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Columbus, MN - The Saturday evening (Aug 10) Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired three year olds pace, with seven sophomores lining up for battle in the night's opener.   Headlining the field were two very accomplished gelding pacers: SB Bodacious (3-5) and 2018 Minnesota Harness Horse of the year Burning Blaze (2-1).   Sweet Vivian was an outsider in the wagering (16-1) and had just picked up her first lifetime win, in a maiden event, on her twenty first career try. Driver Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen sent her right to the front from post six, then yielded for the pocket when Steve Wiseman came charging with Burning Blaze as the quarter pole timer flashed :28.1 and race favorite SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) had landed in third.   The lineup remained the same through a strong middle half (:56.4 and 1:24.4) with SB Bodacious launching a first-over attack near the half, but never making much of an impression on the leader.   Turning for home, it was clear that Sweet Vivian was full of pace in the pocket, and as they straightened she exploded from the garden spot to roll by the leader in the final sixteenth. Sweet Vivian ($34.80) checked in 1-1/4 lengths ahead of Burning Blaze in a career mark shattering time of 1:53.4 for her second win in a row, and second lifetime tally.   Big longshot Flying Fritz (41-1) with Jared Seekman got home in third.   Sweet Vivian is a filly by General Aidid and out of the Kent's On Nuke mare Cause for alarm. She is owned by Timothy Lems and trained by Robert Lems.   The $14,000 Open Trot also went to post on Saturday night, with a nice group of seven top level trotters squaring off behind the gate. Winning Lyric (Dean Magee) was the public choice (6-5) after his impressive sweeping win in this event last week, but this week's edition would be dominated by My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) from post seven, who worked hard to get past Silverlode (Mooney Svendsen) for the early lead and then led every step after that - posting a 3/4 length victory in 1:56 with Winning Lyric flying home from the back of the pack to get second over Silverlode.   My Uncle Cuz ($11.80) is a five year old son of Abc Garland and out if the Mr Vic mare Malibu Marley. The talented trotter is having a fantastic season at Running Aces and has now won four of his last eight races for owner Krista Harmon and trainer/driver Don Harmon.   Don Harmon led the Saturday program with a driving double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (Aug 11) with local post time at 6:00 pm.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Things we're going pretty much according to form in the first four harness races of last Saturday night's Pick 5, but then Hot Dandy came along and blew up the toteboard with a $95 score for owner Emilio Cisneros, trainer Rick Bertrand and pilot Mooney Svendsen. As a result, the 50-cent Pick 5 went from a modest payoff to a $1,850 return for every winning ticket. The Pick 5 is one of two value bets offered here at Cal Expo on a nightly basis, featuring a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. The 50-cent Pick 5 is conducted on the first five races, while the 20-cent Pick 4 comes attached with a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and $40,000 on Saturdays. To give you some idea of the value added, using the old takeout rate, last Saturday night's Hot Dandy-infused Pick 5 payout would have been $1,652 instead of $1,850, a difference of $198 per ticket. Getting to back to Hot Dandy, the 5-year-old son of Hot Pans was a little hard to find on paper in the conditioned pacing event, having just a show finish from his half-dozen trips to the post on the year while racing at or about this same level. He turned things around nicely with a sweet stalking trip under Svendsen's guidance, getting up by a head over Cenalta Dragster for the initial snapshot of 2019.   Open Pace brings out solid line-up Bettor In The Bank has his sights on a hat trick in Friday evening's featured $7,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo as he faces a strong cast in the headliner. Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races with things getting underway at 6:15 p.m. and the main event will go as fifth event on the program. There are also three California Sire Stakes going as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Bettor In The Bank is a 9-year-old son of Better Tuwin who races for Debra McCarthy, is conditioned by Gordie Graham and will once again have James Kennedy doing the honors. He has $230,000 in his account and a 1:51 3/5 mark that was set her last year. The dark-hued performer comes into this assignment have landed in the charmed enclosure following seven of his 12 trips to the post on the season, including back-to-back scores at the head of the class. In both of those tallies, Kennedy has kept Bettor In The Bank in reserve through the early stages, then flew home in the late stages to prevail by three-quarters of a length and a head, respectively. After rattling off three straight wins between March 8 and 12, Icy Blue Scooter has had narrow misses in his last two tries, including last week's clash at this top rung where Bettor In The Bank nailed him on the money. A 6-year-old son of Blue Burner, Icy Blue Scooter is reined and trained by Nate Sobey, who also co-owns the hard-hitting pacer with Diane Bertrand. He recently went over the $100,000 earnings plateau with a 1:52 standard that was established over this layout.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness

