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Columbus, MN - A total of 111 Minnesota-Sired horses have been carded over fourteen races for the 2019 Night of Champions program at Running Aces, a number that is a testament to the continued growth of the Minnesota harness racing program. The total purses on Night of Champions is $543,500 which is a record amount, by a large margin and also indicates the success of Minnesota harness racing and the success of Running Aces as a growing multi-faceted Casino, Racing and Entertainment destination. Heading up the Night of Champions program is MD Magic, who was the dominant two year old male trotter in Minnesota last season, and set a record for single-season earnings in the Minnesota program with his $70,300 in freshman purses earned. MD Magic (post #3 in his final) has a big chance to re-write that record again this year as he heads into Saturday night's program with 2019 earnings of $62,550 and will be the favorite to win his $40,000 Championship race. MD Magic is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC and is trained and driven by Nick Roland, he has been posted as the 6-5 morning line favorite. The $40,000 Minnesota-Sired three year old colts & geldings pace event will feature eight talented starters and is headlined by 2018 Minnesota Horse of The Year Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman) who is also looking for his second consecutive championship title and comes into this year's title event with eleven wins in twenty-two career starts and $97,220 in purse earnings, He is the 2-1 morning line favorite from post three. Also among the favorites in the eight horse field will be SB Bodacious, set at 5-2 on the morning line from post four for Trainer/Driver Rick Magee, who leads the division in seasonal earnings ($46,311) and is coming in fresh off a recent 1:55.1 win, and has the fastest winning mile of the year in the group (1:52.2). The $40,000 three year old filly pace has 9 starters and is headlined by last year's two year old champion filly Windmeupnwatchmego (post three,Dean Magee) who shows six wins in nine outings this year, and twelve career wins in just seventeen starts, is the 5-2 favorite on the line, and her chief rival in this group will be Sweet Vivian (post one, Mooney Svendsen) who has won three races this year, and has hit the board in the top three in twelve of seventeen races as a sophomore, she is listed at 3-1. The $50,000 two year old filly Trot Championship has a field on nine and features both of the current track record holders in the category with (#2) Susie's Sister (Don Harmon) being installed as the 8-5 favorite from post position 1, and co-record holder (#8) SB Madam Secretary (Darrell Wright) billed as the 3-1 second choice from post eight. The $50,000 two year old colts & geldings pace is headlined by the very sharp freshman Bunkerhill Phil, who has dominated the division for most of the year and has nine wins in twelve starts at Running Aces to claim the title of the winningest horse of the season. Bunkerhill Phil is driven by Don Harmon, and has been installed as the 6-5 favorite from post three in the nine horse field. The $40,000 four year olds & up pace event promises to be an exciting contest, with last year's champion (#7) Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) back at Running Aces and in top form to defend his title, and (#1) Whatchyastarinat (Don Harmon) poised for battle after a huge effort in the Open Pace on Sunday night, finishing a close second in the fastest mile ever at Running Aces (1:50.1). Stuckey Dote is the 9-5 favorite on the morning line, while Whatchyastarinat has been installed as second choice at 5-2. The other Championship events promise to be exciting contests as well, the overall card of races is by far the best and most competitive group of horses we have ever seen on Finals night, we are excited to see the races unfold and she which Minnesota-Sired Trotters and Pacers shine brightest on the biggest night of the year. The 20 cent Pick-5 wager will comprise the last 5 races of the night, and features full competitive fields and a $20,000 Guaranteed Pool, as well as a carryover of $8,139.20. Last year's Night of Champions Pick-5 pool exceeded $50,000. There will be Mandatory Payouts in all pools on Saturday night. The entire Night of Champions card will be broadcast live from the track apron, with Track Announcer Darin Gagne, and special guests Rod Allums, Jr, Mike Pribozie, and Ray Cotolo of NAHUpicks.com, as well as Ken Terpenning from Harness Racing Replays 2.0. In addition to traditional race analysis and handicapping, the team will provide additional content such as interviews and biographical information. Fans will have many chances to win prizes during the program, with losing ticket drawings being held between races from the broadcast table. Prizes will range from hats to Running Aces gifts and promotional items, to dining certificates and betting vouchers. Post time for the 12 race betting card is 6 pm (Central), and there are two undercard (non-wagering) races starting at 5:10 pm. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces    

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday night (September 10) harness racing program at Running Aces featured a trio of Open Handicap pacing events, one for Mares, one for Horses & Geldings, and one for two year olds.   The $14,000 Horses & Geldings Open was an action-packed affair with Firedrake (Nick Roland) firing fastest off the gate to the early lead before releasing the front to Top Notch (Rick Magee) who was immediately confronted by Who'szoomingwho (Darrell Wright) who took over the front just before the half mile in a solid :56.1.   Who'szoomingwho dominated the affair from there, and withstood strong pressure from Skim The Top (Don Harmon) throughout the final half. Firedrake angled out near the three quarters and was charging hard outside at the wire but ran out of racetrack to fall a half-length short of the leader as they crossed the line in 1:52.3. Skim The Top fought hard to the wire as well to check in third and was only beaten by 3/4 of a length.   Who'szoomingwho ($12.60) is an 8 year old gelded son of Palone Ranger, and out of the No Pan Intended mare Southwind Tiki, he is owned by Mariah Wright and trained by Darrell Wright.   The $15,000 Mares Open Pace went to Amasa Arion ($4.20, Rick Magee) who converted a perfect pocket-trip into a new lifetime mark in 1:52.4 for Owner Kristy Casagranda and Trainer Rick Magee. The ultra-sharp 4 year old daughter of Western Thorn has now won eight of eleven starts this year, and has bankrolled $80,609 on the season. Juslikeaqueen (Dean Magee) was home second and Strings (Nick Roland) checked in third.   