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Columbus, MN - One of the most impressive Harness Racing performances over the weekend at Running Aces was that of three year old pacing filly Shesureissomething who wired the field on Sunday afternoon (September 20) to pick up her fourth straight win.    Sent off as the 4-5 favorite in a $4,000 conditioned event, Driver Rick Magee wasted no time moving the daughter of  So Surreal right to the front, securing a solid early lead and posting a fast opening stanza of :27.2 before settling down for a breather of :30 seconds in the second panel.    Shesureissomething ($3.80) was never in doubt and paced a strong final half mile of :56.3 to complete a career best mile in 1:54 over Changing Colors (Steve Wiseman) and Officer Jim (Dean Magee).    The winning filly is owned by Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte and is trained by Justin Anfinson.      It's A Marcs World (Nick Roland, $4.80) captured the $4,500 Sophomore Open Handicap Pace on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 19) with a sweeping late rally as the field turned for home to draw away by 3 lengths in 1:54.3 over Bunkerhill Phil (Braxten Boyd) and So So De Vie (Mooney Svendsen).    It was the seventh win in ten starts this year for the impressive son of Marced Card, owned by Duane Roland and trained by Jessica Johnson.    On Saturday, Driver Nick Roland piloted three winners while Jacob Cutting registered a double. Trainers Williams Hernandez and Richard Bertrand had two winners each.    Jacob Cutting picked up another two wins on Sunday, along with Mooney Svendsen.    Live Racing continues at Running Aces four days a week, through October 4. Post times are at 1:00 pm CDT every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.    By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Sunday afternoon Harness Racing program at Running Aces was the $13,800 Minnesota-Sired sophomore "A" trot with a talented field of seven going into battle.     Al Mar Why Not (Tim Maier) was fastest off of the gate and had the early lead as they registered a first quarter of :29.3 before Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland) took control near the 3/8 mark. Driver Rick Magee launched Hearduwhispermynam towards the front near the half mile mark (1:00.3) and quickly cleared to the lead as they headed down the backside.    Once on the lead, Hearduwhispermynam was immediately pressured by Susie's Sister (Brady Jenson) and those two continued to battle all the way into deep stretch, where Hearduwhispermynam ($3.80) was able to battle back and regain control for a solid one length score in 1:57.1 over Susie's Sister and SB Madam Secretary (Darrell Wright).    The winner is a gelded son of Braggart, owned and trained by his breeder Jenni King. He now has five wins in eleven starts this year.    Double My Decker (Dean Magee, $3.20) posted a very sharp three length tally in the $9,200 sophomore "B" trot in 2:00.1 for a new career mark. Bekkum's Black Rose (Nick Roland) was home second, and Al Mar Lovie Dovie (Rick Magee) was third. The winner is a filly by Braggart, owned by Jesse, Ben and Eric De Long and trained by Justin Anfinson.    Glitter N Ginger (Braxten Boyd, $3.40) posted her third straight win with another dominating performance in a $3,800 claiming-conditioned pace. The 1-3/4 length score was her third win in her last four starts for owner Brett Boyd Racing and trainer Gene Miller.    Drivers Nick Roland and Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen led the Sunday program with two winners each.    Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, September 15, with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature a $9,011.66 carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager.   By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

The featured event on the Sunday afternoon (September 6) Harness Racing program at Running Aces was the $13,800 Sophomore "A" trot with a field of eight lining up behind the gate.    Hearduwhispermynam was part of a two horse entry for owner/trainer Jenni King and started from post six with driver Rick Magee in the bike, and the entry was sent off as the third choice in the wagering at just over 2-1.    SD Eliminator (Brian Detgen) was fastest from the gate and had the early lead at the :28.3 quarter-mile checkpoint before SB Madam Secretary (Darrell Wright) took over near the :57.4 half mile mark.    Favorite filly Susie's Sister (Steve Wiseman) picked up the first-over position and Hearduwhispermynam picked up the cover from fourth on the outside down the backstretch and was still fourth as they registered the 3/4 mark in 1:26.1, a reading that brought with it a strong possibility for a track record mile.    Magee followed the cover all the way to the top of the lane and then tipped to find a clear path through the stretch, Hearduwhispermynam ($6.40) responded and trotted away from his rivals by 2-3/4 lengths to register a mile in 1:56 and lower the track mark for sophomore geldings by 3/5 of a second. The previous mark had stood for 9 years (Silence Son, 2012). The mile was also a new career mark for Hearduwhispermynam, and the record mile became the eighth current track record for driver Rick Magee - who currently dominates the speed records at Running Aces. The next closest driver on that list is Steve Wiseman, who has five current records to his credit.    