A pair of contentious Open Paces; the $8,600 Shelly Goudreau Final and the $8,000 Joe Lighthill Trot at an extended mile and one-half headline an excellent program at Cal Expo on Saturday night An 11-race harness racing card is set to kick off at 6:10 p.m., with the Lighthill going as the fourth event; the Filly and Mare Open follows in the next spot; the Open Pace occupies the seventh-race slot and the Goudreau Final will be the ninth event on the evening. Urgointohearmeroar will be looking to account for his third series final at the meet in the Goudreau. A 4-year-old son of Mystery Chase, Urgointohearmeroar has already captured the Bill Conlin and Robert Gordon Finals at this stand and looms a very heavy favorite once again. Owned by Mark Anderson, trained by Gordie Graham and with Mooney Svendsen in the sulky, he has been unbeatable this season while going off the prohibitive choice on each occasion. Urgointohearmeroar faced his biggest challenge in last week's outing in the Goudreau Prep, leaving from the second tier in the overflow cast. He was parked first-over at the half, then dug in determinedly to prevail by a neck that evening. It was certainly a blanket finish, with the first four across the wire separated by only three-quarters of a length in that 1:54 flat mile, but the others figure to have their work cut out Saturday with Urgointohearmeroar having the rail draw this time around. The two Opens are both very contentious events with Bettor In The Bank assigned the outside post in the male division and stablemates Capitol Hill and Outrageousdelightn getting the outside slots in the Distaff end. Low takeout wagers offer true value There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16% takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and the 20-cent Pick 4. There are guaranteed pools for the Pick 4, with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. To give you some idea of the added value, last Saturday night's Pick 5 returned a very nice $4,562 for each winning 50-cent ticket. Using normal takeout, the payoff would have been $4,073 a difference of $489 per ducket.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness  

Franks Best hasn't been around forever, it just seems that way. The 12-year-old son of Armbro Scribe got his first snapshot of the season in last weekend's Open III Trot with Mooney Svendsen at the controls for owner/trainer/breeder Bob Johnson. "There's no question, he's one of my all-time favorites," said Johnson. "He just loves to go out there and race." For the record, Franks Best was making his 256th harness racing trip to the post and has now recorded 48 wins, 47 seconds and 37 thirds while putting $280,475 in his bank account. He recorded his 1:55 4/5 lifetime mark three years ago. Franks Best, who has a number of Sire Stakes trophies on his mantle, was cut out to be a nice performer. His sire won 40 of his 226 starts while earning $433,000, while his dam Inside Edition was a top racemare who captured 22 of her 69 starts before going to the breeding shed. Meanwhile, Bob Johnson is set to celebrate his 76th birthday in April and continues to send out a steady stream of winners. He was second in the trainer standings here last year and is currently third in the race at this meet. Johnson comes into this week having sent out 15,683 starters and 2,574 have come back to greet him in the charmed enclosure, including those 47 wins by Franks Best. Both are looking to add to their impressive totals in the near future. Eastender gets top billing in main event Eastender, third behind the hard-knocking pair of I'm An Athlete and Pancetta at most recent asking, lands a cozy spot in Friday night's conditioned pacing feature at Cal Expo. A 12-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post is 6:10 p.m. and there will also be three California Sire Stakes going as non-betting events prior to the regular program. An 8-year-old son of Cheyenne Rei, Eastender is owned by Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson with Luke Plano reigning and training. He will be looking for his second win on the year from seven trips to the post. The bay gelding recorded that victory as the odds-on choice in a January 19 contest and is coming off a second and a third in his last two tries. While no match for the top pair in that last tour after making a first-over bid, he should be very much at home in Friday's line-up. Taking him on are One And Only, Justabitcrazy, Last Dragon, Laissez Moi Passer, Contemporary Legend, China King, Prodigal and Wet Shark. Looking ahead to Saturday's outstanding card, there will be a pair of Open events, the Shelly Goudreau Final and the Joe Lighthill Trot. Both Opens look like very contentious events, while Urgointohearmeroar looms an overwhelming favorite in the Goudreau Final and the Lighthill should prove to be a very interesting contest with the trotters going an extended mile and one-half journey. