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Columbus, MN - Harness racing driver Nick Roland was on fire at Running Aces on Tuesday (July 14) adding 6 winners to his already impressive win total (now 34) from 116 drives across the first twelve programs of the 2020 meet.   The numbers that Roland currently shows are nothing short of incredible. He is winning races at just shy of a thirty percent pace (29.31%), hitting the trifecta at over sixty-eight percent, carrying a UDRS of .475 and is on pace to re-write the track record for most wins in a single season by a single driver - (his own record) of 112 from 2016. He is also on pace to eclipse his career best mark of 140 wins in a single year (2012).   Horses from his own stable, trained by longtime girlfriend Jessica Johnson, are also posting incredible numbers - Johnson is the current leading trainer with a leading margin of 5 wins (16), winning at nearly thirty-one percent (30.77%), and Johnson currently carries a UTRS of .520 and a top-three percentage of over sixty-nine (69.32%).   Roland won the first two races of the day, each of them $11,500 events for two year old Minnesota-sired horses, kicking off his stellar day with a 2:06.2 score in the first aboard trotter Rush To The Bank ($5.20) for trainer Dan Roland. In the second he piloted Rockin Louie ($3.60) to a sharp win in 2:00.3 for trainer Duane Roland.   After going 4th, 2nd, 3rd and second in the next four events, Roland reeled off four winners in a row starting with Hottieonthehorizon ($3.80) in 1:56 for trainer Jessica Johnson, then Pull The Shade ($8.20) in 1:53.4 in the Mares Open Pace for trainer Tim Maier. Next up was another sharp win - and 4 in a row for Twilight Tinker ($5.20) in 1:58.4 also trained by Jessica Johnson. Roland then steered Brian's Magic Girl ($4.20) from last-to-first in 1:57.1 for trainer John Rogers.   Roland was third the final two races of the day, to complete a summary of 12 starts, 6 wins, 2 seconds and 3 thirds, while only missing the top three once - a fourth place finish aboard two year old trotter Rockin The Rails (18-1) who made a break due to broken equipment in his race.   As the track's all time leading driver, Roland recently drove his 800th Running Aces winner on June 30 and has a 150 win lead over Rick Magee on the track's all time list. Those two are also the current leaders for 2020.   Bordogna (Rick Magee) remained undefeated in six outings in 2020 after capturing the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot with a gutsy effort to hold off a strong late rally by Mandeville (Nick Roland) - just a neck separated those two at the wire in 1:56.1. Bordogna ($5.60) is trained by Justin Anfinson for owners Cathy Dessert and Ken Stauffer. The 4 year old Trixton stallion has now won seven races in a row going back to last fall, and has bankrolled $73,075 with nineteen wins from 35 starts.   Pull The Shade (Nick Roland, $8.20) captured the $9,000 Mares Open Pace by converting the perfect pocket trip into a 1-3/4 length tally in 1:53.4 for her first win of the season. The winning owner is Ferrell York and the winning trainer is Tim Maier.   Rick Magee also had a big day on Tuesday, piloting 3 winners on the card for a driving Hat-Trick. Trainers Justin Anfinson and Jessica Johnson led with two winners each.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, July 18 with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and features a pair of Carryovers - $9,796.21 in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot, and $1,032.05 in the 50 cent Hi-5 wager.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces   

The Saturday afternoon harness racing program at Running Aces featured a grand slam performance from all time track leader Nick Roland, who picked up four wins, two seconds and three thirds from eleven trips to the gate, and is quickly approaching his 800th victory at the Minnesota track, no other driver has won more than 600 races here.   The card was also highlighted by two divisions of the sophomore Minnesota-Sired pacers - with seven contenders facing the gate for the 'A' division and vying for a purse of $13,800 and eight contenders lining up for the 'B' grouping with $9,200 at stake.   