Day At The Track

Running Aces opener in the books

10:52 AM 19 May 2016 NZST
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Running Aces
Running Aces

The 2016 opening night card at Running Aces is now history, and a very large and enthusiastic crowd came out to witness the great Harness Racing action, enjoy the $1 and $2 food specials, and witness the Skydiving exploits of Skydive Twin Cities.

In the atrium and on the track apron, the hot dogs were going fast and furiously. The beers and sodas were flowing like crazy. In the grassy area behind the winners circle a new food establishment called Lucky’s Eatery was serving fair food favorites, an addition to Running Aces this year.  Kids were playing the Running Aces bean-bag toss game, and many a kid and adult alike partook in the Trout-Air Fishing experience, a one-of-a-kind live trout pond only found at Running Aces.

On the acclaimed 5/8 mile oval the racing competition was fierce. The opening race went to the very talented pacing gelding Stonebridge lyric (Nick Roland) who delivered as the 7-5 betting choice in dominating fashion by nearly 10 lengths in 1:53.0 for The Banks Standardbreds of Cannon Falls, MN and trainer Justin Anfinson. The featured event on the opening card was the $11,000 Fillies & Mares Open, and it was the 9 year old mare Windsun T Bird , with trainer-driver Tim Maier aboard, who quickly asserted herself and took control of the contest, throwing down fractions of 28.3, 58.0, and 126.4 before capping the mile with a 28.3 final quarter, scoring handily by 2 lenghts in 1:55.2  She is owned by Robin Clements, of Wilton, CA. The 4 year old mare Lydi Lula Belle (Dean Magee) was very sharp in winning her first pari-mutuel start in 1:59.2 for trainer Brett Ballinger and owner Russell Crotchett of Jersyville, Il.

Astute handicappers cashed in big on opening night as well, as multiple winners split the late .50 cent pick-4 wager, taking home $801.70 each while the late .50 cent pick 3 returned a very respectable $439.05 for a .50 cent play.

Joining the Driving colony this summer at Running Aces is Jim Marino, a native of British Columbia, Canada, Jim has been among the top drivers in that region for many years, racking up 1,987 wins to date and over $10 million in purses. His best year to date came in 2012, when he won 192 races and just under $1.3 million. His stable of charges at Running Aces this summer, along with fellow B.C. trainer Justin Currie, include the accomplished pacing mares Make Three Wishes and Back Stock, plus the sharp geldings Del Rio Seelster, and Red Star Tyson, as well as two Open-level pacers Premium Stock and Comes home First.

Running Aces will be Racing every Tuesday night ( 7pm CT ) and Saturday & Sunday nights ( 6pm CT ) now through September 3rd, and will add Wednesday nights ( 7pm CT ) starting July 27th. The Trout-Air Experience is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4pm-9pm and Weekends from 11am-9pm, and you can catch your own fresh trout in the pond and have it cooked and served to you while watching the live racing. 

By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

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