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One of the best races of the meet could be for the driving crown, with Luke Plano, Steve Wiseman and James Kennedy staking a claim for the title through the first six weeks of this stand. Plano came into this week atop the standings with 20 trips to the charmed enclosure, bringing his lifetime total to 2,644 with $9.5 million in earnings. Luke is following in the footsteps of his father Rick, who was a leading driver and trainer in California for many years. There are some new horsemen here and that adds to the competitiveness of the racing, Plano said. Ill have a few horses in my barn, but I prefer to concentrate on the driving. Steve Wiseman is currently second with 18 victories to his credit at the meet, while leading the trainer stands with 15 of his representatives returning to have their picture taken. His total driving wins now stands at 2,136 with $8.2 million in earnings. Being the leading driver and trainer was the goal coming into the meet, Steve explained. Ive never won a training title before, so that would be nice, and Ive got a great crew to help me. James Kennedy is also off to a good start here with 13 snapshots and figures to be right in the hunt through the close of business in early May. Kennedy, who recorded a number of driving and training victories with the popular mare Haggin Oaks, currently sits with 866 sulky scores on his resume. (use as a reverse box) A reminder there are four wagers offered here every night with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6; the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap. Featured Pace brings out A Real Miracle A Real Miracle, victorious in three of his five appearances at the meet, looks to keep the momentum going when he heads the cast for Saturday nights $6,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo. A 12-race card is on tap with first post set for 6:10 p.m. There is now Saturday and Sunday racing under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post on Sunday at 4:40 p.m. Beginning December 26, Friday action will be added to the mix. A Real Miracle is a 4-year-old son of Real Desire who is owned by Junior Wilkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod, is conditioned by Wilkinson and is guided by Luke Plano. He established his 1:52 1/5 career standard this summer over the seven-eighths Hoosier Park oval. The Wilkinson trainee has clicked three times from five stats at this meet, including a dominating victory in the main event on opening week. After tiring in his next two tries, he returned to his winning ways last week as he made what proved to be the winning move for Plano on the backside and went on to a length score. In the most recent clash at the top of the class, A Real Miracle was dispatched as the 3-5 favorite and did not disappoint the chalkplayers. Plano buzzed the bay performer right to the front, moderated the pace and then held safe by a neck over the pocket-sitting longshot Mar Dream. The latter put a score into the favorite last week, as he sat the pocket journey and missed by only a neck while two and a half-lengths clear of the rest of the field A 6-year-old son of Cambest, Mar Dream is owned by David Neumeister, is trained by Bob John and will again have Mooney Svendsen at the controls. He has a 1:50 2/5 mark and over $171,000 in his account. Rounding out the field from the rail out are Cenalta Power for Ryan Grundy; Lifetime Louie with Dave Siegel; Ideal Smile, Steve Wiseman; and Pointsman, who will have the services of Chip Lackey. The headliner goes as the fourth race on the program. A reminder that there are four wagers offered here every night with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6; the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness    

Bruce Clarke has returned for another winter stay in California, bringing along his top trotter I Love New York and a dozen other assorted performers. You can say that Im hoping to rebuild, said Clarke, an accomplished driver/trainer who has driven over 2,900 winners in his career and recently went over the $12 million mark as a chauffeur. I Love New York is owned by Clarke along with longtime clients Jack Coffey and Patricia Waldeck and the 6-year-old Broadway Hall homebred is nearing $250,000 in earnings while sporting a 1:54 3/5 career standard that was established here last season. His most recent victory came in late August over the five-eighths Tioga Downs oval in the state hes named after and the dark-hued trotter has gone some big miles for Clarke since his introduction to the game. Im out here for the winter and its nice to get away from the cold, Bruce related. This wasnt the best of summers for the barn, because we had a lot of bad luck, but Ive got some young ones here that Ill be getting ready. The one thing missing from his arsenal this year would be some Sire Stakes performers, which has been a mainstay of the shedrow over the years, but Clarke still figures to make his presence felt during the course of this meeting. A reminder that there are now four wagers here that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6; the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap.    High Bet Hanover High Bet Hanover, who has fired nothing but bullets at this meet in five appearances, heads the cast for Sunday evenings featured Open III Pace for fillies and mares. An 11-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with a first post of 4:45 Pacific. The headliner will go as the second race on the evening with a field of six set to face the starter. High Bet Hanover has recorded two victories and three seconds from her five starts at the stand for owner Kc C Cavalho, trainer Tim Brown and driver Luke Plano. Overall, she is going for her eighth snapshot on the season from 41 trips to the post. The 6-year-old Bettors Delight established a new lifetime mark three starts back when she captured the finale of the Annette Funicello Series on October 18 in 1:53 4/5. She came back to be the runner-up in a conditioned affair and then returned to her winning ways in her most recent tour. Sent off the even-money choice in that contest, High Bet Hanover sat a tracking trip for a half, then attacked to the final bend and went on to a two and three-quarter length score with Plano This time around, Director of Racing Robin Schadt has assigned the mare the outside post. Dont Hurry Love completed the exacta behind High Bet Hanover last week and will be looking to turn the tables. The 5-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway races for Ed Actkinson, takes her lessons from Bob Johnson and will be guided by Mooney Svendsen. She boasts $135,000 in earnings and a 1:54 1/5 career standard. Completing the cast are Free Girl, who gives the Brown barn two looks at the outcome; the Steve Wiseman-trained duo of Surprisingly Sweet and Razzle Be Dazzled; and Rag Doll, who hails from the Lino Pacheco barn and leaves from the inside slot. Mike Ratzky - Cal Expo Harness

