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Driver Ryan Lems picked up his 100th driving win on the harness racing program Tuesday night at Running Aces, when he piloted Relentless Spirit to a 1:55.2 win in the nightcap race for trainer Robert Lems, and Owner Edward Gutin. Lems, 32, is from Canton, South Dakota and has been involved in Harness Racing throughout his life, he started driving horses back in 2003, and won his first race in 2004. The milestone win tonight came in his 1,163rd career drive. He has been coming to Running Aces on a regular basis each year for many years, and generally drives Family owned or trained horses, and also competes at fairs throughout the Midwest. His regular drives this season at Aces have included Polar Vortex, Lil Orphan Elmer, Ding Dong Boy, Chew Tobacco Spit and Mucho Macho Man, to name a few. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

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

Veteran driver Steve Wiseman, who missed the first 5 nights of the season at Running Aces with a back injury, has been razor sharp since his return to the sulky, winning his first start back with his only drive on May 29th, then picking up at least one win every night since, including a double on June 4th, and now a very impressive four-bagger on the Tuesday night harness racing card. The Tuesday night feature at running Aces Casino & Racetrack was the $11,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace, and Party Hangover Two came in to the race looking for her 4th straight win overall, and second straight locally. Sent off as the even money choice from post 8, Trainer-Driver Steve Wiseman sent her straight to the lead, then yielded to let Windsun T Bird (Tim Maier) take over past the 28.2 quarter, brushed 1st over quickly to retake past the 3/8 pole, and lead every step of the mile from there (through fractions of 57.4 and 1:26.1) including the last step to just hold off a late charge from the resilient Windsun T Bird, and a charging Flick A Fly (Rick Magee). It was her 6th win in 7 starts this year, and the white-hot 5 year old mare by Party At Artsplace paid $4.20 to win. She is owned by Kathy Plested, Barbara and Donald Arnstine and Stephen Chambers. The 3 year old pacing filly Polar Vortex, by Rocknroll Hanover posted her first lifetime win, in just her 3rd lifetime start, pacing to a 1:58.2 win with driver Ryan Lems in the sulky for trainer Robert Lems and owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte, of Iowa. Completing the four-bagger for Wiseman were wins with his trainees Gram Rules ($6.00) in 1:55.1, and Summons ($4.20) in 1:55.0 and Hot on The Pace ($9.20) in 1:56.4 for trainer Alexia Kehl. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Saturday, June 11th at 6:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $5,261.60 By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer  

