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COLUMBUS, MN. - Flick A Fly established a new harness racing track record for sophomore pacing fillies on Sunday night at Running Aces, shaving two-fifths of a second off the old record established a year ago by Show Runner.   The daughter of Voracious Hanover, owned by the Van Otterloo Stables, sat the pocket and took advantage of quick early fractions set by favored Delco Voracious, then closed with a :28.3 final panel to win the $13,000 race for Minnesota-sired colts and fillies in 1:52.1.   Regular reinsman Rick Magee was in the sulky for trainer David Flinn. Stablemate Gravelsinmytravel (Steve Wiseman) finished second with Bunkerhill Bill (Gerry Longo) garnering the show dough.   Country Jewel (Nick Roland) captured the $8000 Fillies and Mares Open pace for the second straight week, edging Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier) and Blazing Fury (Magee) despite an outside post position.   Owner-trainer George Reider purchased the Minnesota-sired six-year-old mare privately two months ago and returned her to Minnesota where she has earned the bulk of her $100,000-plus career bankroll. She has responded with two wins and three place finishes in recent open class competition and looms as a favorite in the aged mares division when Minnesota State Championships night brings the curtain down on the 2014 Running Aces season on August 30.   Veteran driver Lemoyne "Moonie" Svendsen won a $4000 overnight race on Sunday with owner-trainer Mark Anderson's colt Prodigal. It was the 2,999th victory in the 55-year-old Svendsen's career. The Minnesota native, who has plied his trade on the Cal Expo-Running Aces circuit for the past several years, has seven drives as he seeks to reach the coveted 3,000 wins plateau when racing resumes Sunday night.   From the press box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - Country Jewel and harness racing driver Nick Roland zoomed up the passing lane to capture Saturday's $9500 Open Mares pace at Running Aces, narrowly besting Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier) and Kiss On The Lips (Gerry Longo).   In doing so, she became the sixth different winner in the eight distaff opens staged thus far during the 2014 meet.   For the second straight week, the top seven mares were all within 2-1/2 lengths at the finish in the highly-competitive weekly feature.   Owned by trainer George Reider, Country Jewel now has 19 career victories and eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau with Saturday's victory.   She is the likely favorite in the aged division for Minnesota-sired pacing mares when Minnesota State Championship night is staged on closing night, August 30.   Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Running Aces Harness Park, now in its seventh season, established a new handle record on Sunday night when $270,252 was bet on the 11-race program which featured fuller-than-normal fields and highly competitive races.   Over one-half of the races were decided by a half-length or less and only one winner had more than a two length advantage at the wire.   Only two favorites prevailed on the night with win prices ranging from a low of $5.80 to a high of $21.80.   The weekly Sunday feature, a $10,000 Open Pace, was captured by Headsup Yankee in 1:52.3.   The five-year-old Minnesota-sired gelding has made steady progress since joining the open ranks three weeks ago, finishing third and then second before Sunday's victory.   The son of Relentless Yankee is owned by Ken Stauffer's Trot-Away Stable and was trained and driven by Nick Roland.   He beat Silver Spir (Jason Ryan) and Del Rio Seelster (Lemoyne Svendsen).   The win was one of four on the night for Roland, who also scored with Justthewayitis, Split Ticket and Gift Of Honor.   A Running Aces newcomer, Native's Revenge, shocked a group of conditioned horses and optional $5000 claimers with a nine-length dominating performance clocked in 1:51.4 for new trainer-driver Steve Wiseman.   A recent arrival from Hoosier Park, where the four-year-old Allamerican Native gelding was no better than fourth in his last six outings, Native's Revenge went directly to the lead in his initial Minnesota appearance and never looked back throwing an impressive :54 final half.   