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A harness racing fan favorite at Running Aces, pacing mare Queen Of Denial made her return to the Minnesota oval tonight, and did not disappoint her loyal followers by posting a nice 1¼ length tally over a decent field of condition/optional claiming distaffers. Her royal highness paced in 1:55.3 with the win and paid her backers $5.20 at the windows. She is owned by Peter Pellegrino, and trained by her driver Nick Roland. Queen Of Denial had been racing out on the east coast all season, and had been doing quite well, until she took a bad step in a race on May 31 at Pocono Downs and fell to the track. She hadn’t been herself since that incident until she returned to Minnesota and the care of Jessica Johnson and Trainer Nick Roland, and she took quite well to her old stomping grounds this evening with a very nice effort. She is by Hot Pans and was bred by Duane Roland of Iowa, and she now sports 17 lifetime wins and a bankroll of $120,422. The Wednesday night Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured the $15,000 Minnesota-Sired 2 year old Trot, and it was heavy favorite Silent Dreams ($2.20), a filly by Money Talks who posted another impressive win, topping the field by two lengths in 2:05.1 with Dean Magee in the sulky. It was the third win in 4 lifetime starts for Silent Dreams, who has now earned $23,900 for Glen & Jody Wilson, she is trained by Brett Ballinger. Bunkerhill Bill did not disappoint off the big class drop in the Wednesday finale, as he posted a dominating gate-to-wire performance in 1:56.2 and paid $3.00 to win, with Gerald Longo in the sulky for owner/trainer Gene Miller. Despite just a 7 horse field, and with the big favorite on top, the .50 cent Hi-5 wager paid handsomely with a $630.40 dividend to each winning ticket holder. The .50 cent Hi-5 wager has been producing very large payouts all season at Running Aces. The next card of Live Harness Racing goes to post at Running Aces on Saturday, July 30 at 6:00pm CDT. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Driver Jim Marino, a resident of British Columbia, Canada posted his 2,000th career driving win at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack on Saturday night, July 16 when he piloted Stuckey Dote ($12.80) to victory in the $15,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pace in a 1:55.2 lifetime mark. The milestone win was the product of a second-over trip and a 3-wide move at the ¾ pole, placing his charge Stuckey Dote in perfect position to sweep by the pace-setter Cyrax (Brian Detgen) in the homestretch and score the win by 1 ¼ lengths. Marino is 40 years old, and has been driving since 1998, he won his first race in 1999, and has not looked back since. He recorded his best year in 2012, when he posted 192 wins and nearly $1.3 million in purses. Jim has been among the top drivers throughout his home province of British Columbia for many years, including hundreds and hundreds of trips to the Fraser Downs winners circle. In addition to his 2000 wins, he has now accumulated nearly $11 million in career purse earnings. Marino has raced in the United States in the past, in fact he recorded his 1,000th win at Cal Expo Harness in 2009, but this is the first year he has competed at Running Aces in Minnesota. Jim has been a welcome addition to the great and talented driving colony here, and we certainly hope to see him coming back here in future seasons. I spoke with Jim after his milestone win and he told me that he was very happy to have been able to achieve the milestone here at Running Aces, at what he described as a "first class facility" and he also said the drivers here have welcomed him and been very supportive. Marino also told me he was "happy to get it off his back (so to speak)" so he can just concentrate on his regular daily routine without the pressure of a milestone win upon him. But my guess is, it won’t be too long before he will be feeling that pressure again as this very talented horseman will continue to achieve great things in the sulky sport. Jim Marino qualified in June for the national driving championship in Canada this fall, which could potentially lead him to the 2017 World Driving Championship. We certainly wish him good luck on October 