SB Madam Secretary was second and Susie's Sister held third.    The new record holder is a son of Braggart, and out of the Giant Triumph mare Outathebluclearsky. He is owned and trained by his breeder Jenni King and he now has nine career wins in twenty-one starts, with $79,519 in the bank.    The $9,200 "B" division went to Miss Gracious (Mooney Svendsen, $8.60), who closed from well out of it early with a sweeping three-wide rally around the final turn to take the lead at the top of the stretch.    Once on the lead she drew away with every stride and checked in 6-1/2 lengths ahead at the wire over Bekkum's Black Rose (Nick Roland) and Al Mar Lovie Dovie (Rick Magee) in a 1:58.3 mile for a new career mark.   The winning owner is Jeff Ryan and the winning trainer is Edward Hernandez.    Driver Dean Magee led the Sunday program with three winners, while both Rick Magee and Mooney Svendsen each registered doubles. Trainer Rick Bertrand was the leader on the day with a double as well.    Live Racing continues at Running Aces through October 4, with action four days a week - every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm (CDT).     By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

The Sunday afternoon (August 9) Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured the three year old Minnesota-sired trotters in three divisions, going for a total purse of $23,000.   The $11,500 "A" division went to post with seven sophomores on the gate and the wagering favorites were Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland, 1-1) followed by SB Madam Secretary (Darrell Wright, 9-5) and Hearduwhispermynam (Rick Magee, 4-1).   The going was sloppy after heavy rains moved in during and after race one.   Hearduwhispermynam and SD Eliminator (Brian Detgen) both left alertly from their inside posts and Hearduwhispermynam was able to secure the lead quickly from post two, taking control right near the :30 second quarter mile.   Once on the lead, Magee stepped on the gas pedal and opened up two lengths on the field before the :58.3 half mile check-in. Hearduwhispermynam ($10.40) continued to step lively and open up more ground over the field, passing three-quarters in 1:28 and then coasting home in :30 seconds to stop the timer in 1:58, 4-1/4 lengths on top for his second straight win. SD Eliminator held second over late closing Teachmehowtotory and Passion In Paris (Jacob Cutting).   The winner is a gelded son of Braggart, who now has three wins on the season and eight lifetime tallies and $67,294 in career earnings for owner/breeder Jenni King, who also handles the training.   The $6,900 "B" division went to SB My Boy Gideon (Gerald Longo, $17.60) with a last-to-first rally in the final quarter to score a one length victory in 2:00.4 over the rain-soaked oval. The winning owner is Debra Davis and the winning trainer is Rick Davis. The Justin Anfinson trained entry of Go Margeaux (Mooney Svendsen) and Musclestobragon (Nick Roland) picked up second and third, respectively in a near dead heat for the runner-up spot.   The $4,600 "C" division went to Bekkum's Black Rose (Nick Roland, $7.80) who took control down the backside and drew away from the field by 4 lengths at the wire in 2:00.1, for a new career mark. Al Mar Lovie Dovie (Rick Magee) was second and Al Mar Money Woman (Brandon Jenson) was third. The winning owner is Sarah Bekkum and the winning trainer is Dave Ginter.   Multiple race winners on the card included driver Nick Roland with a book-end double, and trainers Kathie Plested-Wiseman and Rick Bertrand, who each scored a double on the card.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, August 11 with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature two notable Carryovers: $794.90 for the early 50 cent Pick-4, and $1,079.62 for the 50 cent Hi-5 in race nine.   Darin Gagne

The Saturday afternoon Harness Racing program at Running Aces offered two big pacing feature events: The $10,000 Open Handicap for Horses & Geldings and the Minnesota-Sired sophomores going for $15,000.   The Open event attracted nine talented pacers with Keep On Rocking A (Chris Scicluna) drawing post nine and looking to win four in a row, and was well supported at 5-2 in the wagering. Stuckey Dote (Darrell Wright) drew the pole position for the first time this season, and garnered luke warm support at 9-2. Whatchyastarinat (Braxten Boyd) surged first from the gate from post five and held a brief lead while Prologue (Tim Maier) also stepped lively from post six to take over and then Keep On Rocking A worked hard to make the lead near the 3/8 mile juncture. The early fractions were :27.1 and :55.4.   After taking the lead, Keep On Rocking A faced pressure from Stuckey Dote who pulled first-up and attacked the leader from near the half. Rounding for home Parklane Jet (Dean Magee) circled up three wide, and took the lead as they straightened for the wire - but Stuckey Dote was not done and battled back gamely to the finish, getting a head in front at the line in 1:52.1 with Whatchyastarinat rallying for third money over Keep On Rocking A.   The gelded seven year-old Voracious Hanover progeny Stuckey Dote ($11.40) now shows thirty-eight career wins and $366,766 in earnings for owner/breeder Merlin Van Otterloo. The winning trainer is Brett Ballinger.   