Bunkerhill Phil (Don Harmon) left alertly from post seven to take the early lead in the 'A' split, with race favorite It's A Marcs World (Nick Roland) yielding for the pocket from post six. Bunkerhill Phil posted very moderate fractions of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:29 and led to the cusp of the stretch before Roland exploded from the pocket with It's A Marcs World and drew away by three lengths in 1:57.1 for his first pari-mutuel win and career best mile, with a sharp final stanza of :27.4.   The gelded son of Marced Card is out of the Life Sign mare Life's Image and is owned by Duane Roland and trained by Jessica Johnson. The smart money poured in on the winner, as he was bet down to even money odds ($4.00) from a lofty morning line of 10-1, while second choice Bunkerhill Phil held second and was well clear of Get My Good Side (Steve Wiseman) who showed in third.   Nothinbutagoodtime (Dean Magee, $21.20) pulled the upset in the 'B' division with an impressive rally from last-to-first to capture his first lifetime win in 1:58. Thegreatestislove (Nick Roland) led most of the way and held a game second, while race-favorite Catchmeinadream (Rick Magee) checked in third. Nothinbutagoodtime is a son of It's That Time and is out of the Cam's Cardshark mare Sweet Repeat. The winning owner is Van Otterloo Stables and the winning trainer is Gordon Graham.   Drivers Rick Magee and Lemoyne "Moonie" Svendsen each completed a double on the card, and trainers Edwin Quevedo and Jessica Johnson also picked up doubles on the afternoon.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday, June 28 with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and features a pair of carryover pools: $1,986.77 for the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot, and $1,010.65 for the 50 cent Hi-5.   Darin Gagne                                                  

Forest Lake, MN - Voting took place at the MHRI Annual meeting and Banquet on Saturday, 22 at Vanelli's by the Lake in Forest Lake, MN and MD Magic was chosen as the 2019 Horse of the Year in the sport of harness racing in Minnesota.   MD Magic also took home the hardware as the Champion sophomore male trotter for 2019. The talented gelded son of Braggart is out of the Striking Sahbra mare Magical Debut, and is owned by Set The Pace Racing LLC and trained and driven by Nick Roland.   After picking up honors as the two year old colt trotter of the year in 2018 with 9 wins in eleven starts and setting a seasonal earnings record in the Minnesota program, MD Magic returned to the races in early May of 2019 with an easy qualifying win in 2:05.1 followed by a 2:01.4 victory in a 3 year old open to get his sophomore season rolling in style.   MD Magic made a habit of turning in dramatic performances throughout his 2019 campaign - winning going away (in 2:00.1) from post 10 in the second tier in a $16,000 3 year old MN event on June 23 was one example, but even more dramatic were 3 occasions (July 28, August 18 and September 8) where MD Magic appeared to be hopelessly blocked with no racing room, yet perfect timing and patient handling from trainer/driver Nick Roland got the dynamic duo to the Winner's Circle time and time again.   MD Magic was unbeatable in July and August in 4 starts, and closed out his Running Aces season strong in September as well with a win and two close seconds from three outings. His final tally for 2019 was 16 starts, 7 wins, 4 seconds and 1 third with a mark of 1:59.2 and earnings of $74,950 - yet another seasonal earnings record for the Minnesota program.   Shortly after the banquet festivities, I caught up with Jessica Johnson, one of the principals of Set The Pace Racing (along with Ken Stauffer) and here's what I learned about her star trotter:   "Magic is probably the star of the barn/stable amongst all of the caretakers/owners and guests, and it's not just because he is talented and successful, it's his personality - he loves people and he loves treats, if you are within his reach he will reach out to you and pull you over to him to give him attention and beg you for carrots or treats" Johnson also stated that he loves his outdoor time in the paddock where he runs and jumps and plays. An additional testament to his docile temperament is the fact that when it comes time to give barn guests/race fans a ride on the track in the two-seater jog cart, it's often Magic that is chosen to do so.   