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. - 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 a rain storm throughout the middle portion of the program, another huge throng of fans turned out for the final Running Aces program of the season and witnessed eleven Minnesota-sired State Champions crowned in $20,000 races for the various age, sex and gait divisions.  Running Aces average nightly handle increased for the sixth consecutive season since starting live racing in 2008, this year by 5%. Driver John De Long copped four races on the lucrative season finale, three for trainer Justin Anfinson.  Leading driver Nick Roland managed to capture a pair of victories as did Tim Maier, who was also awarded the leading trainer award for the meet. She's A Foxie Lady (De Long) won the two-year-old filly trot over Babygetyershineon (Jenni King) and CD's SOS (James Yoder).  She earned almost $36,000 for owner Jesse De Long by scoring four wins and three place finishes in ten outings. Delco Voracious (De Long) broke her own track record besting Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) and Dakota Law (Steve Wiseman) in 1:55.2 in the freshman pacing fillies split.  Also owned by Jesse De Long and trained by Anfinson, the outstanding filly has won six of eight starts and banked over $50,000. The two-year-old trotting colts division was won by Chewy Dunkerton (De Long) over ML's Journey (Craig Banks) and Al-Mar Passion (Magee) in 2:03.  With three wins and seven seconds in ten tries, the winner has bankrolled over $45,000 for owner Benjamin De Long. Cyber Cowboy (Maier) scored an upset in the freshman colt pace for owner Margaret Epp and trainer Dan Epp.  It was just the second seasonal score for the 1:59.1 winner, but he has finished in-the-money in eight of ten tries and banked $18,704 thus far.  Wounded Warrior (Mark Mintun) was the runnerup with Im So Handsome (Wiseman) getting the show dough. Just three three-year-old trotting fillies went to post in their $20,000 event with Rails Of Victory (Roland) besting Diamond Alliance (Lemoyne Svendsen) and Coffee Black (Ryan Lems) in 2:00.3.  Roland also owns the filly who has captured seven of 15 in her first year of racing and banked about $38,000. Razzle Be Dazzled (Magee) has been the queen of the sophomore pacing fillies class all season and didn't disappoint in the championship, winning in 1:58.2 over Rearin And Ready (Jason Ryan) and Whata Smoothie (Kerry Banks).  The Van Otterloo Stable owns the winner who has managed 11 wins in 14 starts and earned $60,000 in her second season.  David Flinn has conditioned her throughout the summer. Mnia Lightnpower (Maier) went best in the sophomore trotting colts split downing Al-Mar Delrailer (Roland) and French Eclipse (King) in 2:01.4.  Janice Molgaard and Dick McDanel own the state champion who has five wins and $42,000 bankrolled on the season.  He is tutored by Joel McDanel. Circle Me Bert (Lems) was an upset winner in the sophomore pacing colts division, besting Ben N Al (Yoder) and favored Reds Place (De Long) in 1:56.2.  Merlin and Kyle Van Otterloo own the winner and Wolfswinkel Pacers Inc. own the runnerup, but both are trained by Gene Miller.  Circle Me Bert more than doubled his lifetime earnings with his half of the $20,000 purse. 20,000 championships are also staged for older state-breds.  In the trotting division RA's Shakenbake (Roland) was a 2:00.3 winner over Switcheroo (Magee) and Rich Dessert (Maier).  Owned by the Trot Away Stable, the former two-year-old state champ was winless in his five-year-old campaign before his upset neck victory. Country Jewel (De Long) was part of a three-horse Roland Stable entry and managed a 1:54.4 score over Blazing Fury (Magee) and stablemate I Do It Myself (Roland).  The five-year-old mare, owned by Roland, won for the twelvth time in her career and increased her bankroll to $58,000.  The older horses and gelding pace was captured by recently claimed It's Getting Hairy, with Steve Wiseman driving for trainer Tim Maier and owner Denise Maier.  The four-year-old, plucked for $10,500 two starts back, bested Restless Yankee (Roland) and Ya U Bet Cha (Yoder) in an impressive 1:52.3.  It was the sixth season score for the winner who now boasts almost $70,000 in lifetime earnings. by Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Two-year-old Delco Voracious stamped herself as the filly to beat when her division lines up on Saturday, August 31 for a $20,000 Minnesota State Championship race at Running Aces.  Following a strong brush to the front before the halfway point on Wednesday night, she cruised to a 1:56 score by a widening margin over Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) and Chilly Breez (Jason Ryan) in the final $6750 tune-up.  Already the winner of a Hanover Filly Stake at Balmoral, the precocious lass owned by Jesse De Long already has five wins in seven starts and over $30,000 in seasonal earnings. A pair of two-year-old pacing colt divisions were also contested with Wounded Warrior (Ryan Lems) capturing the Class A split in 1:57.2; and V Mack (Adam Hauser) just getting up in 1:59 to triumph in the Class B event. The $8925 Open Trot was also presented with Silence Son (Craig Banks) repeating his front-stepping dominance--this time in 1:56.  Silence Son, who is owned by Hinshaw Homestead Farm, held off Salutation Hanover (Nick Roland) and Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman). With just five nights remaining in the 53-night 2013 season at Running Aces a pair of former driving champions are deadlocked for the dash title lead with 54 victories apiece.  Rick Magee and Nick Roland are close friends, but neither is giving an inch in this down-to-the-wire competition to be named this year's champion driver. by Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Driver-trainer Craig Banks put Silence Son on the engine in Wednesday night's $9000 Open Trot at Running Aces and the strategy worked great as owner Hinshaw Homestead Farms' stalwart wired the field in 1:55.3.    In the process he became the fastest four-year-old gelding and etched his name in the local record books for the second time.  About a year ago Silence Son set the three-year-old gelding track record in 1:56.3 with Banks aboard.   It was just the ninth seasonal start for the winner and second win, first in Open company.  Sent off at 6-1 odds, Silence Son beat Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman) and Shelby County (Rocky Stidham).   Earlier in the program, Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) pulled a mild upset in an $8000 two-year-old Minnesota-sired Class A event.  It was the fourth straight victory for the filly owned by the Van Otterloo Stables and trained by David Flinn. She just nosed out Delco Voracious, who had won a $29,600 Hanover Stake in Chicago for the trainer-driver combination of father Jesse De Long and son John De Long, in 1:56.2.  Cyber Cowboy (Tim Maier) rounded out the trifecta for owner Margaret Epp.   The $5500 Class B two-year-old race was captured by Wounded Warrior (Ryan Lems), who romped by open lengths in 1:58.4 over Ksmewithurizclosed (Magee) and Im A Tinker Too (James Yoder).  The colt is owned by Mark Mintun.   All Minnesota-sired horses are anticipating the State Championship program on August 31, which will feature eleven state-bred races for $20,000 each on the season's closing night.   Gregg Keidel

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