It's A Marcs World (Nick Roland $3.00) posted another impressive and dominating win for four in a row in the three year-old pace after working hard to make the front from post eight, and then fending off constant pressure from chief rival Bunkerhill Phil (Braxten Boyd) with a 3/4 length score in 1:53 for his sixth win of the year. Dubberyoo (Mooney Svendsen) turned in a career best effort to get up for second and Bunkerhill Phil was home third.   It's A Marcs World is a gelded son of Marced Card and out of the Life Sign mare Life's Image. He is owned by Duane Roland and trained by Jessica Johnson.   It's A Marcs World and Nick Roland rolled to four wins in a row in 1:53   Driver Nick Roland scored another natural Hat-Trick on Saturday, to lead the program with 3 wins, while Darrell Wright posted a driving double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday, August 9 with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT).   Darin Gagne

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Sunday afternoon Harness Racing program at Running Aces was the $6,000 3-year-old Open Handicap Trot with a full field of nine square-gaited sophomores.   The talk of the tote-board was Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland), sent off at 3-5 from the far outside handicapped post, and she left alertly to sweep up and take the early lead. SB Madame Secretary (Darrell Wright) was the third choice at 5-1and was also away quickly from post eight, parked the first quarter and then surged to the lead near the 3/8 marker.   After taking control, SB Madame Secretary ($13.00) was full of trot throughout and was able to fend off a mild late bid by Teachmehowtotory in the lane, checking in one length ahead in 1:58.3 for her third win of the year and fifth career score. Go Margeaux (Mooney Svendsen) picked up the pieces for third.   The winner is a filly by Tom Ridge, owned by Susan Holm-Johansen and Deborah Hofsaess and trained by Ulf Holm-Johansen.   Driver Rick Magee closed out a very good week with a driving triple on Sunday, while Nick Roland and Jacob Cutting each scored doubles.   Trainer Rick Bertrand led the day with 3 winners and moved into second in the standings with 17 wins on the season.   One lucky bettor was able to solve the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager, collecting the entire Jackpot of $21,773.68.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, August 4, with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature two carryover pools: $744.24 in the 50 cent early Pick-4, and $1,560.67 in the 50 cent Hi-5.     Darin Gagne

One of the featured events on the Tuesday afternoon Harness Racing program at Running Aces was the $10,000 to $12,000 claiming pace with a purse of $8,000 and a talented field of eight horses and geldings.   Cool Cowboy (Nick Roland) was the talk of the tote-board at 3-5 from post five while making his first start in claiming company, and My Friskie Boy (Dean Magee) was also well supported at 3-1 from post eight with a win and two seconds from his last three starts at the same level. Five Card Draw N (Jacob Cutting) drew the rail for his first local start of the summer, and was dismissed at 16-1 on the board.   Nick Roland sent Cool Cowboy to the front for a :27.2 opening stanza and then executed the give-and-go with My Friskie Boy before facing a strong challenge from Bunkerhill Bill throughout the middle stages of the race (:57 and 1:25.4) Bunkerhill Bill forged to the lead turning for home and battled with My Friskie Boy while Five Card Draw tipped widest of all into the lane and swept the field from last to first, getting up right on the line over My Friskie Boy and Bunkerhill Bill in 1:55.   Five Card Draw N ($34.80) is an eleven year old gelded son of Bettor's Delight, owned by Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Kathleen Plested, who is also the trainer. The victory today was the first of the year for Five Card Draw N, and his 32nd career win.   The $6,000 Two Year Old Open Trot went to The Royal Queen (Rick Magee, $3.60) for two in a row and a new career mark of 2:04.4 for trainer Justin Anfinson, and the $6,000 Two Year Old Open Pace went to Something To Me (Darrell Wright $6.80) in 1:59.3 for owner/trainer Tony Huffman.   Drivers Jacob Cutting, Darrel Wright and Rick Magee all completed doubles on the day. Trainer Williams Hernandez also picked up a double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday July 25, with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $13,223.39.   Darin Gagne                                              

The featured event on the Sunday afternoon (July 19) harness racing program at Running Aces was the "A" division of the Minnesota-sired 3 Year Old Trot with a field of seven squaring off for a purse of $11,500.   SB Madame Secretary (Darrell Wright) was the slight wagering choice at 7-5 over Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland) who was sent off at 8-5. SB Madame Secretary made a break near the start and was well back after that while SD Eliminator (Brian Detgen) surged to the early lead from post two and then yielded for the pocket when Nick Roland launched to the lead near the three-eighths marker with Teachmehowtotory who left from post five.   Teachmehowtotory ($5.20) was never in doubt after taking the lead and sealed the victory when she trotted her third quarter in :28.2 leaving her rivals well behind and then stopping the timer in 1:58.4 for a 3-1/4 length score and a new lifetime mark.   