The $10,000 two year old Open Pace went to heavy favorite Bunkerhill Phil (Don Harmon), who scored his 9th win of the season, and became the winningest horse this season at Running Aces with a 1:57.3 tally over longshots Grace N Honor (Rick Magee) and Thegreatestislove (Darrell Wright). The winning Owner/Trainer is Gene Miller. Bunkerhill Phil has now banked $44,349 in eleven career starts.   The 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot has a carryover of $8,139.20 and is expected to be guaranteed at $20,000 (pending regulatory approval) for Saturday night (September 14). There will be mandatory payouts in all pools on Saturday night as well, as the season closes out with the huge Night of Champions program that will offer purses of nearly $500,000. Post time on Saturday is 6:00 pm (Central).   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - Harness racing trainer Edwin Quevedo posted a big night at Running Aces on Saturday (August 24) with 3 winners from 4 starters, catapulting him into the top-5 trainers standings with nine programs left to go in the 2019 Aces season.   Quevedo teamed up with driver Nick Roland on Deweydiddonegood to score a 1:54.4 win, and two in a row, in a $9,500 Claiming Handicap Pace. After securing the pocket early, and saving ground throughout, Roland surged up the inside lane with Deweydiddonegood ($5.80) to deliver a narrow victory over a game Johnny Gun (Darrell Wright) to get things started for Quevedo. Fredi Herrrera is the winning owner.   Next, Quevedo teamed up with driver Steve Wiseman in the very next race, on Western Devil who orchestrated a two-move trip and emerged from the pocket with big late pace to nail a 3/4-length tally in 1:54.1 over Musician (Tim Maier). The victory was a new lifetime mark for Western Devil ($28.40) for owner Santiago Quintana.   Two races later, Quevedo sent out Peekaboo Tattoo in a $6,500 Mares Claiming Handicap Pace with the services of driver Rick Magee, who put together a beautiful second-over trip for Peekaboo Tattoo and stormed home on the outside to sweep by the front runners and score her 5th win of the season for owner (and wife) Fabiola Quevedo. Peekaboo Tattoo delivered as the favorite ($6.20) in a final time of 1:55.2.   Nick Roland led the Saturday program with a driving double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (August 25) with local post time at 6:00 pm.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN -Driver/Trainer Nick Roland led the Harness Racing program at Running Aces on Sunday (August 18) with three winners on the program, including two dramatic wins in two of the evening's featured events.   Roland steered his superstar 3 year old gelding trotter to victory in the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired sophomore Trot from post seven, getting away quickly for the early lead before yielding to Major Al-Mar (Dean Magee) for the pocket. Ice Storm (Mooney Svendsen) came from second over and battled late with Major Al-Mar, with MD Magic looking to be blocked nearing the wire, but Roland was able to thread the needle and surge in between his two rivals to get up right on the money in a three-way photo as they stopped the timer in 2:00.3.   For MD Magic ($4.00), it was four wins in a row and his sixth victory in eleven outings in 2019, for seasonal earnings of $50,550. The winning owners are Set The Pace Racing, LLC.   Roland sent out Firedrake in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for horses and geldings, and again had to face his chief rival Nine Ways (Dean Magee) who was in search of his ninth consecutive win and was heavily favored at 2-5. Both Firedrake and Nine Ways flashed their customary gate speed, with Firedrake getting to the front first from post six, then yielding to the big favorite near the 1/8 mile mark as they ripped off an opening stanza of :26.4.   Nine Ways led through the middle stages in :56.1 and 1:24.2 but faced strong first-over pressure from Fox Valley Nemitz (Brian Detgen). Nine Ways had the lead as they straightened for home, with Fox Valley Nemitz still pressing on, and Bettor's Promise tipping wide with pace. Firedrake was looking for room and found just enough to squeeze through the inside lane and make it a four way go at the line. After a lengthy photo finish examination, Roland and Firedrake had gotten home just in front of Nine Ways in an absolute thriller in 1:53.   Set The Pace Racing, LLC. are the proud owners of Firedrake, the now 6 year old gelded son of Dragon Again, out of the Artsplace mare Everything's Easy. Firedrake ($14.40) now has 3 wins and $50,780 on the season.   Running Aces honored and remembered horseman Tim Brown on Sunday, with the $15,000 Open Trot being named the Tim Brown Memorial Race. The field of eight was deep with talent, and the public honed in on Winning Lyric as the 3-5 favorite.   Silverlode (Steve Wiseman) got the early lead with a strong brush from the gate, with Banker Volo (Nick Roland) leaving from post seven and finding the pocket, while public choice Winning Lyric (Dean Magee) got away last before getting into the outer flow near the half.   Silverlode led them into the far turn but began to shorten strides as Winning Lyric had quickly advanced all the way up to the leaders wheel, and took over near the 3/4-mile marker. French Eclipse (Rick Magee) had saved ground throughout and was a clear second, with It's A Horse (Tim Maier) closing late for third money.   Winning Lyric ($3.20) is a 5 year old son of Credit Winner and out of the Yankee Glide mare Naked Lyric, he now has four wins in twelve starts in 2019 with earnings of $49,995. He is owned by Terrence Smith and trained by Edward Hernandez.   Nineteen year old driver Braxten Boyd picked up his first career pari-mutuel driving victory on Sunday at Running Aces, when he steered his family-owned pacer Bestinthebusiness ($13.60) to his 47th lifetime win in 1:53. The winning trainer is Gene Miller.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday night (August 20) with local post time at 6 pm.   Photo: Running Aces all time leading trainer and driver had a big night on Sunday, including dramatic wins with MD Magic and Firedrake.     By Darin Gagne for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday night (Aug. 6) harness racing program at Running Aces featured the $16,000 Mares Open Pace, with a nice field of nine top level distaffers squaring off behind the gate. Delightfully Wild was a slight favorite in the wagering at 5-2, while last week's winner PV Miracle Mary was sent off at 3-1, and Pull The Shade was well supported at 7-2. Nick Roland sent Delightfully Wild right to the front from post five, flashing her customary early speed and posting a quick opening panel of :27.2, while Brady Jenson put Pull The Shade into play immediately and grabbed the pocket position. PV Miracle Mary (Rick Magee) left for position from post nine and was able to secure the fourth spot early. Delightfully Wild ($7.20) was able to control the tempo of the race, posting very solid middle fractions of :56, and 1:23.4 to keep her rivals in chase mode. PV Miracle Mary tried hard to get past the leader from first-over, but Delightfully Wild continued to pace strong on the lead, and dug in gamely when confronted late by pocket-sitter Pull The Shade who posted a strong inside charge to the line.  