The winner, who beat Peanuts (Rick Magee) and Peyton's Troubador (Kim Pluta) is owned by Harold Actkinson.   Leading driver Jason Ryan visited the winner's circle three times on Sunday, guiding She's A Foxie Lady, Terror Time and R Gauwitz Hanover to narrow victories.   Only four weeks remain in the Running Aces season with live racing presented each Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through August 30.   Gregg Keidel - Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - Jason Ryan hit a grand slam on Wednesday night at Running Aces, winning four of the eight races to pull one win ahead of Nick Roland, who fashioned a three-bagger of his own, in the local dash derby.   Ryan now has 54 wins after 36 nights of the summer-long 53 program meet; Roland is the current runnerup with 53 victories. Tim Maier and Steve Wiseman are deadlocked for third with 40 tallies apiece. Rick Magee rounds out the top five with 38 trips to the winner's circle.   Ryan got off to a great start winning both ends of the early daily double. He guided Toatsmygoats to a decisive win in a $13,000 Minnesota-sired two-year-old pace; then followed up with a narrow score behind Franky Provolone in an $8000 Open trot.   Toatsmygoats, owned by the Van Otterloo Stable, trounced Well Then Lets Go (Maier) and Queen Of Denial (Roland) in 1:57.2. Robin Clements's Franky Provolone topped Wilamar Valley (Maier) by less than a length in 1:55.4 with Sharpshootennorris (Wiseman) garnering the show money.   Ryan also scored a 1:53.4 win with Serious Art in a $5000 race for condition horses and $5000 claimers; and a $3000 race for $3500 claimers with Terror Time.   Roland's trio of winners were Glittering Muscles (1:59.2) in a $5000 condition and claiming trot; Tyson L (1:56.1)with a score versus $4000 claimers; and Boot Scootin Bow (1:54.2), who topped bottom condition pacers.   From the press box at Running Aces  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Smarter Yet won for the third time in five tries in the weekly Running Aces' Open pace on Sunday night.   Kim Pluta guided the seven-year-old gelding for trainer Ron Merritt and owner Kevin St. Charles. It was the 37th lifetime win and raised Smarter Yet's career bankroll to $236,925. The noted closer used his usual strong stretch drive to catch Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) and Silver Spir (Jason Ryan) in the final strides of the 1:53 mile.   Pluta also won a $7000 conditioned pace on the undercard with Restless Yankee, one of the best Minnesota-bred horses ever. Following the 1:53.4 victory, the Bob and Ryan Lems-owned son of Relentless Yankee now has 46 triumphs and $278,531 in earnings. He bested Dont Tell Rusty (Jason Ryan) and Mister Virgin (Nick Roland).   A $7000 trot mixing top condition horses with $10,000 claimers was captured by Axle (Kody Massey) with a narrow decision over Forceful Gale (Brian Detgen) and Flameon (Lemoyne Svendsen). The winner was claimed from owner-trainer George Reider by Daniel Maier.   For the third consecutive racing night, veteran Gerry Longo scored a driving triple on Sunday. Handle for the 11-race program was $201,791.   Gregg Keidel    

COLUMBUS, MN. - Both Gerry Longo and Tim Maier scored driving triples on the Saturday night program at Running Aces plus a pair of full sisters won back-to-back races, including the $11,000 Fillies and Mares Open pace.   Longo made three consecutive trips to the winner's circle in the second through fourth races. His success started with his own Kiss On The Lips who scored a 1:53.4 tally in a $6000 conditioned race with optional $7500 claimers.   She bested Free Girl (Rick Magee) and Save My Dragon (Kody Massey). He also triumphed with Jenni King's Caseofthesillies and John Rogers' Razzle Be Dazzled. Caseofthesillies defeated distaff maidens Maidamess (Clark Whitney) and Whata Smoothie (Tim Maier) in 1:56.3; and Razzle Be Dazzled topped $4000 claiming mares Lil Miss Nyalation (Rick Magee) and Blazin With Pride (Rob Dinning) in 1:56.2.   