SD Eliminator held second while Passion In Paris (Mooney Svendsen) picked up third money.   The winning filly is by Braggart and out of the Rail Splitter mare Rails of Victory, she is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC and trained by Jessica Johnson.   The $6,900 "B" split went to Go Margeaux (Mooney Svendsen, $15.80) in a career best 2:00.4 mile over Bekkum's Black Rose (Nick Roland) and Al Mar Lovey Dovey (Rick Magee). The winning trainer is Justin Anfinson.   The $4,600 "C" division went to Al Mar Spicey Talk (Brady Jenson, $48.00) in 2:03.1 for owner Joshua Horvat and trainer Katie Horvat.   Drivers Nick Roland and Braxten Boyd led the Sunday program with two winners each.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday July 21, with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $11,501.82.   Darin Gagne

Columbus, MN - The Sunday afternoon harness racing program at Running Aces featured a very nice field to contest the top trot of the week, the $10,000 Open Handicap. Magic MVP (Pat Berry) was the 2-1 favorite coming into today's feature off of a sharp Aces debut while nearly taking the field gate-to-wire last week to just get beat a neck at the wire in 1:55.4 by Mandeville (Nick Roland).    Mandeville was second choice today at 5/2 from post nine, and Bordogna (Rick Magee) took some action at the windows at just over 3-1 from post 8 while moving up in class after his big track-record smashing performance last week.    Banker Volo (Brian Detgen) left alertly from post 5 for a short-lived early lead before Berry rolled by with Magic MVP to cut the fractions and Magee also left alertly with Bordogna to find a tuck in third. The quarter flashed up in :27.3 and Berry stepped on the brakes to steal a second panel in just :30 seconds. Bordogna was activated into attack mode and set sail on a first-over grind just past the half mile marker, while My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) picked up the live cover.    Magic MVP picked up the tempo in the third split (:28.1) for a 1:25.4 clocking while still 2 lengths clear of the rest, but as they neared the homestretch Bordogna turned up the pressure and forged to even terms. The final sixteenth mile was a ding-dong battle between those two and Bordogna kicked home just a bit faster to score a hard-fought win by a neck in 1:55.1, remaining undefeated in 5 starts in 2020.    Bordogna ($8.60) is a 4 year old stallion by Trixton out of the Credit Winner mare Lima Playmate, he is owned by Cathy Dessert and Ken Stauffer, and trained by Justin Anfinson.    The Sunday card also featured three divisions of the 3 Year old Minnesota-Sired trotters. The 'A' grouping vied for a purse of $11,500 with Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland) scoring a 13-1 upset ($28.20) in a career best 2:00.3 for trainer Jessica Johnson and Set The Pace Racing LLC. The 'B' split went for $6,900 and was dominated by race-favorite Musclestobragon (Don Harmon, $4.40) for trainer Justin Anfinson and owners Jesse and Ben De Long in 2:01.2 - the same winning connections scored in the $4,600 'C' division with huge favorite Double My Decker (Pat Berry, $2.20) along with additional owner Eric De Long, that mile was also trotted in 2:01.2.    Nick Roland and Don Harmon each turned in a driving triple on Sunday, while Rick Magee picked up a double. On the training side Justin Anfinson led the day with 3 winners and Jessica Johnson picked up a double.    Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, June 30 with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and features a carryover in the Jackpot Pick-5 wager of $2,601.19.      Darin Gagne

Driver Steve Wiseman made headlines from Running Aces last week when he made his return to the sulky in a couple of qualifying races after undergoing chemotherapy treatments over the last several months. He last drove in harness races in early February at Cal Expo before getting a very serious stage 4 cancer diagnosis.   Wiseman immediately vowed that he would fight as hard as he possibly could, and do whatever it takes to beat the disease. He has undergone aggressive treatments since the diagnosis, and in fact just returned from a three day trip home to Sacramento for another round of chemo. He got back to Minnesota on Friday night and drove Greekona to a fifth place finish on Sunday.   He stepped up his workload for the Tuesday afternoon (June 23) program and steered Pedigree Blue Chip to a solid second place finish in race two on the day. Two races later in the fourth - he piloted Queenace Blue Chip to a very good second - beaten only a half length as the race favorite. Later on in the card he guided 9-1 longshot Platinum Time to a fifth while beaten less than 3 lengths.   Just two races after that "The Magician" made the magic happen. Wiseman sent 28-1 longshot Timetplaythegame right to the front from post 8 and wired the field with a sharp looking 3 length score in 1:54.4 in race ten. It was the third win of the year for Timetplaythegame ($58.80), a 7 year old gelded son of Badlands Hanover, owned and trained by his wife, Kathie Plested, and also owned by Mark Benvenga. Wiseman was greeted by cheers and applause on his ride back to the winner's circle, and when he pulled off of the track and into the paddock area, he encountered an emotional embrace by good friend and fellow reinsman Lemoyne "Moonie" Svendsen. Hearts and emotions soared high today after race ten at Running Aces.   