Delightfully Wild hit the wire first by a neck in a very sharp 1:52.2 mile, for her 30th career tally, and her sixth win of the season. Pull The Shade just missed the top prize, and PV Miracle Mary checked home in third. The winner is a 6 year old daughter of Bettor's Delight, she is owned by Richard Morita and David Yamada, and trained by Jessie Pacheco. A pair of two year old Open events were also featured on Tuesday's program, with Teachmehowtotory picking up her third career win in five starts in the $10,000 two year old Open Trot in 2:01.3 for owner Set The Pace Racing, and trainer/driver Nick Roland, and Bunkerhill Phil picking up his sixth win in a row in the $10,000 two year old Open Pace in 1:59 with Don Harmon in the bike for owner/trainer Gene Miller. Driver Nick Roland led the night with three winners, while Don Harmon and Steve Wiseman both picked up driving doubles on the Tuesday card. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, August 10 with first post at 6:00 pm (CT). By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces      

The Sunday evening (June 9) harness racing card at Running Aces had plenty to offer in the way of excitement and nostalgia. The ten race program featured horses doubling and even tripling up and extending their current top form, and it had former champions and top horses returning to glory for the first time this year. It had upset winners and it had spot-on favorites, it was a great night at the races. Firedrake is one of the top pacers at Running Aces over the past several seasons, with many memorable accomplishments - including starting out with 9 wins in his first 10 starts of 2017, then going on to win the inaugural Dan Patch FFA Pace that same year, and coming back in the 2018 Dan Patch to almost repeat with a second place finish beaten only a neck. His season in 2019 has been a little different - he dealt with some obstacles over the winter and for a while he didn't look like himself - at least not on paper. He visited some new tracks and perhaps didn't care for them as much as Running Aces, where he has seen the most of his career success. Things began to improve as Firedrake began to pick up some decent finishes in Ohio and later in Indiana, but still the winner's circle had been elusive. Firedrake made his way back to Minnesota for the start of the season and he was right here where he belonged on opening night (May 18) and he turned in a decent effort in the feature race (3rd). He was back in the feature one week later and finished a respectable fourth, and then he was seventh after that. Firedrake was back home at his favorite track and he was doing ok, he was looking good, but there was still something missing - his trainer Nick Roland had not driven him in a race in nearly a year. That was about to change. Firedrake was in to go in a $9,000 conditioned pace, getting some well deserved class relief and Nick Roland would reunite with his 6 year Dragon Again gelding and take on a field of nine from post four. The stage was set and Firedrake was ready to show his Minnesota fans that he was back. The public took notice - sending him off as the 4-5 favorite. He was fastest off the gate but was immediately challenged by Whatchyastarinat (Don Harmon) who took the lead with Roland opting for the pocket. The early fractions were tepid for the top-level pacers and the challengers came calling after the half mile. Elusive Image (Tony Huffman) was pressuring the leader with Five Card Draw (Mooney Svendsen) charging from second-over. Firedrake had lots of pace but was blocked. Roland was patient and waited for the homestretch - they got the room they needed and the dynamic duo immediately took off with a furious and impressive rally to the wire. The competition was left reeling as Firedrake drew off by two lengths in 1:54.2 for the fastest mile of the night. Firedrake ($3.80) is back, and with Nick Roland in the bike the two of them proved once again that they are a force to be reckoned with. Five Card Draw was up for second, while Whatchyastarinat held for third. Firedrake is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC. The $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old trotters were in the spotlight on Sunday as well, with a field of 8 going to battle in the opener. Major Al-Mar (Rick Magee) was favored from post one while MD Magic (Nick Roland) was a close second choice in the wagering. Dewey's Machine (Steve Wiseman) set the tempo and led for most of the contest, but there was a nice battle as the field rounded for home. Twilight Tinker ($18.20, Brian Detgen) was trotting fastest of all on the far outside after angling from third on the pylons, and she passed her rivals with an impressive stretch drive to stay in front of Major Al-Mar and MD Magic at the wire in a career best 1:59.4. Twilight Tinker was the 2 year old filly Champion trotter in 2018, and the victory on Sunday was her first win of the year. She had shown maturity and increased abilities in her first few starts of 2019, picking up a second and a third in three starts and holding her own against the male trotters as well. The winning owner is Cathy Dessert and the winning trainer is Nick Roland. Twilight Tinker and Brian Detgen Banker Volo ($6.40, Nick Roland) continues his domination of the Minnesota trotting scene - a reign that has spanned the last four years continues as he scored his third consecutive win in the top $15,000 Open Handicap on Sunday. At age ten the always impressive Stallion shows no signs of letting up. Banker Volo made easy work of this week's seven horse field with an early charge to the front and a never-in-doubt mile of 1:56.4 to check in 2½ lengths ahead at the wire. Banker Volo fans got a very generous price of more than 2-1 this week. Bringoverthemoney (Tim Maier) was second best and My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) was home third. The winning owner is Lucas Roland and the winning trainer is Jenni King. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday (June 11) with a couple of nice carryovers - $6,123.93 for the Pick-5, and $4,582.36 for the Hi-5. Post time on Tuesday is 7:00 pm (CDT) By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack      