14 at Western Fair. Jim will be joining me as my guest interview on the Running Aces segment on Post Time with Mike & Mike next Thursday night, 7:00 pm EDT when we will learn more about his start in Harness Racing and talk about his big milestone tonight, and his participation in the Regional and National driving championships. Also on Saturday we celebrated the great Dan Patch who hailed from Savage, Minnesota and set his long-standing world record of 1:55 at the Minnesota State Fair exactly 90 years ago. The Dan Patch historical society was on hand for the event, with winning drivers tossing Tee-shirts from the Winners circle, plus drawings and other festivities. On the racetrack, Firedrake ($6.40) was sharp from gate-to-wire in the The $7,000 Minnesota Sired or Owned colts & geldings conditioned pace, which was one of the Dan Patch days feature races. Trainer/driver Nick Roland sent Firedrake away alertly from post six, quickly taking the lead, and controlling the contest through fractions of 27.4, 58.1 and 1:26.2 before charging home in 29.0 pulling away from the field with every stride in the 1:55.2 mile. This nice 3 year old gelding is by Dragon Again out of the Artsplace mare Everything’s Easy, has now won 4 of 9 lifetime starts, he is owned by Set the Pace Racing, LLC. The other Dan Patch featured pacing event was the $7,000 Minnesota Sired or Owned Fillies & Mares conditioned pace, and it was American Dancer ($5.60) who did not disappoint as the 9-5 favorite with driver Luke Plano in the bike. Plano got her away in the pocket from post 5, and waited patiently for the stretch, where they were able to pull away from the field to win by 4 lengths in 1:55.0, a new lifetime mark for the filly by General Aidid, owned by Timothy Lems and trained by Robert Lems. The $15,000 3 year old Minnesota-Sired Open Pace went to Stuckey Dote ($12.80) with driver Jim Marino in the sulky in a new life’s mark of 1:55.2 for Owner/Trainer Merlin Van Oterloo. It was the 8th lifetime win for Stuckey Dote, and the 2000th career driving tally for driver Jim Marino. Driver Nick Roland had a big night as well as he posted a Grand-Slam, also piloting winners Dagmar ($11.00) in 1:59.4, Bettor’s Promise ($3.80) in 1:53.3 and Mint to Cruise ($5.00) in 1:58. by Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

The Saturday night harness acing card at Running Aces featured the $15,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pacers in action, and Freedom Reigns with Tim Maier in the sulky was looking for his 6th straight win, and he left very quickly from the gate and had to work hard to clear the lead from Swagasaurus Rex (Rick Magee) who sprinted away from post two and stopped the timer in 27.4 at the quarter pole, before yielding to Freedom Reigns at the 3/8 pole. The big favorite then led all the way to head-stretch after posting 56.4 and 1:25.3, but it would be Cyrax (by Intrepid Seelster) who would pull the upset and put an end to the winning streak. Cyrax was guided away in the 3rd position from the inside post by Driver Brian Detgen, who waited patiently until the top of the stretch to angle out, and charge down the center of the track, pacing away from his rivals, and posting a 2½ length win, in 1:55.0 with Freedom Reigns holding second, and Stuckey Dote (Jim Marino) up for third. Cyrax lowered his lifetime mark by nearly 4 seconds with tonight's win, he is owned by James Springer and Trained by Robert Lems, and paid his backers handsomely at the windows, delivering $34.40 for every $2.00 wager. And In The $11,000 Open Handicap Trot, a talented field of 6 went to battle, with Banker Volo (by Yankee Glide) looking for his 5th straight win, and he stepped lively from the outside post for Trainer/Driver Nick Roland, easily clearing the field and posting a 29.0 quarter time, he trotted confidently from there, throwing up 58.2 and 1:27.1 fractions, before sprinting home in 28.1 to post another new Track Record for aged Trotting Stallions of 1:55.2, lowering the mark that he had just set a week ago. Banker Volo paid $3.60 to win for his many backers and He now has won 5 in a row, and 6 of 7 starts this year, and has earned $27,217 this season for Owners Daniel and Jeralene Roland. Flameon (Dean Magee) was home second, with Big Expense (Moonie Svendsen) checking in third. Drivers Nick Roland and Steve Wiseman both posted driving Triples on the card, and Luke Plano posted a driving double. Darin Gagne