The final tally for the Magician was 4 races, 1 win, 2 seconds and a fifth. Not too shabby at all for any driver, but a spectacular day for a guy that is dealing with the drain and side effects of chemotherapy treatments. He is a beast, he is committed to doing whatever it takes, he is #WisemanStrong and he is indeed the resident "Magician" at Running Aces. Doctors report that he is responding remarkably to the treatments, and has seen a drastic reduction in tumors at each scan. The #WisemanStrong community continues to pray for his full recovery, and marvel at each and every small miracle in his journey. Steve is one of the good guys, and today was a good day for a very good guy.     By Darin Gagné   for Running Aces Casino Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN - The featured harness racing event on the Tuesday afternoon (June 22) program at Running Aces was the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for horses & geldings, which went to post with a talent filled field of seven. The slight favorite in the field was Heza Real Diamond (Nick Roland) who fired fastest off the gate  from post six and quickly took control.    Keep On Rocking A (Pat Berry) left alertly as well from the outside post seven, and easily secured the pocket position, with Nine Ways (Tim Maier) settling away third and Royale Big Guy (Mooney Svendsen) dropping in fourth. The early pace was moderate (:27.4, :56.3) before Roland asked for more from Heza Real Diamond, throwing down a :27 flat third panel while taking heavy pressure from Keep On Rocking A who vacated the pocket.    Berry took the lead with Keep On Rocking A as they straightened for home and paced strong to the wire, while Royale Big Guy shook free late to secure a clear second over Heza Real Diamond.   The winning margin was two lengths for Keep On Rocking A ($4.80), an 8 year old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover who is owned and trained by Chris Scicluna of Cranberry, NJ. The final time was 1:52 flat. This is the first season at Running Aces for both Berry and Scicluna, each of whom turned in a driving double on the card. Scicluna drove his other part of the owner entry in the Open (Major Pocket A) to pick up the pieces in fourth. Today's victory was career win number 25 for Keep On Rocking A, who has now earned $243,742 lifetime.    She'sgotitgoingon ($3.20) dominated the $10,000 Mares Open Pace event, with a confident steer from owner/trainer/driver Don Harmon. The 4 year old daughter of Tellitlikeitis yielded the lead, then took control just past the quarter and was never in doubt from there while scoring a 1-1/4 length tally in 1:54.4 on season's debut. She is also owned by Krista Harmon. My Kiwi N (Chris Scicluna) was home second, and Juslikeaqueen (Tim Maier) secured third.    Defending Aces champion driver Dean Magee led the Tuesday card with three winners, all of them for trainer Williams Hernandez - Coz And Effect (1:53.4, $21.60), I'm An Athlete (1:52.4, $3.80) and Future Delight (1:54.3, $25.20). Trainer Rick Bertrand also sent out two winners on the card - Night Girl (Kyle Husted, $18.80) and Haulin' Oats (Nick Roland, $2.80).   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, June 27 with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and a carryover of $1,404.73 in the 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5.        By Darin Gagné for Running Aces Casino Hotel & Racetrack

The Sunday afternoon (June 21) program at Running Aces was highlighted by a sensational mile from the talented trotter Bordogna (Trixton-Lima Playmate) who dazzled the crowd with a dominant harness racing performance from gate-to-wire.   Driver Rick Magee sent his charge immediately from the gate to the lead, and opened up by two lengths over a talent filled group, posting a fast quarter in :27.2 before relaxing the tempo a bit in the second split (:29.3) to register a half mile in :57 flat. Magee then asked for just a bit more from Bordogna in the third panel to keep a strong 2 length margin around the far turn while hitting three-quarters in 1:25.1 with no pressure at all. Magee sat chilly in the bike as Bordogna floated through the lane in :29.1 to become the fastest 4 year old trotting stallion ever at Running Aces, with a final time of 1:54.2, shattering the previous mark of 1:56 (Ideal Jesse).   It was the second consecutive record-setting mile for Bordogna, who set a state and track record (1:59.1) at Rice Lake, Wisconsin on June 6, during the "Minnesota early race meet" there.   Bordogna ($4.00) is trained by Justin Anfinson for owners Cathy Dessert and Ken Stauffer, and he is now undefeated in 4 starts in 2020, while also recording a new lifetime mark with today's 2-3/4 length victory over My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon).   Cathy Dessert also had another impressive winner on the card, when her six year old pacer Buzz Light (Nick Roland $5.20) swept through the open stretch to win as the favorite in 1:54.3. Buzz Light is trained by Jessica Johnson.   Nick Roland led the program with his second consecutive hat-trick performance, after he also picked up three wins on Saturday's season opener. He now has the early lead in the driver's race (6) over Rick Magee (3). Brady Jenson picked up a driving double on the Sunday card as well.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, June 23 with a very nice eleven race program which gets underway at 1:00 pm (CDT).   Darin Gagne                                                