The Saturday night (May 25) Harness Racing program at Running Aces kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a large crowd and some fantastic races. The harness racing card featured $23,000 in purses for the Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pacers, splitting in two divisions by sex. The $11,500 colts & geldings grouping included 2018 Minnesota Harness Horse of the year, Burning Blaze who was sent off at 1-5 in the wagering, with last-out winner SB Bodacious a clear second choice at 4-1. Burning Blaze (Nick Roland), Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo) and Trump Train (Steve Wiseman) all left the gate with early speed and the scramble was on for the front spot, resulting in a very fast 26.2 opening quarter. Burning Blaze emerged with the lead and Roland backed the second quarter down tremendously (31.2) before speeding back up for a 29 flat third panel (1:26.4). Trump Train launched a first-over attack just past the pole and SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) picked up the live cover, with Stay Humble N Kind snug in the pocket. As they rounded for home, the top four were all loaded with pace, and Burning Blaze was under siege. Stay Humble N Kind raged forward in the passing lane, while SB Bodacious tipped wide and turned on the after-burners to nail the victory right on the wire, a nose ahead of Stay Humble N Kind, with Burning Blaze home in third. SB Bodacious, a gelded son of Voracious Hanover and Salsa Hanover is now undefeated in two sophomore starts, and posted a new career mark of 1:55.3 with his third lifetime win. Rick Magee also trains the impressive pacer, for owner Mikaela DelGiudice. The $11,500 filly division went to race favorite and divisional two year old champion Windmeupnwatchmego, in her season's debut. She got away fourth and then surged to the front down the backstretch before easily pulling away from the field to score an impressive 3 ¾ length tally in 1:56.2. Dean Magee was the winning driver, for trainer Gordon Graham and owner Richard Davelaar. Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) remained razor-sharp, capturing the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for the second straight week, and three wins in a row. He fired fast from post 8 and posted a 26.1 opening quarter to establish command. From there he was never in doubt and scored a one length tally in 1:52.2 for his fourth win of the year for owner Merlin Van Oterloo. Brett Ballinger is the winning trainer.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces Sunday, May 26, with first post at 6:00 pm (CDT).   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

Columbus, MN -Sixteen races have been carded for opening weekend of the 2019 Minnesota Harness Racing season at Running Aces, highlighted by the $14,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday and the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot on Sunday. The Saturday feature will see the return of top pacers Stuckey Dote and Firedrake as headliners. Stuckey Dote, who recently lowered his lifetime mark with a 1:50.3 score at Scioto, is the 6-5 morning line choice from his assigned 7 post, and veteran Rick Magee will be at the controls for trainer Brett Ballinger. Firedrake, who was the inaugural Dan Patch FFA Pace winner in 2017, and close runner up last season, starts from post six for trainer Nick Roland and looks for his first win of the year. Brian Detgen has the drive on Firedrake. Sunday's card is headlined by the Open Trot and the return of Silverlode to the Minnesota oval. The now 10 year old trotting mare is fresh off a stellar meet in northern California, where she dominated the Open ranks, including a North American record on February 23, when she trotted a mile and a half in 2:57.2 Steve Wiseman will steer Silverlode, as usual, for wife Kathleen Plested. Silverlode looks to carry on with a five race win streak and has just surpassed the $250,000 mark in career spoils. Silverlode will square off against a good field of trotters, including fellow track record holder Banker Volo (Nick Roland) and former track record holder Al Mar Reba Babe (Dean Magee). Driver Steve Wiseman is back and ready to defend his driving title from the past two seasons, and he's looking for a track record 3 titles in a row. Running Aces all-time leading driver Nick Roland will be back in full force looking to pick up his fourth title, and top veterans Rick Magee, and Dean Magee will be among the leaders, and Minnesota Hall-of-Famer Lemoyne "Mooney Svendsen" is back and fresh off a fantastic season at Cal Expo where he was just nosed out at the finish for the title. Trainer Kathie Plested is also back with a powerhouse stable to defend her leading trainer title, and is looking for her third consecutive Aces' trophy and her fifth consecutive title on the California-Minnesota Circuit. Saturday night will offer local fans some great beer and wine specials, as Running Aces' popular " Keep it Local Night " is back to spotlight local breweries and wineries with free sampling and prize drawings, as well as free Live Music after the races every Saturday. Sunday's are family day at Running Aces, with free trout-pond fishing for kids, coloring contests plus drawings and contests for the adults and so much more. Tuesday's very popular " Dollar Night " promotion is back as well, offering fans tremendous value and a fun and extremely affordable night out. All of our popular exotic wagers from last season are back, with at least two 50 cent pick-3 offerings each night, plus early and late 50 cent pick-4 wagers, the 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 and the extremely popular 50 cent Hi-5 wagers on each of the last two races of the night. The 50 cent late Daily Double is also back and starts in the second to the last race. Live Racing spans 53 nights this summer at Running Aces, Saturday, May 18 through Saturday, September 14. Post times are 6 pm (CT) on weekends and 7 pm (CT) on Tuesdays.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