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Columbus, MN - The saturday night Harness Racing program at Running Aces was highlighted by the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot with 7 very talented square-gaiters going in to battle for top honors.   Banker Volo was back in action, fresh off his victory in the top trot a week ago, and Pridecrest was on the scene to try once again for his first visit to the Aces winner's circle.   Pridecrest (Steve Wiseman) was sent off as the 4-5 choice from post 6. Silverlode (Mooney Svendsen) left from post five for the second consecutive week, after just-missing against Banker Volo at the wire in 1:55.1 last out.   Banker Volo (Nick Roland) had the outside 7 post assignment, but waisted no time in finding the front of the field, sprinting right to the lead with a 27.3 opening quarter and leading the charge through the middle fractions of 57.3 and 1:26.3 while facing strong opposition from Pridecrest during the third panel.   Banker Volo lost the lead to Pridecrest just at the cusp of the home-stretch, but Mooney Svendsen was angling to the outside with Silverlode after saving ground throughout. Silverlode exploded with trot in the lane, and easily powered by Pridecrest, who had to settle for second after a valiant effort.   Silverlode found the wire in 1:55.1 to etch her name in the Running Aces history books as the fastest Aged Trotting Mare in track history, shattering the previous mark of 1:56 (Majestic Lady Jo - 2016).   Her final margin of victory tonight was 1 1/2 lengths over Pridecrest, with longshot Ideal Jesse (James Yoder) home third at 17-1. Silverlode ($13.60) is a 9 year old by British Sterling, and she is out of the prolific mare Charlotte's Web. She was bred by Desomer Stables of California, and she is currently leased by Emilio Cisneros, and trained by Rick Bertrand.   This talented mare now has 37 lifetime wins and has earned $186,987.   Driver Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen had a banner night this evening, as the Minnesota Harness Racing Hall of Fame member piloted a total of 4 winners on the 8 race program.   Aside from his record-setting steer on Silverlode, Mooney also guided his own trainee My friskie Boy ($3.60) to a new lifetime mark in 1:53.3, Scramble Camp ($3.40) also to a new lifetime mark in 1:58.2 for trainer Jenni King, and One Small Favor ($5.40) in 1:57.1 for trainer Mark Anderson.   Running Aces offers Live Racing every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday evening, visit our website at for a complete schedule of events, promotions and for complete handicapping resources.   By Darin Gagne', for Running Aces

The featured event on the Saturday evening harness racing card at Running Aces was the $13,000 Minnesota-Sired Open Trot for 4 year olds and up, and it would prove to be an exciting contest right down to the wire.   Dougs Hobby Horse and driver Luke Plano flew off the gate wings from the far outside post 8 to secure the front-running position and control the fractions, while Whatevershesgot with veteran reinsman Mooney Svendsen left alertly from the center of the gate in post 5 to lay claim to the pocket seat behind the leader.   Plano and Dougs Hobby Horse commanded affairs through all three fractional panels of 28.3, 58.2 and 1:27.1, while facing a strong first-over bid from Al Mar Reba Babe (James Yoder) around the final turn and into the lane.   But as they straightened for home, it was Whatevershesgot ($20.00) and Svendsen who took to the inside lane and rallied right past the dueling trotters to the outside, getting up to win by a long neck in 1:57 over Dougs Hobby Horse, with Al Mar Reba Babe home in third.   Whatevershesgot is a 4 year old mare by Sos Lunar Eclipse, she now has won 14 of 48 career races and she is owned and trained by Jenni King.   Also on the Saturday card was the $13,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pace, with Steve's Hot Rod providing an encore to his track record performance from last week. Steve's Hot Rod ($3.20) posted another sharp gate-to-wire victory from post one, stopping the clock in 1:53 tonight with trainer/driver Rick Magee in tow. The impressive winner is a gelding by Voracious Hanover, and has now won 5 races in 16 starts this season, bankrolling $35,852 for owner Kati Sokolowski.   Drivers Rick Magee and Steve Wiseman both picked up doubles on the Saturday program.   Steve Wiseman has a 13 race lead as the current Leading Driver over Nick Roland in second, and Kathleen Plested has a 5 race lead over Nick Roland as the current leading Trainer.   Live Racing continues at Running Aces with 3 more nights remaining in the 2017 season, Sunday September 10 at 6 pm CDT, Tuesday September 12 at 7 pm CDT and Saturday, September 16 at 6pm CDT is closing night of the season, and also Night of Champions, with all of the Minnesota-Sired divisional finals going for $250,000 (est.) in purses.   By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