COLUMBUS,MN- The Saturday night Harness Racing card at Running Aces featured the $11,000 Open Trot, and Banker Volo posted his 4th consecutive win at Running Aces, breaking the Track Record for aged Trotting Stallions in the process. Nick Roland sent him away sharply from post five in the 6-horse contest, and he never looked back, posting fractions of 27.0, 56.1 and 1:25.4 en route to the new track mark of 1:55.3 He is a 7 year old Stallion by Yankee Glide, owned by Daniel & Jeralene Roland and trained by Nick Roland, and now has lifetime earnings of $252,083. Another sharp trotting performance on Saturday, was the 5 year old gelding Lo Rail Crossing (by Rail Splitter) who posted his 21st lifetime win while taking a new lifetime mark of 1:58.0, shaving nearly two seconds off his previous best winning time with trainer/driver Nick Roland in the bike, and he now sports a lifetime bankroll of $81,346 for owner Lorenza Gooch of Texas. HoldingAllTheCards posted a gate-to-wire score in 1:52.3 in the $6,000 upper-level conditioned pace with Dean Magee in the sulky, it was the second win in a row for this impressive 7 year old gelding by Cam's Card Shark, who now shows a career tally of 31 wins and $338,317. He is owned by William & Richard Mc Intyre and Trained by David Ginter. Luke Plano posted a Hat-trick on the program, while Nick Roland and Dean Magee scored driving doubles. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Sunday night, July 3nd at 6:00 pm CDT. by Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

The Winnin Dollar (by Sos Lunar Eclipse) remained unbeaten in four starts in 2016, after Sunday’s first Race at Running Aces, The $7,500 Minnesota sired harness racing three-year-old gelding Trot. Heavily-favored at 1-2 in the wagering, Driver Nick Roland wasted no time finding the top with his charge, and after clearing to the lead easily from post 6, the dynamic duo set very leisurely fractions of 30.1, 1:03.0 and 1:33.0 before charging home in 28.4 to win easily in 2:01.4. He paid $3.00. Tonight’s victory was his 11th lifetime win, in just 15 starts, and pushes his career earnings to $37,090 for Owner Jesse DeLong , and Trainer Justin Anfinson. The $7,500 3 year old Minnesota-Sired filly Trot went to Bombshell Betty ($3.80) for the second consecutive week , Steve Wiseman did the driving tonight and she equalled her mark of 2:00.3 set here last week, she now sports 5 lifetime wins from her 15 starts. She is owned by Jesse DeLong and Tabatha Canarr, and Trained by Justin Anfinson, this was his third training win on the night, as he swept the first 3 races, also winning with Just Blitzed (Nick Roland) in race 2 in 1:59.2, paying $3.00 The $11,000 Open Handicap Pace was the Sunday night Feature, and it was a thrilling contest, with Ideal Art (Steve Wiseman) charging off the gate to the early lead, then yielding to TheBestofJoel (Tim Maier) past the 27.1 quarter. The lineup remained that way through the next two splits of 56.1 and 1:24.3, before the cavalry came charging down the lane … when the dust settled it was OfficerNaGentelman (Brian Detgen) who pushed his head to the front at the wire, besting a hard charging Bettor In The Bank (Dean Magee), with Ideal Art holding third and TheBestofJoel home in fourth, in the 1:53.2 mile. It was the tenth win in 25 starts this year for the 8 year old gelding by Royal Mattjesty, and pushed his seasonal bankroll to $47,875 for his owners A Piece of The Action, LLC and Trainer Tim Maier. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tueday night, June 28 at 6:00 pm CDT. Darin Gagne