Fresh from making six appearances in the Cal Expo winners circle last Saturday night, including five of his own trainees, Steve Wiseman comes into this weeks action atop both the driver and trainer standings. "I had a lot of horses in the right spots, so I thought it was going to be a good night, Wiseman related. "As far as being the leading driver and trainer, that was the goal coming into the meet. Ive never won the training title before, so that would be nice, and Ive got a great crew to help me." Wild About Eagle overcame the tough No. 9 post to get the job done last weekend while carrying the banner of Kathy Plested and Mark Benvenga. Shes awfully sharp right now and on top of her game, her mentor said. I think she had an advantage these first few weeks because shed been racing while some of the others took the summer off. Another Wiseman trainee who got his picture taken last Saturday was the trotter Jimmy Shin, who sat a perfect pocket trip and won going away. The 10-year-old is now at the $384,000 earnings plateau. "I claimed him here at the last meet with the idea of racing him in Minnesota. He did pretty well until the end of the meet, when I probably had him a couple of classes too high." Wiseman said. Jimmy Shin had to settle for a second in his first appearance at this stand after coming from far back and getting a less than ideal journey. He had a poor cover flow that night and would have won if I could have had him just a little closer. As bad as that trip was, everything worked out perfectly last time. El Azteca getting the marquee treatment El Azteca, perfect in two starts at this meet and victorious in 15 of his last 25 trips to the post, looks to keep the momentum going in Saturday nights Open II Trot. An 11-race program is on tap with first post set for 6:15 p.m. Racing is now being conducted on Saturday and Sunday nights, with first post on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. Plans call for a three-night-a week schedule starting on December 26, with Friday racing being added to the mix. El Azteca is a 5-year-old son of Panama Hanover who is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios and he will once again have the services of James Kennedy. El Azteca comes into this assignment with $120,000 in his bank account and a 1:54 3/5 career standard that was established at Hoosier Park in early June. He went to the sidelines with an issue following that score, and has returned to capture both of his appearances at this meeting. The hard-hitting California-bred got a second-over journey in his October 18 tally here while hanging a head decision on Franks Best, then did the work in first-over fashion lat week while once again prevailing by a head over Franks Best in an ultra-game decision for Rios and Kennedy. Franks Best is another outstanding state-bred trotter who is just shy of the $200,000 earnings plateau with a 1:56 2/5 mark. The 7-year-old Armbro Scribe offspring is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and Mooney Svendsen will once again be in the sulky. In his three starts at this meet, Franks Best has two seconds and a third, beaten by a grand total of a half-length in those three outings. The co-feature on the evening is an Open II Pace that finds Del Rio Seelster heading the cast while doing his work from the outside slot. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