One surprising tidbit that Jessica shared is that they (herself, trainer Nick Roland and staff) were not particularly keen on MD Magic's abilities early on, he just seemed average at best during his early work as a freshman, but she said "that all changed after his first qualifying race where he really showed a hint of his abilities" and he indeed continued to show that throughout his two year old season, racking up nine wins in eleven starts. Johnson also added that MD Magic " doesn't require alot of intense training to stay in top racing form, he mostly puts in lots of slow methodical miles to stay in shape, and he benefits from weekly visits from the chiropractor. "   In addition, Johnson expressed that they are beyond thrilled at the Horse of the Year award and stated "we were not expecting this, but are so honored that our fellow horsemen find him to be as special as we do. "   When I asked what we might expect to see from MD Magic as a 4 year old in 2020 Johnson responded by saying " he owes us nothing, but I do know he loves his job, we are just excited to be a part of the horse he continues to grow to be. "   MD Magic, with his $145,250 in the bank is now the most successful offspring of the sire Braggart ($350,949) who took a 3 year old mark of 1:55f in 2009. Glen Sauder of Withee, Wisconsin is the breeder of record for MD Magic, and is the current owner of his sire Braggart.   By Darin Gagne, for Minnesota Harness Racing

On the strength of his second consecutive harness racing record-setting year MD Magic grabs the headline heading into this Saturday's (Feb 22) Annual MHRI meeting and Awards Banquet.   MD Magic will pick up the hardware as the 3 year old colt Trotter of the Year for 2019 with seven wins in sixteen starts and a new record of $74,950 earned in a single season in the Minnesota program. He was the first horse to break the $70,000 barrier when he recorded earnings of $70,300 as the freshman champion in 2018. The talented son of Braggart is owned by Set The Pace Racing and trained and driven by Nick Roland. Major Al Mar (G,M & J Wilson/Alexia Kehl) is the runner-up award winner in the category.   Three year old colt Pacer of the year will go to SB Bodacious (Mikaela Del Giudice/Rick Magee) with runner up Burning Blaze (A,C Sandbulte & E Gutin/Justin Anfinson). On the females side of the sophomore awards it will be pacing filly Windmeupnwatchmego (Richard Davelaar/Gordon Graham) for the top award, with Sweet Vivian (Timothy Lems/Robert Lems) as runner-up. Al Mar Humdinger (Aimes Racing/Elvin Zimmerman) and Lone Pine Shuzy (Wendy Haberburg) will share the award as 3 year old trotting filly of the year.   The two year old filly Trotter of the year goes to Double My Dekker (J,B & E De Long/Justin Anfinson) with Susie's Sister (Lynchris, LLC/Don Harmon) as runner-up. Freshman colt trotter of the year is Hearduwhispermynam (Jenni King) and the runner up award goes to Trotterlicious (Rick Bertrand).   Freshman pacing awards will go to fillies Catchmeinadream (Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte/Justin Anfinson) and Huftalookatdatfany (Van Oterloo Stables/Gordon Graham) as runner-up. The winning freshman colts are Bunkerhill Phil (Gene Miller) and Alright Frankie (J J, A P, K M De Long & T J Carrey/Justin Anfinson) is the runner-up.   The 4 year old & up award winners include All Mar Bon Bon (Cara Hauser/Alexia Kehl) as champion trotting mare with Al Mar Reba Babe (Richard Davis) as runner-up, while Bringoverthemoney (Joshua Horvat/David Ginter) scores the win as top aged male trotter over runner-up French Eclipse (Jenni King). Place N First (Jenni King) is the winner for aged pacing mares with Peekaboo Tattoo (Fabiola Quevedo/Edwin Quevedo) as runner-up, and the final divisional category goes to DeweydiddoneGood (Fredi Herrera/Edwin Quevedo) as top aged male pacer with Buzz Light (Cathy & Bill Dessert/Nick Roland) as the runner-up.   Awards will also be presented for the top performers at the Minnesota Fairs in 2019, with Double My Dekker (J, B, E De Long/Justin Anfinson) as the fairs Trotter of the Year and The Boss' Wife (Cathy Dessert, Set The Pace Racing/Nick Roland) picking up the hardware as the 2019 fairs Pacer of the Year. Brian Detgen will take the fairs Driver of the Year award for the second year in a row and Justin Anfinson is the 2019 fairs Trainer of the Year.   The 2019 Minnesota Harness Racing awards will be presented this Saturday (Feb 22) at the MHRI Annual meeting and Banquet, at Vanelli's by the Lake in Forest Lake, Minn. Check in time starts at 1 pm for the Annual meetings, with Cocktail hour begining at 4 pm followed by Dinner and Awards. There will be a traditional Banquet Raffle as well as a Live Stallion Auction. Banquet attendees will get the chance to nominate and vote for 2019 Minnesota Harness Racing Horse of the Year.   by Darin Gagne, for the Minnesota Harness Racing Industry    