The 2020 Live harness racing season at Running Aces got underway on Saturday (Jun 20) with a sold out crowd, and a strong wagering handle.   It was the first time in the track's history that live racing was offered in the afternoon, which, when coupled with COVID-19 related effects like capacity restrictions made it hard for track officials to know just what to expect for this year's opener. It's safe to say that the day exceeded all reasonable predictions.   The racing on the track was as good as ever, and last year's leading driver Dean Magee served notice immediately that he is here to defend his title after seating the field in behind his first race charge - 3 year old pacing gelding Night Delight (Bettor's Delight). They ripped off an opening quarter in :27.4 before taking a breather (29.4) in the second panel for a :57.4 clocking. Magee then stepped on the gas pedal to keep the rest of the field in chase mode with a :28.4 third stanza and sealed the deal from there, coasting home in :29.4 to post a solid 2 length tally in 1:56.1 over race favorite Bunkerhill Phil (Don Harmon) and Catchmeinadream (Rick Magee). Night Delight ($11.40) is owned and trained by Edwin Quevedo.   All-Time Aces driving leader Nick Roland answered the challenge in race two with a solid steer behind race-favorite Haulin Oats ($3.80) for trainer Rick Bertrand in 1:56. It was the start of a natural double (with Twilight Tinker, in race three $4.20) and contributed to a Hat-Trick on the card for Roland who also scored another win for Edwin Quevedo with Luke's Cowboy in the sixth event ($10.80).   Drivers Rick Magee and Don Harmon both had a good opening day scorecard as well, each recording a double.   Trotting Sire Braggart was extremely well represented on the card, going three-for-three and sweeping all of the days trotting events. With four starters on the program, Braggart prodigies and full siblings Twilight Tinker (Nick Roland, $4.20) and Bragginade (Dean Magee, $13.80) each won their events, while their half-brother Musclestobragon also scored a win (Lemoyne Svendsen, $13.60).   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday, June 21 at 1:00 pm (CDT) and continues on a Tuesday-Saturday-Sunday schedule throughout the summer. There will be a special Friday card on July 3 and no racing on Saturday July 4.   Photo: Night Delight and driver Dean Magee score a solid 1:56.1 win in Aces season opener.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack  

The Minnesota Harness Racing season is set to get underway as Running Aces opens it's thirteenth season on Saturday (June 20). The start of the harness racing season in the north metro area of the twin cities always helps to stamp the official arrival of summer here, and does so this year perhaps more than ever, after the season faced a COVID-19 related delay of over one month.   Despite the challenges of the global pandemic and local unrest over the past few months, Minnesota horsemen and racing fans are ready, and they are excited for the racing season, and that fun summer feeling to get underway. Racing fans have been calling and going online to get their live racing tickets, and making plans to attend the Opening weekend programs.   A total of 21 races have been carded for opening weekend, with 11 on the opening Saturday card which goes to post at 1:00 pm (CDT).   Amid all of the current health and safety protocols and capacity restrictions, Running Aces is conducting all of its Live Racing cards in the afternoons this year, with a 1:00 pm post time on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. There will be a special Friday card on July 3, and no racing on July 4, and there will be 3 Wednesday cards added in September (16,23,30).   The brand new Running Aces hotel is open and ready to serve guests, and offers special rates and room packages for racing as well. The Running Aces card Casino is also open, with capacity limits and other restrictions currently in place.   On the racetrack, you will quickly be able to spot the regular Running Aces stars - last year's top driver Dean Magee will face off against all-time leader Nick Roland (each has 3 Aces driving titles) and they will battle with other top-5 regulars including Mooney Svendsen, Rick Magee and of course, Steve Wiseman.   Brady Jenson has earned his spot on the list, along with other regulars like Brian Detgen and veteran Gerald Longo. Don Harmon, Jared Seekman and Darrell Wright are all back, each for their second Aces season, while young-guns like Braxten Boyd and Jacob Cutting will try to make their mark. Cutting is a newcomer, as is driver Pat Berry, who will split his summer between The Meadowlands and Running Aces.   It's safe to say the competition will be hot this summer at Running Aces, and the racing will be good.   2019 Minnesota harness horse of the year MD Magic makes an appearance on opening day, and the Open Trot on Sunday features no less than 4 current or former track record holders, including Pridecrest, the fastest trotter ever at Running Aces.   The exotic wagering format is similar to last season, and features early and late Pick-3 and Pick 4 offerings (.50 cent) along with the Jackpot Pick-5 (.20 cent) and the (.50 cent) Pentafeca or 'High-5'. Also returning this year is the popular (.50 cent) late Daily Double.   Racing fans are invited to visit the Running Aces website - www.RunAces.com to get free tickets for live racing, browse information, results, replays, programs and handicapping tips.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel and Racetrack