The second leg of the Annette Funicello and Bill Conlin Pacing series and the Kent Fox Memorial Race for Open II trotters headline the Saturday harness racing program at the Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo. First post for the 14-race card is 6:15 p.m.. Racing will be conducted on Saturday nights in October, expanding to Saturday and Sunday programs in November. Plans then call for a three-night a week schedule beginning December 26 with Friday racing added to the mix. Last weeks opening legs of the Funicello and Conlin saw driver/trainer Steve Wiseman capturing both divisions of the former and one of the two divisions of the Conlin with Wild About Eagle and Razzle Be Dazzed posing following the two Funicello events and Winsmith Syd in one of the Conlin section. The other leg of the Conlin was captured by Mr. Prospector for driver/trainer Quentin Schneider and all four pacers will be back in action on Saturdays card, with just one division of each series being held in preparation for next weeks finales. Wild About Eagle prevailed by a neck over odds-on High Bet Hanover in her division of the Annette Funicello, while Razzle Be Dazzled romped home by over six lengths as the heavy favorite in her section. Like his stablemates, Winsmith Syd arrived from Running Aces ready to rock and roll and got the job done in his Bill Conlin division, while Canadian invader Mr Prospector did the stalk-and-pounce to perfection to win the other section going away for Schnedier. The Kent Fox Memorial is the fourth on the card and is named for the longtime horseman who passed away last month at ago 70. Heading the cast is last weeks Open II Trot winner Silence Son and the pace-setting favorite from that affair I Love New York. Foxy to everyone who knew him, Kent Fox was an owner, horseman and mutuel clerk for over 40 years. Graduating from Carlmont high school in Belmont California in 1963, Foxy eventually entered the military during the Vietnam war. Afterwards he found his way to the race track finding work as a mutual clerk, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. But it was his love of the horses that made Foxy unique. Of all his horses, two were his favorite both trotters with My Tryin Ryan and High Dollar. After a win you could bet Foxy would be driving his golf cart in the barn area the next morning passing out boxes of donuts to his friends. And he always had a treat or three for the barn dogs who were there. A kind and compassionate man with a great sense of humor, Foxy was always there to help a friend in need or another fellow horseman. But his horses were his family and he treated them like royalty. In the morning you could usually find Foxy at the barn either passing out horse treats or jogging one of his own and always with a smile on his face. Memorials posted instantly on facebook and text messages sent as the Cal Expo community found out about Foxys passing. He was one of the good guys many said or you dont find people like Foxy anymore. Many agree tho Foxy will be missed and never forgotten. Silence Sons local debut speaks volumes Silence Son made a very nice impression in his California debut last week, playing the role of pocket rocket to capture the Open II Trot with Dave Siegel guiding for trainer George Reider. Reider co-owns the 5-year-old with Dave and Rob Haness and Gregg Robinson and he was making his fourth start and registering his second win since being claimed for $7,500 at Running Aces in early August. I took 12 horses to Running Aces this summer and one of them was the trotter Axle, who raced here last spring, Reider said. He got claimed about halfway through the meet and Silence Son was entered the next week for $7,500, so I talked to Dave and Rob and we decided to take him. This horse was pretty much a basket case when I got him, so I decided to change the shoeing, took off all the equipment and started from scratch. Hes a totally different horse now,, though hes a still a little temperamental when you to turn him toward the gate and I let Dave know that. Siegel was able to work out a perfect two hole trip behind odds-on I Love New York in his opening-week assignment, then had the needed response when asked the question in the stretch and went on to a length and a quarter score. George is quick to point out that his assistant trainer Kimberly Hines has done wonders with Silence Sons attitude and that is one of the reasons hes raced so solidly since joining the barn. I also think the more Dave sits behind him the better they will get along, added Reider. Its going to be fun to see what kind of horse he turns out to be. Silence Son is back in action Saturday night in the Kent Fox Memorial, paying the price for his recent success by leaving from the outside post in the field of six with Siegel back at the controls. As his trainer noted, it should be fun. By Mark Ratzky, publicity Cal Expo Harness

