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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

COLUMBUS, MN. - The third time was a charm for Natural Forces as he became the third different trotter to win the weekly open feature in as many weeks on Wednesday night.   The five-year-old Lockkeeper gelding, owned by ECS Racing LLC and Kevin St. Charles, was third in his first Minnesota start, second last week despite an early break in stride, and sailed to a 1:56.1 score in his third fray against the best trotters at the meet. Kim Pluta was the sulky sitter for trainer Ronald Merritt.   Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman) finished two lengths back in his first open company competition this season with Northern Inferno (Rick Magee) edging Glittering Muscles (Nick Roland) for third. Quiet Charmer (Jason Ryan) picked up the final paycheck in the seven-horse field.   The 1:56.1 clocking was just three-fifths of a second off Natural Forces lifetime best taken at The Red Mile. The ECS Racing homebred has now won 33 times in 89 career starts and boasts a bankroll north of $260,000.   Seven different drivers and eight different trainers won races on the eight-race program. Rick Magee scored the lone driving double on the card.   From the Running Aces Publicity Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - Threestepstoheaven, the longest shot on the board at 16-1, captured the $8,500 Open Pace at Running Aces on Sunday night.   The eight-year-old Rambaran gelding, trained and driven by the meet's second leading reinsman Jason Ryan, bested Canadian Touch (Steve Wiseman) and Restless Yankee (Nick Roland) in 1:52.2.   The longshot winner was last in the field of six until the top of the stretch when he swung four-wide and exploded past the others with a :28.3 final panel. Threestepstoheaven paid $34.40 to win.   Quickest mile of the evening, however, belonged to Del Rio Seelster who won a $7,500 race mixing non-winners of $5,000 last five starts with $12,500 claimers in 1:52.1. With leading driver Tim Maier guiding his son Daniel's six-year-old son of Western Maverick, the pair downed R Gauwitz Hanover (Kim Pluta) and Mystical Valentine (Ryan) with a brush from fourth to first in the third panel and a closing :27.3 panel to seal the deal.   Maier visited the winner's circle four times on Sunday while Ryan managed three triumphs and Nick Roland scored a double.   A pair of $6,500 Minnesota-sired races for trotters were also featured. Chewy Dunkerton (Roland) won the colts and geldings split with a 2:01.2 clocking to beat TURB (Ryan) and Al Mar Passion (Rick Magee). The fillies division was captured by Al Mar Pizzazz (Maier) over Majestic Lady Jo (Brett Ballinger) and Montana Eclipse (Lemoyne Svendsen) in 1:59.3. Benjamin DeLong owns Chewy Dunkerton and the partnership of Ulf Holm-Johansen and Vernon Devine own Al-Mar Pizzazz.   From the Running Aces Publicity Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - Blazing Fury and trainer-driver Rick Magee turned a two-hole trip into a length-and-a-half victory Saturday night when they split horses in the stretch to win the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace in 1:55.2 at Running Aces.   It was the first local start of the season for the eight-year-old daughter of Minnesota sire Relentless Yankee. It was the 41st career victory for Blazing Fury, thirteenth at Running Aces, and pushed her past the $200,000 lifetime earnings plateau for the homebred owned by Van Otterloo Stables. Nocturnal Rose (Tim Maier) and Lady's Art (Steve Wiseman) were next to cross the wire.   Earlier on the program driver Rob Dinning, a newcomer to Running Aces in 2014, enjoyed a back-to-back-to-back triple. The 31-year-old reinsman scored a huge victory with Bunkerhill Bill in a $13,000 event restricted to Minnesota-sired sophomore pacers. Owned and trained by Gene Miller, the winner lowered his lifetime best by over three seconds with the impressive 1:53.3 triumph.   Dinning's other winners were Maby Bonkey, who captured a $3000 non-winners pace in 1:56.4; and Turbulance Force, who topped a field of condition-claiming trotters in 2:00.1.   Racing resumes on Sunday night with an 11-race card beginning at 6:00 p.m. (CST).   From the Running Aces Press Box  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Despite torrential rains during the last half of the first Saturday night card of the season at Running Aces, some quick miles resulted in the co-featured pacing events for fillies and mares. In the $9000 mares open it was Keystone Christa (Nick Roland) edging Lady's Art (Steve Wiseman) by a short head in 1:56 over the sloppy surface. Nocturnal Rose (Tim Maier) got the show dough.   The five-year-old Mach Three lass, making her initial Minnesota start after a successful winter season at Pompano Park, sat patiently in third along the pylons until the head of the stretch then found room between horses to engage in a fiesty winning stretch drive. It was the fourth win of the season for Keystone Christa, who is owned by Lee Cullen and is being conditioned in Minnesota by Bev Kingston.   The co-featured $7800 Class A event for state-sired three-year-olds went to the outstanding filly Delco Voracious (Nick Roland) in impressive gate-to-wire fashion. It was the seventh win in just nine lifetime starts for the daughter of Voracious Hanover who also won two-year-old filly honors for owner-trainer Jesse DeLong. FF Big Show (Jason Ryan) finished four-and-a-half lengths back in second with Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) third to cross the wire.   Racing resumes on Sunday night (June 1) with a ten race program featuring a $9500 Open Pace and two $6500 divisions of Minnesota-sired trots. Post time is 6:00 PM (CST).   From the Running Aces Media Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - A warm night, a fast track and an enthusiastic crowd all welcomed live commercial harness racing back to Minnesota on Wednesday night as Running Aces Harness Park presented its firstof 54 programs in 2014.   Barbazon upset a field of talented squaregaiters in the $8,500 Open Trot by leaving alertly, yielding to sit the pocket for most of the mile, then angling out in deep stretch to win by a head in 1:56.4 at 13-1 odds.   It was the ninth on-the-board finish in the last ten starts for the eight-year-old gelding owned by Timothy Hall and driven by newcomer Rob Dinning. Although he appeared to be moving up in class after racing in mid-range claimers at Northfield Park, Miami Valley Raceway, Hazel Park and Hoosier Park in recent months, the razor sharp son of Wilson Wyoming was able to best favorites Sharpshootennorris (Steve Wiseman) and Natural Forces (Kim Pluta) who finished second and third while racing respectably in their own right.   Driver-trainer Tim Maier enjoyed a huge opening night at Running Aces with three trips to the winner's circle, all with charges from his own stable. One of Minnesota's perennial leading conditioners, Maier's trio of wins started with his wife Denise's Sinimatic, who broke his maiden in 1:58.1. The next race Tim guided Terror Time, who impressed in his initial Running Aces season in 2013, to an eye-popping 1:53.2 score in a $3500 claiming pace for owner Robin Clements. The veteran horseman capped of his triple by capturing the finale with Emery Vern, also owned by his wife, in 1:55.3.   Jason Ryan notched a driving and training double with claiming pacers Sgt. Charlie (1:56.2) and Haroun Hanover (1:54.3). Racing resumes on a four-nights-a-week schedule every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night throughout the summer.   From the Running Aces Publicity Department

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