, a driving quadruple. Hillbilly Hanover is second, R Caan is third. 1:50.4, that's a new track record for the Charlottetown Driving Park, and that is, Marc Campbell's biggest lifetime win." So much history, so much class and so much excitement all build into one race. The Gold Cup and Saucer. This year, the 55th running will carry it's highest purse ever of $ 75,000. Rumours are starting to float on what trainers are coming and what horses they will be bringing. One thing that can be guaranteed, No matter who comes, the Gold Cup and Saucer will still be one of the greatest shows in North American racing. Nominations for this year's Gold Cup and Saucer are due Monday, August 4. The post position draw for the trials will be held on Tuesday, August 5, with Trial 1 scheduled to go post ward on August 9. The final for the Gold Cup and Saucer, presented by Sobeys, is held on Saturday, August 16. by Bo Ford, for Red Shores

COLUMBUS, MN. - Smarter Yet won for the third time in five tries in the weekly Running Aces' Open pace on Sunday night.   Kim Pluta guided the seven-year-old gelding for trainer Ron Merritt and owner Kevin St. Charles. It was the 37th lifetime win and raised Smarter Yet's career bankroll to $236,925. The noted closer used his usual strong stretch drive to catch Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) and Silver Spir (Jason Ryan) in the final strides of the 1:53 mile.   Pluta also won a $7000 conditioned pace on the undercard with Restless Yankee, one of the best Minnesota-bred horses ever. Following the 1:53.4 victory, the Bob and Ryan Lems-owned son of Relentless Yankee now has 46 triumphs and $278,531 in earnings. He bested Dont Tell Rusty (Jason Ryan) and Mister Virgin (Nick Roland).   A $7000 trot mixing top condition horses with $10,000 claimers was captured by Axle (Kody Massey) with a narrow decision over Forceful Gale (Brian Detgen) and Flameon (Lemoyne Svendsen). The winner was claimed from owner-trainer George Reider by Daniel Maier.   For the third consecutive racing night, veteran Gerry Longo scored a driving triple on Sunday. Handle for the 11-race program was $201,791.   Gregg Keidel    

COLUMBUS, MN. - Both Gerry Longo and Tim Maier scored driving triples on the Saturday night program at Running Aces plus a pair of full sisters won back-to-back races, including the $11,000 Fillies and Mares Open pace.   Longo made three consecutive trips to the winner's circle in the second through fourth races. His success started with his own Kiss On The Lips who scored a 1:53.4 tally in a $6000 conditioned race with optional $7500 claimers.   She bested Free Girl (Rick Magee) and Save My Dragon (Kody Massey). He also triumphed with Jenni King's Caseofthesillies and John Rogers' Razzle Be Dazzled. Caseofthesillies defeated distaff maidens Maidamess (Clark Whitney) and Whata Smoothie (Tim Maier) in 1:56.3; and Razzle Be Dazzled topped $4000 claiming mares Lil Miss Nyalation (Rick Magee) and Blazin With Pride (Rob Dinning) in 1:56.2.   Maier won the final three races of the card with full sisters Love Live Laugh and Diva Las Vegas, both owned by his wife Denise, and Pamela Buergi's Fancy Too. Love Live Laugh managed a nose decision over Country Jewel (Nick Roland) and That's Mara (Kim Pluta) in 1:53.1 in the night's featured Open event.   The top six finishers were all within two lengths at the finish in the hotly-contested event. Sister Diva Las Vegas, also a daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels out of the Little Steven mare Prettylittlerebel, beat Keystone Christa (Nick Roland) and Ha Jung (Jason Ryan) in a $4500 race combining $5000 claimers and condition mares.   Fancy Too captured the nightcap, a $3000 race for bottom conditioned mares, topping Britash Redcoat (Rob Dinning) and Five Stars Queen (Jason Ryan) in 1:56.4.   Sandwiched between the two driving triples was a second straight impressive victory by the two-year-old gelding URCutoff, who beat a full field of older horses in a non-winners of two races for a $4500 purse. Owned and trained by Mark Anderson and driven by Lemoyne Svendsen, the colt stopped the timer in 1:55.4 to follow up on his 1:54.3 maiden voyage last week.   From the Running Aces Press Box  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Running Aces Harness Park's annual "Back To The Track" night has been dubbed "Super Saturday" with a number of special promotions and enhanced purses on the ten-race program. In addition to getting free programs, fans will have an opportunity to get autographs of all the leading drivers from 6:15-6:55 p.m., will have a chance to catch T-shirts tossed from the winner's circle after each race, and might be chosen as one of ten lucky patrons to get a two-seater jog cart ride around the track between races.   Total purses on Saturday night will be $84,250 which is 50% higher than normal. The increased purses were made possible by a Saturday night weather-related cancellation three weeks ago.   The feature race is the $18,000 "Back To The Track Sweepstake" for open distaff pacers. Lady's Art has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the full field of nine.   She will be seeking her third win in six open company starts at Running Aces for driver-trainer Steve Wiseman. All but one mare in the race has won at least once in the first seven weeks of the Minnesota meet, and that one has a pair of runnerup finishes in the fillies and mares opens. The other contestants are New Manhattan (Jason Ryan), Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier), That's Mara (Kim Pluta), Blazing Fury (Rick Magee), Delco Voracious (Jesse DeLong), Nocturnal Rose (Kody Massey), Keystone Christa (Rob Dinning) and Country Jewel (Nick Roland).   Post time for "Super Saturday - Back To The Track Night" is 7:00 p.m. (CST)   From the Running Aces Publicity Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - It took eleven programs for a continually growing number of bettors to solve the Running Aces Harness Park 50-cent Pick-6, but when they did they did it in large numbers.   The total pool reached $88,814 on Wednesday night with a total of 40 players each punching perfect tickets which were worth $1,719.90 each. The balance of the pool was paid out to a huge number of consolation winners who picked five out of six and received $14.25.   A total of four off-time favorites combined with a 5-1 shot and a 7-2 shot which made the wager easier to solve than it had been in two weeks. The winners were Capital Wiz (Rick Magee) who paid $3.80, Sgt Charlie (Jason Ryan) $4.00, Ras Shakinthtbacon (Ryan) $12.40, Emery Vern (Tim Maier) $5.80, Sharpshootennorris (Steve Wiseman $9.20 and Haroun Hanover (Ryan) $4.20. The winning numbers were 1-3-6-8-5-2.   Earlier on the program Urcutoff smashed a track record for two-year-old pacers with a stunning 1:54.3 performance. It was the first lifetime start for the altered son of Brandon's Cowboy, although he was coming off an outstanding qualifier a week earlier winning in 1:57 with a back half in :56 flat.   The new track record holder is owned and trained by Mark Anderson, who makes a habit of getting outstanding juveniles ready for successful racing careers at Running Aces each summer. Lemoyne 'Moonie' Svendsen, who is closing in on his 3,000th career win, was in the sulky for the track record performance.   From the Running Aces Press Box

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

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