The Sunday night May 28 Running Aces harness racing card featured the $12,000 Open Handicap Pace with a talented field of 9 squaring off, and it was AllmyX’sLiveNTexas who stole the show. Driven confidently by Mooney Svendsen for trainer Bob Johnson, the duo posted a sharp front-running score in 1:51.4, just one tick off of the track record for 4 year old pacing geldings. Sent hard from post six, the impressive son of Hi Ho Silverheels battled to clear the lead past the opening quarter mile (26.4), then repelled a strong challenge from race favorite SF Donttellonme (J. Casagranda) through the middle fractions of the race (55.4, 1:22.3) and had enough left in the tank to hold the rest of the field at bay and pick up his 6th win in 16 starts this year. Easy Again (R. Magee) picked up second, with SF Donttellonme home in third. With tonight’s triumph AllmyX’sLiveNTexas expanded his seasonal bankroll to $28,778 for owners Wayne & Rodney Knittel. The $10,000 Open Trot was also part of the Sunday card, and it would be the return of Banker Volo to the Running Aces winner’s circle, a familiar place for this talented 8 year old Stallion by Yankee Glide who was runner up in this event last week and was making just his 2nd start of the year. Driver Luke Plano guided Banker Volo out to an easy lead from post 5 and was never in doubt, controlling the affair and strolling through moderate fractions of 28.2, 58.4 and 1:27.1 before coasting home in 29.3 to hold off Leave Your Mark (N. Roland) by ¾ of a length in 1:56.4. Banker Volo is owned by Daniel Roland and trained by Jenni King. The $13,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old trotters also squared off this evening, with a full gate of 10 contestants. Imapixieatmidnight (N. Roland) set all the fractions in the affair, but was gunned down late by pocket-sitter Al Mar Foxyeclipse (Joe Casagranda), with Al Mar Money Glide (T. Maier) home in 3rd in the 2:02.1 mile. Tonight’s win was the 3rd lifetime tally for Al Mar Foxyeclipse in 18 starts, and boosted his bankroll to $22,910 for owner Mark Holtan with Joel Mc Danel doing the conditioning. Drivers Nick Roland, Steve Wiseman, and Mooney Svendsen all picked up driving doubles on the program. Live Racing returns to Running Aces this coming Tuesday, May 30 with a first post of 7:00 pm CDT. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

The Running Aces Harness Racing Season opener went to post on Saturday night, May 20, and while the weather gods didn’t exactly cooperate with us, an exciting card of harness racing went to post nonetheless despite an all day long deluge of rain. The opening night $10,000 Open Trot feature went to Flameon (by Angus Hall) who was confidently driven by Moonie Svendsen, they sat in the pocket behind rival Banker Volo (Luke Plano) who was the 8-5 choice in the wagering. Flameon powered past in the lane to beat Banker Volo by ¾ of a length in 1:58.0 and post his first win in 3 starts this season for owner/trainer Mark Anderson. Flameon ($8.40) is no stranger to the Aces winners circle, as he has been a top contender at the Open Trot level here for the past couple of seasons. Tonight’s tally was the 21st lifetime score for the 7 year old gelding, and pushed his career bankroll over the century mark to $100,570. The fastest mile of the night over the sloppy surface was turned in by Tornado Henry ($14.80), a 6 year old gelding pacer by Henry Clay, who kicked off a natural driving hat-trick for veteran reinsman Steve Wiseman with a ½ length tally in 1:56.4 from a second over trip. He also shared in the fastest winning final quarter time of the evening (29.0). Tornado Henry is owned by Scott Ehrlich and trained by Kathie Plested Wiseman. Hairway to Heaven, a 4 year old pacing mare by Barber Pole, posted the biggest upset of the evening with a 30-1 shocker for owner/trainer/driver Gerald Longo. It was the 4th win of the season in 15 starts for Hairway to Heaven who delighted her backers with a $63.40 win mutuel. Wiseman’s hat-trick topped the charts on opening night, while Moonie Svendsen picked up a back-to-back double in races 5 & 6 to take second honors. Live Racing returns on Sunday, May 21 with a first post of 6:00 CDT, and will be held every Tuesday at 7:00 pm CT, and Saturdays and Sundays at 6:00 pm CT now through September 16. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

The combination of owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen are well represented on Saturday's harness racing program at Cal Expo with Allmyx'sliventexas in the Open Pace and Army Of One heading the Sire Stakes for sophomore pacing colts. Allymx'sliventexas is a 4-year-old by Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun who has dominated his Sire Stakes rival this season, including a sizzling 1:51 4/5 romp by 11 lengths in the February 4 big money dance for the division. Army Of One is another Hi Ho Silverheel's for this team who has been the big man on campus in the previous four Sire Stakes decided for the 3-year-old pacing males. He is definitely following in his stablemate's footsteps in that regard. Allymyx'sliventexas really turned some heads in that aforementioned February stakes win where he blew the doors off his rivals in front-end fashion and established his lifetime standard in the process. "Usually when I let him roll he relaxes perfectly and I can drive him with two fingers," Svendsen related, "but that night he was like a rocket. I grabbed that bit and did all I could to just hold on. He was unbelievable." Allmyx'sliventexas