The Minnesota Harness Racing Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet was held on Saturday, February 23 at Vanelli's by the Lake in Forest Lake, MN. Among the top honorees in the Awards portion of the evening were Burning Blaze and Goody Two Socks. Trainers Nick Roland and Justin Anfinson each had 3 divisional champions, while breeders Cheryl & Al Sandbulte and Glen Sauder each had two divisional champions to their credit in 2018.   "Burning Blaze (Wind Me Up-Cowgirls N Indians-Jet Laag) dominated the two year old colt pacing division with seven wins and two seconds from nine starts, $53,250 in purse earnings and a track record 1:54.1 mark taken on Night of Champions September 15. Burning Blaze, who was bred by owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte of Iowa, is also owned by Edward Gutin and is trained by Justin Anfinson, received the 2 year old colt Pacer of the year award and was also voted - by a wide margin - as the overall Minnesota Horse of The Year by the banquet attendees.   Also nominated for Horse of The Year honors were Bringoverthemoney, Firedrake, Windmeupnwatchmego, Place At The Beach, Pridecrest, Dream Chasin, and Here Comes Teddy.   Goody Two Socks (Relentless Yankee-Ms Jordi-Magical Mike) was inducted into The Minnesota Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Saturday, honored for his accomplishments both on and off the racetrack.   Goody Two Socks was a gelded Pacer by Relentless Yankee out of the Magical Mike mare Ms Jordi. He won 24 of 111 career races with 20 seconds and 11 thirds and $98,959 in purses. Goody Two Socks was bred by Beth Dale in Minnesota and owned by Seppo Hakaama of Michigan.   Developed by both Greg Budach and Gene Miller, he was then trained throughout most of his racing career by Alexia Kehl. Goody Two Socks was a fan favorite at Running Aces, he always tried his heart out on the racetrack, and he hit the board in half of his career races. Goody also had an amazing power of connection with people, a trait that will live on as part of his legacy in Minnesota. Goody Two Socks passed away early this year, but now lives on in the hearts and minds of everyone he touched, and lives on in the annuls of Minnesota Harness Racing forever.   During the Annual meeting portion of the evening, voting was conducted to fill three M.H.R.I. board member seats that were up for election. Rick Magee was elected to the board by a wide margin of the votes along with Scott Bannitt and President Mark Corless was also re-elected to another term on the board.   Three special Milestone Awards were presented for accomplishments during the 2018 Season. Nick Roland was recognized for his 1,500 wins milestone on July 8 at Running Aces steering Sing N Sandi to her maiden victory, while Rick Magee was honored for his 1,000 career wins milestone on July 15 at Aces driving Bringoverthemoney to victory in the Minnesota Sired 3 YO Trot. Dean Magee was also honored with a milestone award for his Running Aces track record of 7 wins on one program on Tuesday, July 31.   The Divisional horse of year honors for the Running Aces meet were as follows:   2YO Filly Trotters - Twilight Tinker Owner- Cathy Dessert Trainer- Nick Roland Breeder- Glen Sauder   runner up: Lone Pine Shuzy   2YO Colt Trotters - MD Magic Owner- Set The Pace Racing, LLC. Trainer- Nick Roland Breeder-Glen Sauder   runner up: Dewey's Machine   2YO Filly Pacers - Windmeupnwatchmego Owner- Richard Davelaar Trainer- Gordon Graham Breeder- Richard Davelaar   runner up: Trinitysfancyfilly   2YO Colt Pacers - Burning Blaze Owners- Cheryl & Alan Sandbulte and Edward Gutin Trainer- Justin Anfinson Breeders- Cheryl & Al Sandbulte   runner up: Trump Train   3 YO Filly Trotters - Dekker Owners- Benjamin, Eric & Jesse De Long Trainer- Justin Anfinson Breeder- Al Mar Farms   runner up: Mimi Marguerite   3YO Colt Trotters - Bringoverthemoney Owner- Jasmine Horvat Trainer- Brian Detgen Breeder- Katrina Horvat   runner up: SB Fine and Dandy   3YO Filly Pacers - Peekaboo Tattoo Owner- Fabiola Quevedo Trainer- Edwin Quevedo Breeders- Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte   runner up: I'm On A Terror   3YO Colt Pacers - Here Comes Teddy Owner- Aimes Racing Trainer- Justin Anfinson Breeder- Paul Zimmerman   runner up: Ridonkuloso   Aged Mare Trotters - Whatevershesgot Owner- Jenni King Trainer- Jenni King Breeder- Dennis Bontrager   runner up: Al Mar Bon Bon   Aged Male Trotters - Bringthegold Owner- Jane Carter Trainer- Dave Carter Breeder- Dave Carter   runner up: French Eclipse   Aged Mare Pacers - Place At The Beach Owner- Peg Hoffman Trainer- Gerald Longo Breeder- John Hendricks   runner up: Boom Boom Shaboom   Aged Male Pacers - Forgiveusourzins Owners- Carol Polkowske and Barbara & Royal Roland Trainer- Nick Roland Breeders- Barbara & Royal Roland   runner up: Cuz I'm Happy   The 2018 County Fair awards were also presented on Saturday as follows:   Driver of the Year: Brian Detgen with 14 wins and 1,015 points.   Trainer of the Year: Jenni King with 6 wins and 595 points.   Trotter of the Year: Floatinonthebreeze (3f, Money Talks) owned and trained by Jenni King.   Pacer of the Year: Read Me My Rights (3g, Fancy Schmancy) owned and trained by Scott Bannitt.   Once again, we congratulate all of the award winners on a fantastic 2018 season, and we look forward to great things for all in 2019.   The 2019 Racing season in Minnesota starts on Saturday, May 18 at Running Aces.     By Darin Gagne' for Minnesota Harness Racing  

The Minnesota Harness Racing Night of Champions program was conducted at Running Aces on Saturday night (Sept. 15), with eleven championship races going for a record $362,500 in purses, with an additional $15,200 in overnights for a total of $377,700 and the richest harness racing card in state history.   Among the Championship contenders was Boom Boom Shaboom, a 7 year old pacing mare by General Aidid who was making her final career start before retirement to become a broodmare. Boom Boom Shaboom had become a fan favorite over the last few years, campaigning in races all the way up to the top level at Running Aces with many appearances in the Mares Open Pace during the past two seasons.   She drew post six for the $20,000 Aged Pacing Mares Championship, coming in fresh off a sharp winning effort (1:54.2) in a mares conditioned pace last out. Trainer/Driver Brady Jenson seized the opportunity to grab the lead right off the gate- surging to command in the first few strides.   Jenson was able to control the affair with moderate and well-rated fractions (:28.2, :58.1 and 1:27) while saving enough in the tank to sprint home in :28 and seal the victory over fast-closing rivals Swinging Again (James Yoder) and Place'n First (Steve Wiseman) with a half-length margin of victory.   The 1:55 Championship win was career tally number 36 for Boom Boom Shaboom ($24.60) and rounded her final career purse tally up to $132,520 for owners Brian and Kim Larson of Canton, South Dakota. Timothy Lems was the winning breeder.   Burning Blaze turned in a dazzling gate-to-wire performance in the $40,000 2 Year Old Colts & Geldings Championship Pace from post three with driver Steve Wiseman in the sulky. Burning Blaze was never in doubt and was well in hand through a moderate early pace of :28.1 and :58.3, but turned on the turbo charge for a third panel in :28.2 and a blazing final quarter in :27.1, giving his rivals little chance to catch him.   His :55.3 final half was the fastest of the night, and secured the victory by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:54.1 for his seventh win in nine career trips to the gate and a new lifetime mark. He also established a new track record for 2 year old gelding pacers, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:54.3.    