The Saturday night harness racing card at Running Aces featured the Summit Pace and the Summit Trot . A very large and enthusiastic crowd attended the kickoff to our Summit Father's Day Weekend. The featured seventh Race Summit Pace went to Make Three Wishes ($13.40), a 5 year old mare by Brandon's Cowboy, Owned by Paul Sanders and Trained by Justin Currie, with Nick Roland steering her to victory in 1:53.4. The Summit Trot in race 6 went to favorite Where's The Clicker ($4.80) with Dean Magee aboard, for Trainer Tim Roach and Owner Kyle Larner, in 1:56.3 it was the 4th win this year for the son of Angus Hall. There were 2 divisions of the $15,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pacers in action on Saturday, divided into two groups, A and B, and it was Freedom Reigns (Tim Maier) who will most certainly graduate to group A next time out, after posting his 3rd consecutive sharp winning mile in the $6,000 B group, another life's mark of 1:54.4 tonight. The gelding by Up Front Brad is owned by Janice Molgaard and Nancy Jenson, and trained by Brady Jenson, he paid $2.80 as the heavy favorite. The $9,000 A group went to the filly Cruzin Coco, (by Voracious Hanover) who posted her 4th win 5 starts this year, and a new lifetime mark of 1:54.3 with Steve Wiseman aboard tonight. The razor-sharp filly is owned by Ron Emerson and Mark Holtan, and trained by Joel McDanel. The 3 fillies in the field took not only 1st, but also 3rd (Dag In My Stockings) and 4th (Fancy Little Girl) against the 4 geldings tonight. The .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager was hit tonight, with one lucky patron correctly selecting the sequence of 7-3-4-1-4-4 in races 4 through 9, to take down the entire jackpot of $13,520.15 The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Sunday night, June 19 at 6:00 pm CDT with a nice 11 race card. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

The Sunday night harness racing feature at Running Aces was the $11,000 Open Handicap pace, and it was Jazzmanian Devil with Moonie Svendsen in the bike who charged out of the gate from post four to the early lead, before yielding to Bunkerhill Bill (Gerald Longo) past the ¼ in 27.3, then sitting the pocket through the middle half in 56. and 1:23.4, before charging by in the stretch to draw away by 2 lengths in 1:53.2, with Bunkerhill Bill second best, and Bettor In The Bank (Dean Magee) finishing 3rd. Jazzmanian Devil is owned by William Condon, of California, and trained by Steve Wiseman. This was the 8th win of the year for the 5 year old gelding by Sand Shooter, and it boosted his seasonal bankroll to $ 31,937. He paid his backers $11.40 at the windows. In the $7,000 Minnesota-sired 3 year old geldings Trot, it was The Winnin Dollar (by Sos Lunar Eclipse), who did the winning and paid $9.00, he is owned by Jesse Delong of Wisconsin, trained by Justin Anfinson, and was driven to the 1:59 lifetime mark by Nick Roland. The very nice 6 year old gelding Buddy's Hope (Luke Plano) picked up another impressive win, for Sean Lancaster and Jerome Bouvier, in a nice field of conditioned pacers, stopping the clock in 1:53.4 and paying $7.20 to win. Driver Nick Roland scored a hat-trick on the card, while Lemoyne (Moonie) Svendsen picked up a driving double and Rick Magee all scored doubles on the Saturday night card. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, June 7 at 7:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $3,193.51 By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

COLUMBUS,MN- The Saturday night opener was the $11,000 Open Handicap Trot, and Flameon was looking for his 6TH straight win, and was sent off as the overwhelming  1-5 choice. The ultra-sharp 6 year old gelding left sharply from the outside post 5, and never looked back, strolling through fractions of 28.3, 58.4, and 128.3 before widening his lead in the stretch with a 29.2 final panel, posting a 1:58 final time over the sloppy track. He paid $2.40 on the win ticket. He is owned and trained by Mark Anderson, of California, and driven by Dean Magee. Cruzin Coco ( by Voracious Hanover ) scored her second straight Aces win, taking the $7,000 3 year old Minnesota-Sired Filly Pace in race 2, posting a 2-length score in 1:58.2 with Rick Magee aboard, paying $4.20 Bunkerhill Bill ( G.Longo ) captured his 2ND straight local win in the $9,000 upper-level conditioned pace in 1:54.4 in race 3 for Owner/Trainer Gene Miller of Michigan, paying $6.00 to his backers. Swagasaurus Rex ( by Voracious Hanover ) was very sharp in capturing the $7,000 3 year old Minnesota-Sired colt pace in race 4, sitting the pocket early, driver Rick Magee waited until just past the ¾ pole to make his move, and Swagasaurus Rex responded gamely, pacing away from his rivals to score by 3 lengths in 1:57.4, paying $5.80 for the win, and completing a double on the card for Rick Magee. Defending Champion driver Nick Roland swept the final 4 races on the Saturday card, starting in race 7 with Gotta Dream Big ( $17.80 ) for Trainer Sean Lancaster and owner Al Bird, of British Columbia posting a lifetime mark of 1:54.3 despite a sloppy track, then in race 8 he steered Holla at Ur Boy ( $14.80 ) to victory for Lloyd & Judith Schneiderman of South Dakota in 1:58.0. He completed the hat-trick with his own charge trotter Lo Rail Crossing in race 9 ( $8.40 ) for owner Lorenza Gooch of Texas, in 1:59.4, and topped off the Four-Bagger with another from his own barn in race 10, Headsup Yankee in 1:55.3 ( $3.20 ) for the Set the Pace LLC group of Minnesota. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Sunday night, May 29 at 6:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $1,121.93. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - Da Terror took a step up in class Tuesday night (September 8) at Running Aces and came away with an upset win the the $9800 Open I Pace, clocked in 1:52.3 over the highly-acclaimed five-eighths mile oval. Driver Nick Roland was content to let the diminutive six-year-old son of Western Terror idle near the rear of the compact field of six early, then launched him into second-over position approaching the half. Forced three-wide around most of the final turn, Da Terror had worked his way up to third by the head of the stretch then collared heavily-favored Chewy Baca (Travis Bowman) in deep stretch. Outlawdangruswatrs (Gerry Longo) also raced creditably to finish third. "This horse, despite his smallish stature, tries as hard as any horse I've driven," said Roland, who is vying for the Running Aces dash title with Steve Wiseman with just two nights to go in the 2015 season. Roland owns a 72-70 advantage at present. Da Terror is owned by Banks Standardbreds of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and trained by Justin Anfinson. It was the speedy winner's sixth triumph of the year and increased his career bankroll to $78,221. Racing resumes Wednesday night (September 9) with a nine-race card at 7 p.m. (CST). The final program is dubbed Minnesota State Championship Night when over $200,000 in purses will be up for grabs on an 11-race card on Saturday (September 12) starting at 6 p.m. (CST). Gregg Keidel

Silence Son made his swansong at the harness racing meeting at Running Aces  a memorable one by winning the $9600 Open Trot for the third consecutive week on Sunday night (August 30). According to owner-trainer George Reider, the six-year-old gelded son of Majestic Son is now headed to the Delaware, Ohio Blooded Horse Sale where he'll sell as part of the supplemental catalog at the end of the Monday (September 1) session. Driver Nick Roland left alertly from the assigned outside post position and coasted through front-stepping fractions of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:26.4 before trotting home in :28.4 for the 1:55.3 victory. El Azteca (Gerry Longo) raced gamely to finish a head behind in second with Thekeptman (Luke Plano) three lengths back to garner the show dough. It was the 11th 2015 triumph in 28 tries for Silence Son, who now sports 27 career victories in 88 lifetime starts and has banked $110,829. Gregg Keidel Director of Racing      

Driver Nick Roland regained the lead in the Running Aces' dash derby with four trips to the winner's circle on Sunday night's harness racing card. Following Californian Steve Wiseman's driving triple on Saturday night, Roland, a 33-year-old Iowa native, trailed for the first time in almost two months by a 52-51 margin after 37 nights of the 53-night meet. Wiseman managed one win on Sunday, but Roland's four put him back on top by a 55-53 count. Luke Plano has moved up to third in the standings with 42 triumphs, followed by Tim Maier with 41 and Gerry Longo with 38. Roland captured the $9600 Open Trot with Silence Son, who topped Thekeptman (Plano) and El Azteca (Longo) in 1:56.2 for owner-trainer George Reider. With the victory, six-year-old Silence Son eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau. Roland also guided Reider's Country Jewel to a 1:56 score in a conditioned pace for mares, tallied with Becky Badger Baby from his own stable in a $6000 three-year-old open trot, and steered Liberty Flyer to a 1:56.2 score in a $7200 conditioned pace for conditioner Justin Anfinson. Wiseman's win came behind Imfasterthanu in a $7200 top distaff conditioned pace. The 1:55.3 victory was the second in four nights for the ten-year-old Cammibest mare owned and trained by Edwin Quevedo. Gregg Keidel