has also proven himself with Open company this season, and has the advantage of the rail draw for Saturday's re-match with the red-hot Barbarian. Meanwhile, Army Of One will look to add another trophy to his case in the Sire Stakes. "He's got potential," Svendsen noted. "He might turn out to be just as good as Allmyx'sliventexas." Pair of Open Pacing events head card An Open Pace featuring the streaking Barbarian and a DistaffOpen that brings out Shark Festival and Hare To Eternity are the highlights on Saturday evening's program at Cal Expo. Twelve races are on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC with a first post of 6:15 p.m. There will also be a pair of California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers going as non-betting events prior to the regular card. In the Open Pace, Barbarian is fresh from four straight victories at the head of the class, with the most recent coming from the demanding No. 10 post. He will leave from the outside slot in a field of five this weekend. Barbarian is a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Ideal mare Righteous Renee who races for owner Robert Orr, takes his lessons from Sparky Clarke and will once again have the services of Luke Plano. The hard-hitting pacer has been unbeatable in his those last four appearances, and in the process has been putting his versatility in full display. He went coast-to-coast in the first three of those scores, then came from last at most recent asking when asked to his work from this No. 10 post assignment. Doc's Deal is an 8-year-old son of Sportsmaster out of the Broadway Express mare Crystal Trip who is owned by Windy City Farm and is reined and trained by Chip Lackey. He recorded his most recent victory at the Open III level on February 24, coming from well back to be up by a half-length that evening. He has a second, a third and a fourth-place finish in the interim. Completing the field are Allymx'sliventexas with Mooney Svendsen guiding from the cozy rail slot; I'm An Athlete, James Kennedy; and Buddy's Hope, who will have the services of Steve Wiseman. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Rick Bertrand lit up the toteboard twice last Friday night at Cal Expo, sending out Winonefordoug and Lucky Ivan for major upsets on the harness racing program. Wineonefordoug, a 7-year-old son of Little Steven who is co-owned by Bertrand and namesake Doug Flores, was perfectly handled by Mooney Svendsen and prevailed by three-quarters of a length for the $53 surprise. Not to be outdone, stablemate Lucky Ivan went out four races later and posted a $100 shocker with owner Bertrand in the sulky. He was making his third start off a March 11 claim and came from next-to-last in the field of 10 to be up in the final strides. Lucky Ivan's upset rounded was the wow factor in a 20-cent Pick 4 that returned a cool $2,757, despite the fact that the sequence got underway with 2-1 Anderlecht taking the feature and an 8-5 I'm An Athlete showing his past class in a conditioned event. Following Lucky Ivan's triple-digit victory, it was 5-1 Hare To Eternity who rounded things out and secured that sweet payoff for a mere 20-cent investment. Speaking of the Pick 4, it's one of two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. It also has a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. The other reduced takeout bet is the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races each evening. There is real value to be had in both these wagers, so take a closer look at the sequences and get your share. Anderlecht, Jazzmanian Devil in rematch Anderlecht and Jazzmanian Devil, one-two in a solid mile last week, get another chance to settle the score in Saturday night's featured pace. A field of eight will face starter Ken Fowler. A 12-race program is on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC and things will get underway at 6:15 p.m. The headliner is set as the ninth contest and there will also be a California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters to be decided as a non-betting race prior to the regular card. Anderlecht is a 12-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark who is owned by William Neumeister, hails from the Sparky Clarke barn and will once again have Luke Plano giving directions. In last week's Open II Pace, he was up close and personal from the outset and dug in gamely to hold safe in the stretch over Jazzmanian Devil, the slight 2-1 favorite in that affair and shuffled past the half. The latter pacer races for William Condon with Kathleen Plested training and Mooney Svendsen guiding. Rounding out the cast are Fly Away, who gives the Plested barn two looks at the outcome; the Gene Vallandingham-trained Mr. Pearl; the Lino Pacheco-conditioned duo of Bettermeboy and One And Only; V Mack from the George Reider shedrow and the Bob Johnson-trained Paydaze A Rockin. Looking at the Sire Stakes, Lodi Puppycat will look to complete his dominance of the division for owner/breeders Mary Harris and Pierre Girard with Girard the conditioner and Luke Plano once again doing the honors. The son of Eager Seelster has captured all four of the big-money events for the sophomore trotters, proving in his most recent stakes score that a sloppy track is also in his wheelhouse. He will be challenged by Lodi Jazz Player, Never Onebadchange and Indio Azteca. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