Maier won the final three races of the card with full sisters Love Live Laugh and Diva Las Vegas, both owned by his wife Denise, and Pamela Buergi's Fancy Too. Love Live Laugh managed a nose decision over Country Jewel (Nick Roland) and That's Mara (Kim Pluta) in 1:53.1 in the night's featured Open event.   The top six finishers were all within two lengths at the finish in the hotly-contested event. Sister Diva Las Vegas, also a daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels out of the Little Steven mare Prettylittlerebel, beat Keystone Christa (Nick Roland) and Ha Jung (Jason Ryan) in a $4500 race combining $5000 claimers and condition mares.   Fancy Too captured the nightcap, a $3000 race for bottom conditioned mares, topping Britash Redcoat (Rob Dinning) and Five Stars Queen (Jason Ryan) in 1:56.4.   Sandwiched between the two driving triples was a second straight impressive victory by the two-year-old gelding URCutoff, who beat a full field of older horses in a non-winners of two races for a $4500 purse. Owned and trained by Mark Anderson and driven by Lemoyne Svendsen, the colt stopped the timer in 1:55.4 to follow up on his 1:54.3 maiden voyage last week.   From the Running Aces Press Box  

COLUMBUS, MN. - 69-year-old Gerry Longo, the senior reinsman in the Running Aces driver's colony, scored a couple of upsets on Tuesday night's program. Not only was Longo the only multiple winning driver on the night, but he owned and trained both horses as well.   Kiss On The Lips survived a long first-over journey on the outside to sweep from last to first in a $4500 conditioned and claiming race for mares. With an impressive :28.1 final panel the four-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway bested Surprisingly Sweet (Steve Wiseman) and RD IOU (Tim Maier). Dispatched at odds of over 7-1, Kiss On The Lips paid $17.80 to win and headed a $61.80 exacta and $216 trifecta.   Three races later it was Dragons Wail lighting up the toteboard for Longo. Despite moving up a class and starting from the seven hole in a nine-horse field, the four-year-old Dragon Again lass outlasted Chilly Breez (Nick Roland) and Ksmewithurizclosed (Wiseman) for a one-length 1:57.1 tall. Longo's second longshot winner returned $29.20 to win and topped a $65.60 exacta and $242.20 trifecta.   Longo is occasionally permitted to announce a qualifying race at Running Aces and his fellow drivers mused that his mares raced alot like Gerry's favorite phrase he uses in his calls: "They raced like hares who just backed up to a porcupine--they were gone!"   From the Running Aces Press Box

COLUMBUS, MN. - Running Aces Harness Park's annual "Back To The Track" night has been dubbed "Super Saturday" with a number of special promotions and enhanced purses on the ten-race program. In addition to getting free programs, fans will have an opportunity to get autographs of all the leading drivers from 6:15-6:55 p.m., will have a chance to catch T-shirts tossed from the winner's circle after each race, and might be chosen as one of ten lucky patrons to get a two-seater jog cart ride around the track between races.   Total purses on Saturday night will be $84,250 which is 50% higher than normal. The increased purses were made possible by a Saturday night weather-related cancellation three weeks ago.   The feature race is the $18,000 "Back To The Track Sweepstake" for open distaff pacers. Lady's Art has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the full field of nine.   She will be seeking her third win in six open company starts at Running Aces for driver-trainer Steve Wiseman. All but one mare in the race has won at least once in the first seven weeks of the Minnesota meet, and that one has a pair of runnerup finishes in the fillies and mares opens. The other contestants are New Manhattan (Jason Ryan), Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier), That's Mara (Kim Pluta), Blazing Fury (Rick Magee), Delco Voracious (Jesse DeLong), Nocturnal Rose (Kody Massey), Keystone Christa (Rob Dinning) and Country Jewel (Nick Roland).   Post time for "Super Saturday - Back To The Track Night" is 7:00 p.m. (CST)   From the Running Aces Publicity Department