Quentin Schneider is an Alberta native and he and his brother Rick grew up in the harness racing sport in western Canada, where they helped their dad operate the family farm in Sherwood Park, just outside Edmonton. Quentin ventured out at age 21 and worked for some local trainers and began to drive at age 22, winning just one race in his first year but amassing nearly 500 wins over the next 20 years of campaigning, these days he likes to focus more on the training side of the business, and has chalked up over 600 wins as a trainer. He and his wife Kimberley are the dynamic duo that makes up QKS Racing, and their stable operation is primarily made up of horses owned in whole or in part by them. Kimberley, by contrast was not born into racing or horses but did get exposure to both at a young age, and became hooked on horses and then harness racing. The couple met through Harness Racing and immediately hit it off, they have been working together for 10 years and happily married for 8 years now. They have built a full life together with a large family that is filled out by four-legged, 1000 pound, hay munching 'children' that make up their harness racing stable. They currently have 15 horses on the barn roster. Kimberley and Quentin have raced mostly in Alberta and California in recent years and will be making their Running Aces debut this season. They were ready for a change of scenery this summer and had heard nothing but positive things about Running Aces from fellow horsemen in both California and Canada. With limited stall space available at Running Aces, the Schneider's opted to make their summer base of operations in Rice Lake, Wisconsin at the Barron County Fairgrounds, home to a half-mile harness track with a rich Harness Racing history. That was a decision that Kimberley is extremely happy to have made, and she noted "We absolutely love our setup here in Rice Lake - we are in a beautiful barn which has a rich history, and we have heard so many great stories about the many trainers who have stabled here over the years .. we are so happy to now be a part of its history as well". She also praised the facilities, and noted that the people they have met there as incredibly nice and helpful. Schneider, and her horses also revel in the large turnouts, abundance of green grass, and sunshine too. The QKS cast of equine characters play out their daily routines and shenanigans on the world stage before stepping into the spotlight on the racetrack. Kimberley has made a habit of sharing the daily activities of their 'kids' on her Facebook page and that initiative has turned out to be nothing short of sensational. From live-streams while getting their jogging miles in, to bath time, to turnout time, grass munching, snack eating, begging for treats or just 'smiling' and hamming for the camera, Kimberley gets it all on film. That's right - I said 'smiling' - Kimberley has taught many of her four-hooved children to smile for the camera ! I asked Kimberley what motivated her to share and post so much great stuff on Facebook and she said "I want people to feel like they know them ... so many people enjoy watching horse racing, and gamble on horse racing, but at the end of the day they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. The same is true for people who do not like horse racing, I wanted to give them a real insight into our world and show that there is so much more going on than the 2 minutes that people see in a race. These horses are our family, we love them so much and they are all unique individuals. They have so much personality and I want people to feel that connection with them other than just reading their name in a race program". Fans of QKS racing get to follow the daily exploits of the stable on Kimberley's Facebook page, where she also displays her amazing talents as a photographer, sharing snapshots of her 'kids' and describing each activity while sharing each horse's nickname, and registered name. The cast of characters includes "Twister", who is the undisputed star of the show (Schneider says - " just ask him, he'll tell you he is the star ") and a long list of other fun characters like "Roo-Roo", "Thunder", "Villa", "Dum-Dum", "OJ", "June" and "Nora" to name a few. Roo-Roo is Mystic Ruler, an 8 year old pacing gelding by Camystic, is considered one of the stable's top performers currently. The Schneider's claimed him for $5,000 CDN in 2019 and he has turned a nice profit for them since, while also taking a 1:52.4 lifetime mark this winter at Cal-Expo. “Twister” and Kimberley both smile for the camera Another interesting fact about Kimberley is that she loves to teach her standardbreds to ride, and she does so for two reasons - reason number one is because it is so much easier to find them a new home or a new job when they are done racing if they are trained for, and accustomed to riding. The other reason is that Kimberley believes that it is good for their brains to do something different and get mental stimulation from a variety of activities. The Schneider clan will also be represented by Richard 'Ricky' Schneider, who, like Quentin and Kimberley is also making his Running Aces debut this season and has 12 horses based at Rice Lake as well. Ricky has collected 200 driving wins and well over 500 training wins throughout his years in the sport and will be campaigning horses like Gene Eugene, Therealgoods, Lookslikewemadeit, Chief Saratoga, and Budgie Smugler among others. Keep an eye out for the Schneider's and the QKS Racing cast of characters as they take on Minnesota when The Running Aces season kicks off this coming Saturday, June 20 at 1:00 pm CDT By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