After a brief hiatus, the 10-year-old trotter Franky Provolone entered the winner's circle last weekend while returning $25 to his harness racing backers in the process. The veteran sidewheeler is owned and trained by Robin Clements and was given a perfect trip by Mooney Svendsen from the cozy rail start, igniting when it counted to post a two-length score over the sloppy going. "I figured Franky would run well, but I wasn't expecting to beat (4-5) Cadet as we were going up in class," Clements related after the win. "The race fell his way and Mooney gave him the perfect drive." The win pushed the son of Armbro Scribe over the $212,000 earnings plateau and he established his lifetime standard of 1:55 4/5 three years ago. "He's my all-time favorite horse and a pleasure to be around and work with," Robin noted. "He's got a great personality and is such a happy horse. Yet he does have a little playful side to him when he takes a nip at you and then looks the other way, as if to say I didn't do that." It's horses like Franky Provolone that make harness racing so much fun to follow, as they go out there each and every week and give everything they have. Here's hoping this guy makes a lot more trips to the winner's circle before he calls it a career. By the way, his upset last Friday night sparked some pretty nice payoffs in addition to this $25 win mutuel. The exacta paid $123 for a buck, the trifecta came back $85 for a mere 20-cent investment and the superfecta payout was $120 for each winning 10-cent ticket. Sire Stakes, Open II Pace headline card A California Sire Stakes for 4-year-old trotters featuring My Little Susie and an Open II Pace that brings out Jazzmanian Devil and Why Ask Why are the highlights on Friday night's program at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC, with first post set for xxx. The Sire Stales goes as the third event, while the Open II Pace occupies the eighth-race slot. My Little Susie is clearly the one to beat in the Sire Stakes as this mare has dominated both big-money events for the division decided this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Claudius Augustus is owned by A Piece Of The Action LLC, is conditioned by Gene Vallandingham and will have Mooney Svendsen at the controls. The bay miss was a seven and a half-length victress in the initial Sire Stakes for his group on May 3, then played the role of stalker in the most recent clash on March 3 and drew off in the stretch by three and three-quarter lengths. No matter how things shake out early, she figures to be tough once again. Taking her on are Lodi Bank Robber for Pierre Girard; Breezani, Chip Lackey; Yes She Will, who will have the services of William Hernandez; and Delta Breezeoflodi with Luke Plano at the helm. In the co-featured Open II Pace, Why Ask Why is a 7-year-old son of No Pan Intended who carries the banner of Windy City Farm with Chip Lackey doing the driving and training. He was a sharp runner-up to Barbarian in the March 17 Open and will be looking for his third win on the year from a dozen trips to the post. Completing the field are Jazzmanian Devil, Bettormeboy, Anderlecht, Buddy's Hope and Rusty Carter. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Cal Expo harness racing driver Mooney Svendsen is currently piloting the leaders of both the 3 and 4-year-old Sire Stakes male pacing divisions in Allmyx'sliventexas and Army Of One. Both are homebred sons of Hi Ho Silverheel's who compete for Wayne and Rod Knittel and take their lessons from Bob Johnson. Allmyx'sliventexas is coming off one of the most sizzling races of the meeting, winning the first stakes of the season for his division by 11 lengths in a sparkling 1:51 4/5 front-end performance. "Bob and I felt he was sitting on a big race, because he'd been racing from off the pace and coming an amazing last three-quarters," Svendsen explained. "Even that with, I was surprised at the mile he went. "Usually when I let him roll he relaxes perfectly and I can drive him with two fingers, but that night he was like a rocket. He grabbed that bit and I did all I could just to hold on. He was unbelievable." Army Of One has accounted for both of the Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colts, scoring an easy victory in the first and then just holding on by a head in the most recent big-money clash last week after carving out all the fractions. "He's got a lot of potential, and might turn to be as good as Allmyx'sliventexas," Mooney related. "He's only had five races and his problem is he's still pretty green. Featured Trot brings out well-matched field A conditioned Trot headed by Kickinitwithkohler, Big Baller and Lodi Dorian Blues gets the marquee treatment on Friday night at Cal Expo. First post for the Watch and Wager LLC program is 6:15 p.m. The main event will go as the sixth race, and there will also be a non-betting California Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old trotters to be decided prior to the regular card. Kickinwithkohler is a 5-year-old daughter of Southwind Breeze and the Go Get Lost mare Shove-off who races for Tonight's The Knight, is trained by