COLUMBUS, MN. - It has been ten straight programs since the 50-cent Pick-6 wager has been solved at Running Aces Harness Park resulting in one of the largest Pick-6 pools in recent harness racing memory.   The Wednesday night (July 16) pool, in conjunction with the USTA Strategic Wagering platform, is guaranteed to reach $50,000 with some experts predicting that the final payout figure might even exceed $60,000.   A pair of longshots, 20-1 Western Willow (Tabatha Canarr) and 24-1 Petite Courageuse (Kody Massey), dashed the hopes of most of the bettors who had pumped the potential Tuesday night payoff to over $35,000 if a single 50-cent winning ticket had been sold. The other four winners were Skeet Thunder (Nick Roland), who returned $3.60 to win, Dragons Wail (Gerry Longo) $7.40, Go See Lo Go (Roland) $10.00, and Everyone's Desire (Jason Ryan) $12.80.   The Wednesday program begins at 7:00 p.m. (central time) and the Pick-6 comprises races three through eight. It includes everything from a maiden pace for a $3000 purse to an Open Trot chasing a $12,000 pot. There are five full nine-horse fields (four paces) slated and one seven-horse conditioned trot.   Free past performance pages for the 50-cent Running Aces Pick-6 will be available via a link for all the USTA Strategic Wagers that can be found at: ustrotting.com.   From the Press Box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - The Pick 6 went unsolved for the eighth straight program at Running Aces on Saturday night, despite an $8000 guaranteed pool. In conjunction with the USTA's Strategic Wagering platform, the track is guaranteeing a minimum $15,000 Pick 6 pool on Sunday night, July 13.   Post time for the 11-race card is 6:00 p.m. (CST) with the Pick 6 comprising the final six races of the card. Program pages will be available for free at: ustrotting.com, compliments of Trackmaster.   A $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open pace highlighted the Saturday card with Blazing Fury (Rick Magee) rallying from next-to-last in the seven-horse field to an upset half-length victory over favored Country Jewel (Nick Roland) and New Manhattan (Jason Ryan).   It was the 42nd win in the Minnesota-bred mare's amazing career for the Van Otterloo Stable and lowered her lifetime best mark by two-fifths of a second despite being age eight. Positioned as the fifth race in the Pick 6, Blazing Fury's $23.80 win mutuel ended all hope for the few remaining bettors still alive in the exotic wager.   The second leg of the Pick 6 produced an even bigger upset when Everyone's Desire (Jason Ryan) stunned a non-winners of two races field at odds of 19-1. Owned by David Hauser and trained by Alexia Kehl, the four-year-old gelding topped Flukie Flight (Gerry Longo) and Boddabingboddaboom (Tim Maier) in 1:56.1.   Earlier on the card stablemates Waltzacrossthewire (Tim Maier) and Delco Voracious (Jason Ryan) finished one-two in a $13,000 race for Minnesota-sired sophomore pacers. Both horses are owned and trained by Jesse DeLong, with assistance from Tabitha Canaar in Minnesota. Bunkerhill Bill (Rob Dinning) finished a fast-closing third in the 1:53.1 mile.   From the press box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - For the second consecutive week an invader from Chicago captured the Open Trot at Running Aces on Wednesday night.   Rock Hollywood, a seven-year-old gelding who hadn't won in 21 starts over two years, trotted to an impressive victory over last week's winner Trot Fudge Sundae (Rick Magee), another recent Chicago newcomer, and Franky Provolone (Jason Ryan) to earn the winner's share of the $10,000 purse. Leading driver Nick Roland made a quarter-move to the front and never looked back winning by a length and a quarter in 1:55.4, just one second off the all-time track trotting record.   Although Rock Hollywood was bred in Illinois and earned over $200,000 in his formulative years, he raced exclusively in Norway in 2013 and early 2014 before being returned to the United States. He had two place finishes in Chicago after being returned to North America before being shipped by owner Mike Brink to trainer Brett Ballinger at Running Aces.   Toatsmygoats equalled a long-standing track record for two-year-old colts when he destroyed a field of Minnesota-sired freshmen pacers in 1:56.3. It was the Relentless Yankee colt's second win in as many tries, both chasing $13,000 state-restricted purses, for the Van Otterloo Stable, trainer Dave Flinn and driver Jason Ryan. The quick clocking matched the one of Chewy Baca--also owned by the Van Otterloo Stable and trained by Flinn--in 2011.   