Driver Luke Plano captured half of the eight races on the Tuesday night (July 21) harness racing program at Running Aces, including a triumph in the night's featured $8000 Open Pace. Plano worked out an ideal two-hole trip for Coopers Beach as he followed heavily-favored Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) until the head of the stretch then held off fellow closers Quality Sport (Tony Succarotte) and It's Getting Hairy (Gerry Longo) by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.1. Coopers Beach, a six-year-old Western Ideal gelding, took a life mark of 1:50.2 at Pompano Park earlier this year, but had been languishing in claiming races at Hoosier Park of late until moving to Running Aces a month ago. Owned by Plano's mother Maryann and partners John Darrah and Lawrence Keethe, the winner now has two wins in addition to a place and a show finish in his first four starts in Minnesota. Plano also guided Forceful Gale to an impressive front-stepping 1:57 victory in a $5500 top condition trot, besting Margin Call (Rick Magee) and Evolution Of Dance (Dean Magee). Jeff Brewer trains the winning six-year-old Strong Gale gelding for owner Ann Wrobbel. Plano stablemates Stylemaster (1:56.1) and Up Town Watts (1:55.3) copped the final two races on the card, giving Luke four wins on the night and running his total to nine in the last four nights. Stylemaster is owned by Nikki Hudson, while K C Carvalho became new owner of Up Town Watts via the claim box one week ago. A single winning 50-cent Pick Six ticket was sold with the astute handicapper scoring a handsome $1,957.65 return on his astute half-dollar investment. Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Silence Son and Keep The Dream won their respective $8000 Opens at Running Aces on Sunday night; while the 50-cent Pick 6-offering a $5000 guaranteed pool-went unsolved due to a pair of longshot winners. When harness racing resumes at Running Aces on Tuesday (July 7) night, track officials expect that the Pick 6 pool will grow to well over $10,000. Silence Son (Nick Roland) took full advantage of a two-hole trip behind favored Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman), passing the frontrunner in deep stretch to win the Open Trot by three-quarters of a length. After comfortable fractions for the track's top trotters of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:28.1, the winner put a finishing :28.3 on his triumphant 1:57 win. Californian George Reider both owns and trains the six-year-old son of Majestic Son who now has $88,509 in career earnings. Jailer (Rick Bertrand) got the show dough in the featured race for squaregaiters. Keep The Dream gave Roland, the leading driver at the meet, a sweep of the pair of features by copping her $8000 event for the best pacing mares in Minnesota in 1:54.4. The five-year-old Mach Three mare was placed fourth through the first two fractions of :28.1 and :58, then moved first-up through the 1:26.1 third panel to pull within a length of pacesetting Part Time Lady. With a strong :28.2 closing panel, Keep The Dream passed the leader and held off fellow closers De Valeria (Tim Maier) and Rev Me Up (Mark P'Pool) to garner her third local victory, but first in open company. The winner boosted her lifetime bounty to $125,166 for owner Dr. James Findlay of British Columbia. Tawa Road and driver Tony Succarotte pulled a major upset in the first leg of the Running Aces Pick 6 on Sunday, narrowly defeating heavily-favored Super Son Of Sandy (Lemoyne Svendsen) and returning $49 to win.   Sunday's handle of $220,098 was the best of the young 2015 summer meet at Running Aces. Bigger and better numbers are expected on Tuesday when a solid 11-race card-including the 50-cent Pick 6 with an estimated $10,000-plus pool-begins at 7 p.m. (CDT). Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Sons of Minnesota sire Relentless Yankee dominated the $8000 Open Pace at Running Aces for the second straight week on Saturday (June 27). First to cross the finish line was Chewy Baca (Gerry Longo), followed by Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland), It's Getting Hairy (Dean Magee) and Goody Two Socks (Tim Maier). The top three are all harness racing six-year-olds from the same 2009 crop, while the fourth place finisher is a year older. Chewy Baca extended his win streak to five with the impressive 1:52.3 victory, the last four at Running Aces, for 70-year-old owner-trainer-driver Gerry Longo. The winner got away fifth in the compact field of six, came first-over at the half then swung three-wide around the final turn before pinning the two length triumph on his fellow state-bred blood relatives. Longo is enjoying one of the finest statistical meets of his lengthy career. The green, gold and black clad veteran is currently second in both the drivers and trainers standings at Running Aces with 16 trips to the winner's circle including a dozen with horses from his stable in the first ten nights of the 53-night stand. His UDRS average is well over .400 and his UTRS well over .500 in the month of June. Leading driver-trainer Nick Roland also had an exceptional Saturday night scoring a triple with horses he also conditions. The 32-year-old Iowa native won both $5500 splits of the Minnesota-sired sophomore paces. Queen Of Denial captured the filly division in 1:55.4, besting Moonshinenmonkeys (Tim Maier) and Smokin Hot Coco (Travis Bowman). Gotalilcaptaininme beat Willystay-R-Willgo (Longo) and Toatsmygoats (Rick Magee) in 1:57.4 in the tandem male event. Roland also guided I'm So Blue to a 1:55.1 score in a $4000 conditioned pace. The triple gives him 20 driving wins in the first ten nights. A $7000 Open II Pace was also won by a Minnesota-bred son of Relentless Yankee as eight-year-old Restless Yankee triumphed for the 47th time in an illustrious career which as produced $283,319 in earnings. Former Running Aces driving champion Dean Magee, back in Minnesota for the summer after a couple years absence, guided the ageless wonderhorse to the 1:53.3 tally over Ideal Smile (Steve Wiseman) and Stonebridge Lyric (Bowman). Racing resumes Sunday (June 28) with a 6 p.m. (CST) post time. Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. – Silence Son and harness racing driver (Nick Roland) used a convincing third quarter brush to overtake pacesetting El Azteca (Tim Maier) and favored Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman) then threw in a :29 second final panel to win the $8000 Open Trot at Running Aces on Sunday night in 1:56.1.  Franky Provolone, who had captured the weekly top trot on the first two Sundays of the 2015 meet, also overtook El Azteca to finish second in his third attempt. Silence Son is owned and trained by George Reider.  It was the sixth win this season for the six-year-old altered son of Majestic Son with the first five coming at Cal-Expo in Sacramento, California.  With 22 lifetime wins in just 78 starts the winner now sports an $82,509 career bankroll. For driver Nick Roland, the win in the feature race was one of four on the program and vaulted the 32-year-old Iowa native back to the top of the dash standings after nine nights of the 53-night summer season.  Roland’s other triumphs were with Just The Way It Is (1:53.4), Hotmones (1:55.1) and Place At The Beach (1:56.1). Luke Plano scored a driving double behind Free Girl (1:56.1) and Prana (1:52.1, quickest mile of the night). Gregg Keidel Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - The curtain fell on the 2014 season at Running Aces Harness Park on Saturday night, but not before eleven Minnesota State Champions were crowned. Leading driver and trainer awards were also presented before the capacity crowd on closing night.   Jason Ryan, a 26-year-old Prince Edward Island native, captured his first Minnesota driving title in just his second summer at Running Aces. The talented reinsman, headed to New York in the coming days, won the dash title with 90 wins during the 53-night meet to outdistance reigning champion Nick Roland, who finished second with 81 victories.   