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, MN. - Flick A Fly established a new harness racing track record for sophomore pacing fillies on Sunday night at Running Aces, shaving two-fifths of a second off the old record established a year ago by Show Runner.   The daughter of Voracious Hanover, owned by the Van Otterloo Stables, sat the pocket and took advantage of quick early fractions set by favored Delco Voracious, then closed with a :28.3 final panel to win the $13,000 race for Minnesota-sired colts and fillies in 1:52.1.   Regular reinsman Rick Magee was in the sulky for trainer David Flinn. Stablemate Gravelsinmytravel (Steve Wiseman) finished second with Bunkerhill Bill (Gerry Longo) garnering the show dough.   Country Jewel (Nick Roland) captured the $8000 Fillies and Mares Open pace for the second straight week, edging Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier) and Blazing Fury (Magee) despite an outside post position.   Owner-trainer George Reider purchased the Minnesota-sired six-year-old mare privately two months ago and returned her to Minnesota where she has earned the bulk of her $100,000-plus career bankroll. She has responded with two wins and three place finishes in recent open class competition and looms as a favorite in the aged mares division when Minnesota State Championships night brings the curtain down on the 2014 Running Aces season on August 30.   Veteran driver Lemoyne "Moonie" Svendsen won a $4000 overnight race on Sunday with owner-trainer Mark Anderson's colt Prodigal. It was the 2,999th victory in the 55-year-old Svendsen's career. The Minnesota native, who has plied his trade on the Cal Expo-Running Aces circuit for the past several years, has seven drives as he seeks to reach the coveted 3,000 wins plateau when racing resumes Sunday night.   From the press box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - After eleven weekly Open Trots at Running Aces Harness Park, a seventh separate individual winner captured Wednesday night's $8000 edition when Wilamar Valley (Tim Maier) held off Trot Fudge Sundae (Rick Magee) and Sharpshootennorris (Steve Wiseman) in 1:56.1.   It was the 20th win in just 33 lifetime starts for the lightly raced eight-year-old gelding who spent the bulk of his early career dominating the Wisconsin fair circuit. The son of Valley Victor was bred and is still owned by Jeanne Marquis and is trained in Minnesota by Cheryl Whitsell.   Sharpshootennorris has copped five of the weekly featured trots while Franky Provolone, Trot Fudge Sundae, Rock Hollywood, Wilamar Valley and Barbazon have each reached the winner's circle once. Maier had a second victory on Wednesday with Frank The Bank, owned by Richard and Marlene Thomas and trained by George Reider.   Brian Detgen, recently relocated to Running Aces from Michigan, also notched a driving double winning with Yankee Flyer for owner-trainer Ken Sweetland; and Terror Time for trainer Gene Miller and the partnership of Mark and Steven Hodgson along with Barb and Ted Smith.   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  

COLUMBUS, MN. - 69-year-old Gerry Longo, the senior reinsman in the Running Aces driver's colony, scored a couple of upsets on Tuesday night's program. Not only was Longo the only multiple winning driver on the night, but he owned and trained both horses as well.   Kiss On The Lips survived a long first-over journey on the outside to sweep from last to first in a $4500 conditioned and claiming race for mares. With an impressive :28.1 final panel the four-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway bested Surprisingly Sweet (Steve Wiseman) and RD IOU (Tim Maier). Dispatched at odds of over 7-1, Kiss On The Lips paid $17.80 to win and headed a $61.80 exacta and $216 trifecta.   Three races later it was Dragons Wail lighting up the toteboard for Longo. Despite moving up a class and starting from the seven hole in a nine-horse field, the four-year-old Dragon Again lass outlasted Chilly Breez (Nick Roland) and Ksmewithurizclosed (Wiseman) for a one-length 1:57.1 tall. Longo's second longshot winner returned $29.20 to win and topped a $65.60 exacta and $242.20 trifecta.   Longo is occasionally permitted to announce a qualifying race at Running Aces and his fellow drivers mused that his mares raced alot like Gerry's favorite phrase he uses in his calls: "They raced like hares who just backed up to a porcupine--they were gone!"   From the Running Aces Press Box

COLUMBUS, MN. - That's Mara extended her Running Aces win streak to three on Saturday night, handling the step up into open fillies and mares company with relative ease. The five-year-old Lis Mara mare closed with a :27.4 final panel to sweep past a full field and win by over a length in 1:52.3. That's Mara is owned by Piece Of The Action LLC, trained by George Reider and has been driven to her three straight victories by Kim Pluta.   Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier) finished second with Lady's Art (Steve Wiseman) garnering the show share of the race, dubbed the "Back To The Track Sweepstake" and carrying an $18,000 purse.   Patrons were treated to free programs, a t-shirt toss after every race, an autograph session with Running Aces' top 10 drivers and ten lucky fans got to enjoy two-seater jog carts around the quick five-eighths mile oval between races.   From the Press Box at Running Aces  

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. - 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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