There are many byproducts of the COVID-19 pandemic that are affecting all walks of life, and Harness Racing has had no immunity to the disruptions of normal life. Almost every racetrack in North America was shut down for the better part of three months, and Harness tracks in particular fared worse in terms of shutdowns than other breeds. New health and safety protocols have been put in place at all tracks, and in most cases that has led to new limits on capacities, and distancing requirements of both horses and horsemen on the backstretch at most tracks. Running Aces is no different, and when you factor in the idea that the north-metro Minnesota track already had an under-abundance of stall space to meet yearly demand and interest of trainers seeking to race here, the COVID-19 challenges of 2020 was making it tougher than ever to meet that demand for stalls at the track. Many trainers have found a solution in a quaint little town about 80 miles away from Running Aces and across the Wisconsin border where you can find a great half-mile fair track at the Barron County Fairgrounds in the town of Rice Lake, which has a population of about 9,000 and a rich history in Harness Racing that dates back to the 1800's. In fact, the main racehorse barn was built late in that century, and is currently listed as the oldest standing building in Barron County. And while that historic barn, and the fairgrounds have played host to many famed Wisconsin harness racing stables, it has not been as busy as it is this summer since the very early 2000's. Many of the locals in Rice Lake enjoy walking on the fairgrounds property and love to see all of the racehorses on the track and on the grounds, and many have expressed their delight in seeing so much activity at the barns this summer. The operation of the racetrack and barns at Rice Lake is looked after by Patty Strand, along with Dave Hofacker and Kenny Kolzow. They also operate the Harness Racing meet during the Barron County Fair which typically runs for 5 days in mid-July but will not take place this year due to the pandemic. Patty is also in her second year as Executive Secretary of MHRI, which is the organization that represents harness horsemen in Minnesota. Despite the cancellation of the 2020 fair, Strand and her colleagues at Rice Lake were able to bring some official Harness Racing action to their highly-praised track surface when they hosted the Minnesota early race meets over two weekends from May 30 to June 6, helping Minnesota bred and based trotters and pacers as well as some Wisconsin hopefuls and others to get ready for the Running Aces meet. Harness racing action at the Barron County Fairgrounds in the town of Rice Lake It was a successful undertaking, and the card on Saturday (June 6) saw a new trotting track and state record set when 4 year old trotting stallion Bordogna (Rick Magee) glided across the racetrack with a 1:59.1 victory for owners Cathy Dessert of Minnesota and Badger State native Ken Stauffer. Bordogna also holds a track record at Running Aces, and the Rice Lake track also has the state pacing record of 1:56.3, set on July 20, 2017 by another Running Aces star PV Miracle Mary (Rick Magee) for owner Joe Casagranda, of Michigan. She was 4 at the time of that record mile. This season, there are 70 racehorses that are making their homes at Rice Lake, from about 9 or 10 different trainers. The roster includes Quentin & Kimberley Schneider, Richard Schneider, Melinda Smith & Darryl & Jacob Cutting, Chris Scicluna & Pat Berry, Jenna Cornelison, Greig Watson, Chris Frenzel & Amy Wetzel, Gary & Michael Magee and Tony Succarotte. Most of the 70 standardbreds stabled at Rice Lake this summer will be racing at Running Aces, and making the 80-mile trip on race days, which many would say can be a tedious routine when you factor in the idea that you have to be checked into the grounds at Running Aces by 8:00 am to race. But the overwhelming sentiment this summer is that the advantages and amenities at Rice Lake far out-weigh any disadvantages of the 1 hour and 40 minute commute to the track. Horses at Rice Lake get to enjoy lots of wide open space, with turnouts, paddocks and plenty of green grass, and the track surface has always been considered top-notch. When you visit Rice Lake for the fair, on any given year - you can always feel the excitement in the air for the Harness Racing, and while the pandemic may have taken away the fair this year, nothing can take away the excitement for Harness Racing, certainly not this year, certainly not at this little track. Rice Lake is teeming with Running Aces hopefuls and Harness Racing is alive and strong at the historic Barron County Fairgrounds. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

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