Day At The Track

Restless Yankee to Hall of Fame

03:00 AM 19 Feb 2020 NZDT
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Restless Yankee, harness racing
Restless Yankee and driver Nick Roland
Pensive photo
On Saturday (Feb 22) Minnesota Harness Racing, Inc. will bestow it's highest honor upon one of the most prolific and successful pacers to ever compete in the land of 10,000 lakes when the gelding Restless Yankee is installed into the equine Hall of Fame at the MHRI Annual meeting and Banquet in Forest Lake, Minn.
 
The now 13 year old honoree is a prodigy of Relentless Yankee and is out of the Big Towner mare Towner's Love Dove. He was bred by Ronald Emerson of Iowa and began his career under the tutelage of Emerson and ownership partner Mark Holtan, before training duties were turned over to Robert Lems of South Dakota, Lems would handle the conditioning duties for the talented Pacer over most of his career, and Robert Lems, along with his son Ryan Lems would also become the owners of Restless Yankee for several years.
 
Restless Yankee had success right out of the gate, and won his very first race at the Humboldt, Iowa fair before invading the Minnesota oval with back-to-back wins in 2 year old events. The early success for Restless Yankee quickly proved to be no fluke, as he continued to make frequent trips to the Winner's Circle year after year.
 
He was the 3 year old colt Minnesota state Champion Pacer of 2010, and the 4 year olds & up state Champion in both 2011 and 2012. He won races at Running Aces each and every year from 2009 through 2016, an amazing feat in itself, but far more impressive is the cumulative number of those Running Aces victories, which stands at 34. That is correct - 34 wins at Running Aces which is a record number that quite possibly may never be beaten.
 
Restless Yankee also set the all-age Track Record at Running Aces on June 12, 2012 with a 1:51.2 dominating victory with Nick Roland in the bike. That performance shaved 3/5 of a second off of the previous track record and remained fastest for two years.
 
In addition to all of his success in Minnesota at Running Aces, Restless Yankee was also well traveled and displayed his pacing talents with victories all over the United States, from Iowa to Florida and all along the east coast too, he racked up wins at Prairie Meadows, Maywood, Saratoga, Dover, Harrington, Pompano and took a 1:50.3 mark at Vernon Downs in 2014 in a Miracle Mile event and has 53 career wins from 195 starts, with 27 seconds and 27 thirds and $303,809 in the bank.
 
The Hall of Fame Induction will be one of the highlights of the MHRI Annual meeting and Banquet at Vanelli's by the Lake on Saturday (Feb 22) with check-in starting at 1pm and Hall of Fame induction at approximately 4:30 pm, followed by dinner and divisional awards. You still have time to come out and join the celebration this Saturday. For more information about attending the Banquet, contact MHRI Executive Secretary Patty Strand at: patti.strand@mnharness.com.
 
By Darin Gagne, for Minnesota Harness Racing
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