The 50-cent Pick 6 wager went unsolved for the seventh straight program producing a carryover of $4,298.87 into the wager on Saturday night when racing resumes at Running Aces. The wagering pool could exceed $8000 by the time the bet begins on the fifth through tenth race on Saturday. Post time is 7:00 p.m. central.   From the Press Box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - R Gauwitz Hanover won the $10,000 Open Pace at Running Aces Sunday night to become the first double winner of the weekly feature in the first six weeks of the meet.   The five-year-old Modern Art gelding, who lowered his lifetime record to 1:51.3 with the victory, had also won in week four of the meet for owner Laurie Patistas. Rick Magee was in the sulky this time around as trainer Jason Ryan had an uncoupled stablemate, Silver Spir, in the race and finished second by three-quarters of a length. Smarter Yet (Kim Pluta), last week's winner, was a close third.   Ryan also trained and reined another swift winner when Threestepstoheaven captured a $9000 undercard event which featured a mix of conditioned horses and $12,500 claimers. Anthony Artuso owns the son of Rambaran who just edged It's Getting Hairy (Rob Dinning) and Canadian Touch (Steve Wiseman) in 1:52.   Owner-trainer Jesse DeLong also had a nice night winning back-to-back races. Mister Virgin (Nick Roland) captured a $5000 condition-claimer in 1:54.3 and I'm Blue Too (Steve Wiseman) followed up with a 1:53.2 tally in a $6000 condition and $7500 claimers race.   The driving star of the night was Rick Magee, who won the final four races on the program, including the Open. The 36-year-old Wisconsin native now has 24 wins at Running Aces in 2014 to secure his fifth place position in the dash standings and narrow the gap on the leaders. Defending champion Nick Roland has the slight edge with 33 wins, followed by both Jason Ryan and Steve Wiseman with 31, Tim Maier with 26 and Magee with 24.   Racing resumes Tuesday night at Running Aces and will feature an estimated $4000 50-cent Pick Six wager on races three through eight. Post time is 7 p.m. central time.   From the Running Aces Press Box

COLUMBUS, MN. - For the second consecutive week Lady's Art captured the Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Running Aces besting a full field of nine for a $12,000 purse. Harness racing reinsman Steve Wiseman, who also trains the five-year-old Art Major mare, was content to sit in the pocket throughout until tipping to the outside with a sixteenth of a mile left and collaring pacesetting Country Jewel (Nick Roland) by a neck in the final few strides. New Manhattan (Jason Ryan) finished third.   The 1:52.2 clocking was just one-fifth of a second slower than her track record setting performance a week earlier. Owned by Kenneth Seastrom and James Kouretas, Lady's Art now boasts 15 career victories and $113,709 in earnings.   That's Mara (Kim Pluta) was impressive winning a $7500 condition race in 1:53.1 on the undercard. The upset winner, who paid $40.40, was 2-1/2 lengths better than Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier) and Free Girl (Rick Magee). It was the tenth career triumph for the five-year-old daughter of Lis Mara who is owned by A Piece Of The Action LLC Stable and conditioned by George Reider.   Gregg Keidel  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Driver Nick Roland reached the coveted 1,000 wins plateau on Sunday night at Running Aces when he guided 11-year-old Mac T's Diamond to a 1:55 score in the third race.   The 31-year-old reinsman is a third generation horseman who honed his talents on the Iowa county fair circuit before moving to Running Aces when it opened just over six years ago. A perennial leading driver, he finally broke through in 2013 and is the reigning dash champion at the Minnesota five-eighths mile oval.   The milestone win was Roland's 24th of 2014 and first of three on the Sunday program. He also triumphed with Chewy Dunkerton in a $13,000 event for Minnesota-sired three-year-old trotters; and with Headsup Yankee in a $6,500 conditioned pace.   