The impressive son of Wind Me Up is owned by his breeders Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte along with Edward Gutin. The winning trainer is Justin Anfinson. Rounding out the top three were Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo) and SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) Burning Blaze ($2.10) was a heavy 1-9 favorite.   Dream Chasin became a back-to-back Champion by capturing the $35,000 3 Year Old Colts & Geldings Pace in 1:55 flat with Driver Nick Roland in the sulky. Roland sent Dream Chasin quickly off the gate from the outside nine post and swept right to the lead, controlled the pace and was never in doubt with a one length victory over deep-closer Watchmeneighneigh (James Yoder) and Ridonkuloso (Steve Wiseman) was home in third.   Dream Chasin ($33.00) was the 2 year old champion pacer last season, also with Roland in the bike. The big win tonight was number six on the season and ninth career tally for the son of Fancy Schmancy who has now bankrolled $81,415 for Owners and Breeders Michelle and Gregory Budach. The winning trainer is also Greg Budach.   Full-Sisters Al Mar Reba Babe (Dean Magee) and Al Mar Bon Bon (James Yoder) finished one-two and were separated by just a whisker at the line in the $25,000 Aged Trot Championship. The two daughters of Sos Lunar Eclipse out of Golden Victory by Valley Victor hit the line together in 1:56.3 and the photo finish camera was barely able to split the pair.   Al Mar Reba Babe ($6.40) got the victory by the slimmest of margins for her third win in eighteen starts this year and eleventh career tally, pushing her lifetime bankroll to $105,619 for owner/trainer Richard Davis. Al Mar Bon Bon is owned by Cara Hauser and trained by Alexia Kehl.   The other Championship winners were as follows:   $27,500 2 Year Old Filly Trot, Twilight Tinker (Rick Magee) for owner Cathy Dessert, trainer Nick Roland, time 2:04.1 $35,000 3 Year Old Colt Trot, Bekkums Royal Duty (Dean Magee) for owner Sarah Bekkum, trainer David Ginter, time 1:59 $40,000 2 Year Old Colt Trot, MD Magic (Dean Magee) for owner Set The Pace Racing, trainer Nick Roland, time 2:00 $40,000 2 Year Old Filly Pace, Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) for owner Richard Davelaar, trainer Gordon Graham, time 1:57.2 $35,000 2 Year Old Filly Trot, Mimi Marguerite (James Yoder) Jeanne Marquis and Jesse De Long, trainer Justin Anfinson, time 1:58.3 $35,000 3 Year Old Filly Pace, I'm On A Terror (James Yoder) Brian Anfinson and Jesse De Long, trainer Justin Anfinson, time 1:55 $20,000 Aged Horses & Geldings Pace, Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) for owner Merlin Van Oterloo, trainer Brett Ballinger, time 1:53.2   Driver Dean Magee had four Championship wins on the program, with James (J.D.) Yoder picking up two Championships and three wins overall.   Trainer Justin Anfinson had three Championship wins, with Nick Roland picking up two Championships on the night. Driver Steve Wiseman and his wife Trainer Kathleen Plested-Wiseman were crowned as the 2018 Leading Driver and Leading Trainer at Running Aces.   Wiseman picked up two wins on the closing night program to bring his final win tally to an impressive 105, his best Running Aces season to date. He had a final advantage of 16 wins over Dean Magee who was very impressive in the last six weeks of the meet pulling to within 7 or 8 wins of the lead with about three weeks to go.   Magee landed at an impressive 89 wins for the season. Kathleen was well ahead of all trainers throughout the season and pulled away from the field in the final month of racing, picking up one win on closing night for an impressive total of 68 wins for the meet, 33 wins ahead of both Gerald Longo and Justin Anfinson.   For both husband Steve, and wife Kathleen it was back-to-back Championships at Running Aces. Daughter Tyler Wiseman was also in the Winner's Circle to help celebrate the fantastic season for the Wiseman stable.   The $100,000 Guaranteed 20-cent Pick-5 wager on closing night marked a record for the largest guarantee in track history, and produced the largest gross pool in the history of our Pick-5, and also contributed to the best Saturday handle in the history of the track.   Running Aces management wishes to thank all of it's loyal fans, staff, and horsemen for another successful and record setting season. Special thanks go out to Xpressbet for the Night of Champions promotional sponsorship, as well as NAHUpicks.com and Harness Racing Replays for season long partnerships as well.   Simulcast Racing is offered year round at Running Aces as well as Casino action 365 days a year. Check our website RunAces.com for news and upcoming events. Information about the next/upcoming season of Live Racing is typically posted around February or March of each year.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday night (Aug. 28) harness racing program at Running Aces played host to the $14,000 Minnesota-Sired 2 Year Old Trot event, and it would feature another impressive performance from MD Magic, who posted his fifth consecutive win in this division. The gelded son of Braggart has now won six of his seven career starts while bankrolling $42,300 for is owners Set The Pace Racing and trainer Nick Roland. This week, MD Magic ($2.40) floated away from the gate in fifth from post five, as a host of others fired out for the front. Driver Dean Magee got MD Magic out and moving near the half mile pole, and he continued to advance, dropping into the pocket behind Dewey's Machine (Steve Wiseman) around the final turn and powering by the leader in the stretch to draw clear for a two length tally in 2:01.1. The $11,000 Mares Open Pace went to Kiss On The Lips (Dean Magee) in another gutsy front-running performance for two in a row. Kiss On The Lips fired fast from her outside six post and was quickly in command, Bettor Lady (Steve Wiseman) mounted a strong first-over attack through the final half mile but Kiss On The Lips remained resilient and battled right down to the wire, keeping a head in front to stop the clock in 1:54.4 for her seventh win of the year. Kiss On The Lips ($6.40) is an 8 year old daughter of Dontgetinmyway, and she is having the best season of her career, with 22 top-3 performances in 33 starts and $62,944 in the bank for owner Peg Hoffman and trainer Gerald Longo. Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman) delivered another impressive performance in the $8,500 Minnesota-Sired 2 Year Old Colts & Geldings pace with a 2 ½ length tally in 1:56.2 for his fifth win in seven starts for trainer Justin Anfinson, and Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) also dominated once again in the $8,500 filly division with a gate-to-wire score off of soft fractions in 1:59 for her fifth win in seven career starts for trainer Gordon Graham. Dean Magee dominated the card with 6 wins, for his sixth consecutive Tuesday program with at least 4 wins. Steve Wiseman and James Yoder each completed driving doubles as well. Live Racing continues 3 nights per week at Running Aces, with first post at 6:00 pm CDT on both Saturdays and Sundays, and first post at 7:00 pm CDT on Tuesdays. The program on Saturday, September 1 will feature a carryover of $29,853.38 in the 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN - The featured harness racing event on Saturday night, (Aug 25) at Running Aces was the $20,000 Minnesota Sired or Owned Preferred Pace, and local fan favorite Firedrake stole the show with a furious charge to the wire to capture his fifth win of the season, and secure his second Running Aces major event victory.   Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) was the slight betting choice from post seven and fired right out of the gate to engage Firedrake (Brian Detgen) for the lead. Firedrake had plenty of early speed from post one, but yielded for the pocket trip and Stuckey Dote settled on top after a 26.2 opening stanza.   BestintheBusiness (James Yoder) was attacking first-over past the 55.1 half mile, with Cantholdmebackmack (Ryan Anderson) launching from the second over position to sweep three-wide down the backside.   Stuckey Dote was holding sway past the 1:23.3 clocking at three-quarters, but Firedrake was right there in the pocket, and Whatchastarinat (Lemoyne Svendsen) was now a new 3-wide challenger as they turned for home. Firedrake powered through the inside lane in deep stretch to claim victory over the field, with Stuckey Dote holding second over Whatchastarinat and Bestinthebusiness.   The final winning margin was 3/4 of a length in a 1:52 mile for Firedrake ($6.20) establishing a new seasonal mark. The always impressive 5 year old son of Dragon Again now sports 23 career wins and has boosted his seasonal earnings to $67,370 for owners Set The Pace Racing, LLC and trainer Nick Roland.   Getter Queen Flush pulled a mild upset over Place At The Beach in the $9,000 Mares Claiming Handicap pace, with a gradual advancing move from the back of the pack, driver James Yoder was able to take aim at the leader and race favorite Place At The Beach (Dean Magee) near mid-stretch and powered by for a half-length tally in 1:54.3.   For Getter Queen Flush ($13.00) it was her seventh triumph of the season in 32 starts, and pushed her 2018 bankroll to $33,348 for owner/trainer George Reider along with Richard Thomas and Theresa Paul.   The 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager now has a carryover of $24,334.50 for Sunday night (Aug 26) with first post at 6:00 pm CDT.   by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN - Harness racing drivers Nick Roland and Rick Magee each reached career milestones at Running Aces Sunday as Roland scored his 1,500th career win and Magree won his 1,000th career victory. Nick Roland scored his 1,500th win  when he piloted Sing N Sandi to her maiden victory (1:58.2) in race 11 on the program on Sunday,  Roland is the all-time leading driver at Running Aces, having made 725 or more trips to the local winner’s circle since the track opened in 2008.  He has been the track’s leading dash winner four times. Nick is also the track’s all-time leading money winner. Nick’ driving career started back in 1998, and he had his best year with wins and U.D.R.S. in 2012 with 140 victories and a very impressive batting average of (.432). Nick’s best year with purse earnings so far was 2017, with $685,077. In addition to his 1,500 plus victories, Roland has picked up 1,233 seconds and 1,032 thirds for a total of 3,775 top 3 finishes in 7,046 trips to the gate, an impressive average of over 50 percent in the top three. One of the top horses that Nick has campaigned as both a driver and trainer is Firedrake, a winner of 22 of 52 lifetime starts and winner of the 2017 Dan Patch FFA pace at Running Aces, and runner up this year, after just missing the repeat championship by a neck in 1:51.1 on Sunday (July 22). Along with catch-driving, Nick trains a stable of around 15 horses with his longtime girlfriend Jessica Johnson. For driver Rick Magee he steered Bringoverthemoney to his fourth win in a row to pick up his 1,000th career driving victory in race 1 on Sunday (July 15). Rick is currently second in all time statistics at Running Aces, and he has picked up 558 of his career wins right here at the Minnesota oval. Rick started his driving career in 2002, but it really took off when Running Aces opened in 2008. His best year so far with wins was 2009 with 139, and his best year both in U.D.R.S. and purses was 2016 with an average of .372 and earnings of $531,179. Rick has campaigned many good horses over the years at Running Aces, and currently trains a stable of around a dozen horses with his longtime girlfriend Mikaela Del Giudice, their roster currently includes standout pacers Stevensville, and Hawk's Red Chief, both of them competing at the highest level this season, and both also competing in the 2018 Dan Patch FFA. by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces 

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday evening program of Harness Racing at Running Aces featured the $12,000 Mares Open Pace, with a talented field of 7 facing the starter. Delightfully Wild (Lemoyne Svendsen) was last week's winner in this event, and was sent off as the even money choice while coupled in the wagering with Bettor Lady (Dean Magee). Delightfully Wild set sail from the six post to establish command early, with Kiss On The Lips (Nick Roland) also firing from post five. Those two mares remained in the top two positions throughout, as they peeled off fractions of 27.1, 56.1 and 1:24.1. Turning for home, Nick Roland guided Kiss On The Lips into the inside passing lane and the two mares battled all the way to the wire, stopping the clock in 1:52.2 with Kiss On The Lips ($7.80) a neck in front of Delightfully Wild, with her stablemate Bettor Lady closing well to pick up third money. Kiss On The Lips now has 5 wins in 26 starts this season, and has bankrolled $41,054 for owner Peg Hoffman and trainer Gerald Longo. Hard Cold Cash completed a four race win streak on Tuesday with another strong performance, in the $10,000 Winners-over Pace, sweeping to the lead just past the quarter pole and holding the field at bay to score by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:53.3 with Dean Magee aboard for trainer Denise Maier and owner Antonia Storer. Driver Nick Roland led the Tuesday program with 3 wins for a Hat-Trick, with Mooney Svendsen and James Yoder both completing doubles. The 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager has a carryover of $4,735.56 and the 50 cent Hi-5 has a carryover of $1,223.60 when Live Racing returns on Saturday night (July 14). The racing program on Sunday (July 15) will feature the $15,000 Dan Patch Preview pace, and also play host to "Public Safety night", with emergency vehicle demonstrations as well as special discounts for Public Safety workers. Post Time on both Saturday and Sunday is 6:00 pm CDT. by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces        