Kennedy Lindsey and will have the services of James Kennedy. The hard-knocking mare rattled off back-to-back conditioned victories on February 10 and 18, using a strong closing kick to get the job done, then stepped up to the Open for last week's assignment. While not match for heavily-favored Silverlode and runner-up My Little Susie, Kickinitwithkohler did put in a solid rally for the show money that night and looms a major player in Friday's line-up. Big Baller is a 10-year-old son of Panama Hanover who goes about his business for the partnership of Siegel, Robinson, Thronson and Reider with George Reider the conditioner and David Sigel at the controls. Big Baller recorded his most recent tally on January 14, parlaying a pocket trip into a length and three-quarters decision. He subsequently finished fourth in the Gary Budahn Final and fifth in last week's Open and should appreciate the class relief for this assignment. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness    

Swift Cougar is off to a great start at this Cal Expo meet for harness racing trainer Kennedy Lindsey, as the trotting mare has won two of her three starts, and would probably be three-for-three if not for an early miscue in her lone setback. A 4-year-old daughter of Armbro Tropicana, Swift Cougar carries the banner of Mary Harris and Stephen Grollnek and has been handled in each of her California starts by Mooney Svendsen. She romped home at 3-1 in her local debut, made a break at the start in her next try over a sloppy track at next asking and had to settle for second, then made amends back on firm going last weekend in coast-to-coast fashion as the 4-5 favorite. "I was impressed when I raced against her this summer in Illinois," Lindsey related when asked about the trotter. "I wanted to buy her, but she had been promised to the Amish, so I ended up buying her from them. "The first start here was strong, then she was a little fussy at the start in the second one over an off track, but she caught on after that one and went a big mile to get second. Her win the other night was awfully strong and Mooney says she drives like a Cadillac. "It's kind of funny, because when she trains she can be a real handful, but when it comes time to race it's a different story. I expect big things from her, and right now we're just working on keeping her quiet and working up the ladder. We've got our fingers crossed." Swift Cougar will get tested in class in her next assignment, suiting up in Friday night's Gary Budahn Prep, and it will be interesting to see if she can keep the momentum going. Gary Budahn Prep brings out full field A contentious field is set to line up for Friday night's Gary Budahn Prep with Talkin Tootsie, Big Baller and Swift Cougar among the major players. There will be 12 races on tap Friday with a first post of 5:55 p.m. and the main event goes as the sixth event on the evening. The co-feature is a $4,400 Open II event for pacing fillies and mares headed by Window Wiper. Talkin Tootsie is a 4-year-old daughter of Cantab Hall who is owned by the partnership of Garey, Wieseneck and Johnson with Bob Johnson the conditioner. She has prevailed in her five of her nine starts and looks to have a very bright future. Big Baller is a 10-year-old son of Panama Hanover out of the Rowdy Yankee mare Charming Spirit who races for the partnership of Siegel, Robinson, Thronson and Reider with George Reider the conditioner and co-owner David Siegel in the sulky. The veteran made his 2017 debut a winning one last weekend, as he got a perfect pocket journey under Siegel's direction and came home smartly for the length and three-quarters tally. The 1:57 1/5 final clocking shaved a full second and a fifth off his previous lifetime standard. Swift Cougar is a 4-year-old mare who has accounted for two of her three starts since relocating from Illinois for owners Mary Harris and Stephen Grollnek and trainer Kennedy Lindsey. She gets tested for class with this assignment. Completing the field are Delta Breezeoflodi, Drink At Last Call, Tour Guide, Hatfield and McCoy, Katie Mouse, Lodi Bank Robber and Franky Provolone. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The featured event on the Tuesday night (Aug. 30) program of harness racing at Running Aces featured the $11,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace, and in the end it would come down to the two most accomplished mares in the field, separated by just a half-length at the wire in 1:54. Hare To Eternity (Nick Roland) stormed out of the gate from the outside 7 post and set the fractions of 27.1, 56.4 and 1:24.4 before pocket sitter Part Time Lady (Dean Magee) and closer Windsun T Bird (Jim Marino) began their attacks in the stretch drive, and when the dust cleared it would be Part Time Lady checking in first at the wire, over a hard-charging Windsun T Bird, with Hare To Eternity forced to settle for third in the exciting finish. The winner, a daughter of Jereme’s Jet and a Mooney Svendsen trainee now sports 7 wins in 24 starts on the season, and has bankrolled $39,575 this year for Owners Ron and Tammy Wells. The Angels Share ($4.80), a 3 year old filly by Four Starzz Shark paced to a new lifetime mark of 1:55.0 in just her 5th lifetime start, shaving nearly 3 full seconds off of her