Smarter Yet, making his Running Aces debut, captured the $9,500 Open Pace for owner Kevin St. Charles, trainer Ron Merritt and driver Kim Pluta. The seven-year-old Western Maverick gelding now has 35 lifetime wins and career earnings of $223,225. Pluta had the winner positioned next-to-last in the early going, but began a second-over journey in the outer flow approaching the halfway point. Moving up steadily through fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:24.2.    Smarter Yet closed with a final panel of :27.4 to win in 1:52.4. Overlooked at odds of 25-1, Smarter Yet paid $53.40 for a $2 win ticket. Second and third place finishers R Gauwitz Hanover (Rick Magee) and Restless Yankee (Nick Roland) completed exacta and trifecta tickets worth $539.20 and $2,839.80 respectively.   The Open pace has been highly competitive at Running Aces through the first five weeks of the 14-week schedule with five different horses winning the weekly feature thus far. Handle on the ten-race card was $189,848.   From the Running Aces Press Box

COLUMBUS, MN. - The first leg of the summer-long Minnesota-sired two-year-old pace program was highlighted on Wednesday night at Running Aces with Toatsmygoats (Jason Ryan) winning the initial $13,000 race in 1:58.3.   Owned by the Van Otterloo Stables and trained by David Flinn, the son of Relentless Yankee sat third or fourth throughout the majority of the mile before exploding with a final :28.3 panel to down Queen of Denial (Nick Roland) and Gooch's Hot Rod (Tim Maier).   It was the very first money start of the winner's career with just a 2:01.2 qualifier previously under his belt. Toatsmygoats paid $5.80 to win as the second choice of the betting public.   An $8000 Open Trot was also presented with Sharpshootennorris (Steve Wiseman) winning for the third time in four tries since arriving at Running Aces from California. Bette Calice's standout 11-year-old gelding beat Natural Forces (Kim Pluta) and Franky Provolone (Maier) for his 48th career victory.   Driver-trainer Tim Roach also enjoyed a monster night when all three of the horses entered from his stable found the winner's circle. Captiva Bounty scored in 1:55.4 to win a non-winners of two races conditioned claiming pace; Dr Lon beat a full field of $3500 claimers in 1:54.1; and Gogetembrady sped to a second straight triumph, this time in 1:53.4, to capture a $5500 conditioned pace.   From the Running Aces Press Box

COLUMBUS, MN. - R Gauwitz Hanover, the longest shot in the field, captured the $8,500 Open Pace at Running Aces on Sunday night, speeding to a 1:53.2 score for driver Kim Pluta over favored Del Rio Seelster (Tim Maier) and Restless Yankee (Nick Roland).   Laurie Patistas owns the five-year-old gelded son of Modern Art. It was the 12th career tally for the winner from just 48 lifetime starts. He is trained in Minnesota by Jason Ryan, who drove stablemate Threestepstoheaven to a fourth place finish in the same heat. Going off at nearly 14-1, R Gauwitz paid $29.80 to win.   The quick time was one of five races that ended in 1:53 and change clockings on the night. Others were won by Silver Spir (Tim Maier) in 1:53.3 to best an $8,000 top conditioned class; Lifetime Louie (Rick Magee) who won a $6,500 conditioned race in 1:53.3; Gogetembrady (Tim Roach) who destroyed a $5500 conditioned field in 1:53.4; and Second Thoughts (Tim Roach) who surprised a $2500 bottom conditioned class in 1:53.4. Roach trains both of the horses he steered to victory.   Driver Jason Ryan scored a triple on the program, while reinsmen Rick Magee as well as Roach notched doubles. On the training side, conditioner Jesse DeLong and assistant Tabitha Canaar triumphed in both $6,500 splits of the Minnesota-sired three-year-old trots. Chewy Dunkerton (Nick Roland) won the colts split in 2:00.4 and stablemate She's A Foxie Lady (Jason Ryan) won the fillies division in 2:00.2.   Trainer George Reider also sent two to the winner's circle in Lifetime Louie and the trotter Axle (Rob Dinning), who scored in 1:57.3 in a $6,000 top conditions race.   From the Press Box at Running Aces

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