Tim Maier garnered his second straight training title at Running Aces, defending his 2013 championship with 35 winners. Five trainers still had an opportunity to win the hotly-contested title going into the final two nights. Steve Wiseman and Nick Roland deadlocked for second with 33 triumphs from their respective stables, while Dave Flinn and Jesse DeLong notched 32 winner's circle trips each.   Becky Badger Baby (Nick Roland) won the $20,000 Minnesota State Championship for two-year-old trotting fillies, despite a break in stride behind the gate. It was the fifth win in a dozen freshman starts for the tiny filly, owned by Dale Hein and Royal and Barbara Roland, who beat Al Mar Reba Babe (Gerry Longo) and Sweet Nola Kate (Brett Ballinger).   Moonshinenmonkeys (Rick Magee) upset stablemate Queen Of Denial (Nick Roland) and Dancin Debby (Jason Ryan) to earn the lion's share of the $20,000 two-year-old filly pace division. Mark King bred, broke and owns the champion filly who more than doubled her rookie season earnings with her second career win in 1:57.   Go See Lo Go (Nick Roland) continued his domination of the two-year-old trotting colts ranks with an easy 2:02.1 front-end score over Al Mar Skip Bo (Rick Magee) and Lunar Trouble (Dave Flinn). It was the ninth win in twelve starts and eighth in a row for the pride of the Lorenzo Gooch stable.   Toatsmygoats (Jason Ryan) was tons the best in the freshman pacing event, sailing to a 1:56 victory over Gooch's Hot Rod (Gerry Longo) and Holla At Ur Boy (Rick Magee). Now seven out of eight, all at Running Aces, the winner's share of the $20,000 purse pushed Toatsmygoats earnings to $47,000 for the Van Otterloo Stable.   Al Mar Pizzazz (Tim Maier) produced the only serious longshot win on the evening, shocking the three-year-old filly trotters at odds of 17-1. Trainer Ulf Holm-Johansen and partner Vern Devine was ecstatic with the 1:59.1 score, her fifth of the season but first against the best sophomore distaff trotters in the state. She's A Foxie Lady (John DeLong) was second with another longshot, Country Cheerio (Jason Ryan) getting up for third.   Delco Voracious (John DeLong) duplicated her 2013 Minnesota State Championship with a 1:54.3 clocking to capture the 2014 title. It was the tenth win in just 17 starts for Jesse DeLong's top filly who now has over $75,000 in earnings as she topped slightly-favored Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) by a nose with Dakota Law (Nick Roland) awarded the show dough.   Driver John DeLong was back in the winner's circle with his brother Ben's three-year-old trotting colt, Chewy Dunkerton, in the very next race. With 14 wins over two years of racing at Running Aces, the colt is rapidly approaching $100,000 in earnings. His 2:00.1 final time was just over a length better than T-U-R-B (Nick Roland) and Lo Rail Crossing (Gerry Longo).   Favored Bunkerhill Bill (Gerry Longo) did not disappoint in the $20,000 final for sophomore pacing colts. Gene Miller's homebred won for the third time in his most recent four starts, topping V Mack (Kim Pluta) and Black Hammer (Tim Maier) in 1:54.3.   Out of the former claiming mare River Bend Raider, who toiled at Running Aces for several years before heading to the breeding shed, Bunkerhill Bill has earned $45,285 thus far in his first season of racing. The final three races on the closing program were $10,000 events for aged Minnesota-sired horses.   Blazing Fury (Rick Magee) bested the pacing mares with a 1:54.4 success over stablemate Cheese Plumper (Tim Maier) and Place At The Beach (Kim Pluta). The Van Otterloo Stable owns the first two finishers and trainer Dave Flinn conditions all three of the top finishers.   Skeet Thunder (Kim Pluta) proved best in the division for older trotters, beating RA's Shakinthtbacon (Rick Magee) and No Recess (Brandon Jenson) in 1:59.3. Andrew Anfinson owns the winner.   The final race of the season went to Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland), who has enjoyed a very good season with a dozen top three finishes in 15 starts against top condition and open horses. Owned by the Trot-Away Stables, the five-year-old gelding paced away from I'm Blue Too (John DeLong) and Peanuts (Lemoyne Svendsen) to bring down the curtain on the 2014 Running Aces season.   From the Running Aces press box  

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