previous best (1:57.4) taken last time out. Driver Jim Marino eased her away fifth from post 5 before sending her in motion just before the quarter pole, and she cleared easily just past the 3/8 marker, and was never in doubt from there, charging home confidently in 28.3 to secure a 3¾ length tally in the $5,500 conditioned event for Trainer Sean Lancaster and owner Dr. James Findlay. Look Again Eda ($4.60) posted another ultra-impressive win this night with a new lifetime mark in a thrilling stretch battle with Dakota Jack (Mooney Svendsen), she held off that rival with a neck in front at the wire in 1:54.4 with Rick Magee in the bike for Trainer David Flinn and Owner Ira Bontreger. Tonight’s win, in a $5,500 conditioned pace, was the 6th win in 10 lifetime starts for the 3 year old filly who was un-raced at two. Majestic Lady Jo (Jim Marino) did not disappoint as the even-money favorite ($4.00) in a $3,600 conditioned trotting event tonight, with a dominating gate-to-wire romp by 4¼ lengths in 1:58.3 for Owner Amy Grunwald and Trainer Rick Bertrand. It was the 7th win of the season for the 5 year old mare by Abra, who set a new track record here back in July (1:56.0) and has bankrolled $27,210 this season. Driver Luke Plano picked up a Hat-Trick on the card, with Rick Magee and Gerald Longo both scoring doubles. The .50 cent Hi-5 wager in race 10, (which had gone unsolved in Sunday’s final race, and again in tonight’s 9th race produced a new record payout of $11,184.45 on the 8-4-5-3-2 combination, with the longest shot (16-1) on top. The next card of Live Harness Racing at running Aces goes to post at 7:00 pm CDT on Wednesday, August 31. The Night of Champions (and closing night) is this coming Saturday, September 3rd. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Sunday, July 3, 2016 COLUMBUS,MN - The Sunday night Harness Racing card at Running Aces featured the $11,000 Open Pace, and a talented field of six squared off in the top contest, Jazzmanian Devil with Moonie Svendsen in the bike was looking for his 4th straight open win, he got away from the gate 3rd and made a first-over bid past the three-quarter pole, and had a head of the stretch lead before being out-paced late by closers Buddys Hope with Luke Plano in the sulky and Gotta Dream Big with Nick Roland. Buddy's Hope was fastest to the wire, taking the winner's prize in the 1:53.2 mile, Gotta Dream Big was a half a length back in second, and Jazzmanian Devil held third. Buddy's Hope is owned by Jerome Bouvier and trained by Sean Lancaster. It was his 20th lifetime victory, He paid $20.80 at the windows, and the win tonight pushed his career purse tally to $121,668. The amazingly sharp 3 year old gelding Freedom Reigns, with Steve Wiseman in the sulky, extended his winning streak to 5 tonight, pacing in 1:54.4 and holding off a strong challenge from pocket-sitter Whatchastarinat (Gerald Longo). Wiseman sent his charge quickly from the gate from post 7 and found early opposition from FoxValleyRichRokr (Rick Magee) who also left sharply from the outside, Freedom Reigns cleared to the lead past the 3/8 pole after a contested 28.0 quarter, he then led the rest of the way posting 57.1 and 1:25.4 fractions. Whatchastarinat came charging from off the pace but was unable to get past the winner. Holla At Ur Boy (Dean Magee) was third. The Molgaard-Jensen owned and trained Freedom Reigns paid $2.80 as the hot favorite. Driver Luke Plano picked up a Hat-Trick for the second consecutive program, as he also scored with Chew Tobacco Spit ($13.80) in 1:59.2 for Trainer Robert Lems, and he piloted his own trainee Barbosa ($7.80) to victory in 1:56.1. Drivers Nick Roland and Steve Wiseman both posted driving doubles on the card as well. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, July 5th at 7:00 pm CDT.

The Sunday, June 12 nightcap race at Running Aces proved to be an amazing display of guts and determination for harness racxing winner Lil Orphan Elmer, who was sent off at just over 15-1 from post 6 in the 8 horse field. Driver Ryan Lems left alertly from the gate looking for a position for his 4 year old gelding by Always A Virgin, but there would be no spots along the pylons, and Elmer was parked-out 4th at the 28.2 quarter, within a neck of the leader past the 58.0 half, and was still applying heavy pressure to the front runner through a 28.1 third quarter (1:26.1) with horses stacking up 3-wide around him, before dropping back two lengths off the leader turning for home. Most horses on most days would then quietly throw in the towel off of this brutal trip, but after straightening away for the stretch drive, Elmer and Lems kicked it into another gear, and powered past pace-setter Go Places (Moonie Svendsen) to draw away by a full length at the wire, stopping the clock in 1:55.4. This was the third winning trip in 11 starts this year for Lil Orphan Elmer who is owned and trained by Robert Lems. He paid $33.20 to his supporters at the windows, after turning in the gutsiest effort seen by this race-caller in quite some time. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, June 14 at 7:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $8,323.10. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

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