Day At The Track

De Long has 'grand slam' at Running Aces

05:13 AM 11 Jul 2013 NZST
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John De Long and Marcus Miller
John De Long and Marcus Miller
Balmoral Park Photo

Harness racing driver John De Long captured a total of four of the ten races on the Wednesday night program at Running Aces--and set two divisional track records in the process.

The 24-year-old reinsman, who won the inaugural Running Aces dash crown six years ago as a teenager, started his banner night off by dominating an $8000 Minnesota-sired two-year-old pace with his father Jesse's Delco Voracious. Still undefeated after three rookie season starts, the impressive filly used a closing :27.3 panel to win in 1:56.3, holding off Dakota Law (Nick Roland) and Cyber Cowboy (Tim Maier) by four lengths.

De Long's next triumph with the conditioned trotter Keystone Swagger established a new track standard for aged horses of 1:57.2. The six-year-old horse, owned by Dandy Farms, used a grinding attack on the outside to eventually wear down pacesetter Silence Son (Craig Banks) and hold off hard-charging Salutation Hanover (Roland) in a close finish.

Delco Willobee, benefitting by a drop in class into a $5000 conditioned pace, gave John De Long his third score of the night, besting Marced Card (Roland) and Rich Native (Brandon Jenson) in 1:55.1. It was the first win of the year for the six-year-old gelding also owned by Jesse De Long, and trained in Minnesota by Justin Anfinson.

The red-hot reinsman picked up a catch drive in the $9000 Open Trot and responded with a 1:56.1 upset victory that lowered another local track record, this one for aged trotting mares. It was the tenth win over two seasons at Running Aces for Shelby County, owned by Ben Kenney and trainer Rocky Stidham, but the first in open company this campaign.

Driver Rick Magee picked up a driving double, capturing both halves of the early daily double with Ksmewithurizclosed and Just The Way It Is.

by Gregg KEIDEL

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