Columbus, MN - The Sunday evening (June 24) program of Harness Racing at Running Aces was loaded with action-packed races and was highlighted by the $14,000 Open Handicap Pace for horses & geldings, featuring a very talented field of nine.   Firedrake was the talk of the tote board, having drawn his most favorable post position (2) in several weeks, and coming into tonight's contest off of a few troubled-trips where he had faced traffic issues, the public was certain that Firedrake was the one to beat.   The public was indeed correct, as Firedrake was alert from the inside and floated out to a three-hole position as Hawk's Red Chief (Dean Magee) and Bettor's Promise (Williams Hernandez) both launched from the outside posts and traded blows for the ealry lead. Just past the 27.0 quarter, Hawks Red Chief yielded to Bettor's Promise, then swooped right back around to re-take. Make It Big (Steve Wiseman) went on the attack with a strong first-over attempt through the middle stages (55.4 and 1:24), that created a four-horse outer flow which found Firedrake locked and shuffled down the backstretch.   Make It Big was unable to sustain his rally around the final turn and driver Nick Roland found a split-second opportunity to glide his pacer into the clear, and Firedrake responded immediately with a furious charge to engage the leader and power by, opening up with every stride and stopping the clock at 1:53.   Stevensville (Rick Magee) had traveled along the pylons behind Firedrake throughout, and was able to shake free and post a strong rally for 2nd, while Hawk's red Chief had to settle for third. Firedrake ($4.40) is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC. and trained by Nick Roland, this was his fourth trip to the winner's circle in 13 starts this season.   Also on Sunday, The $12,000 Open Handicap trot was featured, with a strong group of seven facing the starter. Silverlode (Lemoyne Svendsen) was here to defend her 3-race win streak which was comprised of track record miles, while overall Track Record holder Banker Volo was looking to strike back and post his second open win of the Running Aces season and Pridecrest (Steve Wiseman) was trying to score his first local win.    As the gates swung open, the big mare Silverlode was firing fast from her assigned outside post and powered past a fast-leaving Banker Volo to take the early lead and command the fractions. Silverlode posted a moderate tempo of 28.3, 58.0 and 1:27 with Banker Volo breathing right down her neck from the pocket, and as they turned for home, Banker Volo tipped out and it was game on.   The always impressive 9 year old stallion rallied past his nemesis mare with a strong stretch brush, to draw away by 1 1/2 lengths and post a mile in 1:55.4 over Silverlode who remained game in second, and a late-closing bid from Pridecrest secured the third spot. Banker Volo ($11.40) now shows 3 wins in 10 starts, he is trained by Jenni King for owner Jeralene Roland.   Driver Rick Magee led the program with 3 wins on the night, while Nick Roland, Steve Wiseman and Dean Magee all picked up driving doubles.   Back on Saturday night (June 23), Aint No Uppy Girl (Rick Magee) rallied from off the pace to win her $8,500 Filly pace in the Minnesota-Sired races, she stopped the clock in 1:55.1 for a new lifetime mark and her second win in the last 3 starts. Aint No Uppy Girl ($3.60) is owned by Van Oterloo Stables and trained by Gordon Graham.   Also on Saturday, Dream Chasin (Nick Roland) was a pocket-rocket style winner in his $8,500 boys division in 1:55 for a lifetime best mile and two wins in a row. Dream Chasin ($6.00) is owned by Michelle and Gregory Budach.   by Darin' Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday evening (June12) Harness Racing card at Running Aces was loaded with exciting races and close finishes. One of the most exciting stretch duels came in the $10,000 upper-level claiming pace ($12,500 tags), when Cantholdmebackmack ($5.40) and driver Nick Roland rallied from the back of the pack to engage in a battle with race leader Bet Together (James Yoder) in the homestretch.   Bet Together had posted the early fractions of 27.0 and 56.1 before losing the lead to a strong challenge from 31-1 outsider Cenalta Power (Tim Maier) near the three-quarters. Bet Together dug down deep and reclaimed the lead turning for home, but then faced another strong challenge from eventual winner Cantholdmebackmack, who rallied past late to post a ¾ length tally in 1:53.1 for a two race win streak.   The talented 8 year old gelding by Relentless Yankee is owned and trained by Jessie Pacheco. Goody Two Socks (Rick Magee) was home third.   The $11,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace was another epic battle between the two top mares Gold Star Mysti (James Yoder) and Kiss On The Lips (Nick Roland). Kiss On The Lips and Nick Roland worked hard in the first quarter to establish the lead from the outside post in 27.1 and was in control at the half mile post in 57.3 but faced a tremendous challenge from Gold Star Mysti throughout the final half mile. Those two mares traded noses on the lead every step from there to the wire, with Kiss On The Lips prevailing by a head at the line. A Judges inquiry determined that Kiss On The Lips bore out in the deep stretch into the path of Gold Star Mysti, just enough to warrant a disqualification for interference. The order was reversed and Gold Star Mysti was declared the official winner for her first win of the season, the final time was 1:53.3. The winning mare is owned by Gold Star Farm, and trained by James Yoder. Driver Nick Roland led the program with three wins, while Rick Magee and James Yoder both posted driving doubles.   The 20 cent Jackpot Pick 5 wager continues to build and now stands at $7,333.63 for Saturday night, June 16. This weekend's feature races will each go for $20,000 with the Running Aces Trot on Saturday, and The Running Aces Pace on Sunday.   There are lots of activities for Father's Day at the track, including a chance to win a fishing trip, and a bottle opener giveaway along with Live music and other family themed activities. Post Time on both Saturday and Sunday is 6:00 pm CDT.   by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces    

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