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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

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

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

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

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

COLUMBUS, MN. - Del Rio Seelster successfully made the move from the top claiming ranks to the open ranks on Sunday by capturing the $8500 Open Pace in 1:52.1.   Driver Tim Maier, the leader at the meet after the first two weeks, had the winner positioned fourth at the halfway point--just as he did last week in a $12,500 claimer--then paced the quickest final quarter in the race to win by a head over Canadian Touch (Steve Wiseman) and R Gauwitz Hanover (Kim Pluta). Del Rio Seelster is owned and trained by Maier's son Daniel.   A pair of $6500 Minnesota-sired three-year-old trots were presented earlier on the program with repeat winners in both splits. The fillies division went to Al-Mar Pizzazz (Tim Maier) in 2:01.1 to best Country Cheerio (Adam Hauser) and CD's SOS (Nick Roland). Owned by trainer Ulf Holm-Johansen and partner Vernon Devine, the black filly ran her record to a perfect three-for-three in 2014 despite a scary moment when she bobbled at the head of the stretch but lost ground and recovered quickly to maintain the advantage.   Chewy Dunkerton (Roland) is the dominant force in the colts and geldings division thus far by virtue of his three-for-three win record in this young season. Trainer Jesse DeLong's son Ben owns the black gelding who was last year's freshman champion among Minnesota-sired horses. A huge throng of Father's Day fans turned out for the 11-race card.   From the Running Aces Press Box

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