The $20,000 Alan Horowitz Final headlines the Friday night harness racing action at Cal Expo, with last week's elimination winners Giggle Monster and Al's Briefs figuring to get plenty of attention. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post at 6:10 p.m. The Horowitz Final will go as the eighth event on the program. Giggle Monster was extremely impressive winning his division last Saturday night in the slop, storming home for the easy win. Edwin Quevedo owns and trains and Nick Roland will once again be in the sulky. Al's Briefs is a 4-year-old son of Party At Artsplace who is owned by Nikki Hudson and reined and trained by Luke Plano. After finishing second in his previous two outings, he broke through with his first Cal Expo victory in last weekend's Horowitz elimination. Sent off the 2-1 second choice that evening, Plano made two moves to the lead at the half, took complete control of things from that point and came home with two lengths to spare over the sloppy going. Dewaydiddonegood had to settle for the exacta completion as the even-money favorite in that contest off back-to-back victories here for owner Fredi Herrera and trainer Quevedo, who has two nice looks at the outcome. Mooney Svendsen takes the assignment. Rounding out the field are Wildcat Bobby with Dean Magee; Fly Away with Steve Wiseman; Mystic Ruler for James Kennedy; Youroldlovletter, Jacob Fox; Rocknroll Jewel, also with Magee named; and Rolling Sea, who will have John Roberts at the controls. Horowitz, Goldschmidt remembered with races Cal Expo is proud to present the Alan Horowitz Final on Friday night and the Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace on Saturday, honoring these two individuals who meant so much to the sport in California. Alan Horowitz was a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen's Association (CHHA) Hall of Fame who passed away in 20017 at the age of 72. Dave Goldschmidt, who passed away of natural causes last year at the age of 62, was born in New York City and developed a love of harness racing in his early teens. More on his career follows in this article. Alan Horowitz, who wore many hats in the business, started out as a partner with longtime friends Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Desomer with a $25,000 claimer named Quaker Byrd. Quaker Byrd won his first race for the partners and Alan was hooked. Moving on, Alan would eventually become a board member and president of CHHA. In 1994, Mr. Horowitz was instrumental in bringing harness racing back to Cal Expo in the form of Capitol Racing and was also its successful general manager. He was serving as the Executive Secretary of the CHHA at the time of his retirement in 2013 and continued to stay in touch with the sport that he loved so much. "It is impossible to overstate Alan's importance to the harness racing industry in California," said David Neumeister. "Simply put, if it were not for Alan, the sport would no longer exist in this state. "Between his time as executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now CHHA) and owner/ manager of our only yearling sale company when racing was flourishing in California, and his decision to retire from CHHA a few years ago, against all odds and some very powerful adversaries, Alan almost single-handedly took us from the brink of extinction in the mid-90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to several very successful years of harness racing in that city. "Were it not for his quiet determination and tactical brilliance, we would not be racing here today," said Neumeister. Dave Goldschmidt, who passed away of natural causes last year at the age of 62, was born in New York City and developed a love of harness racing in his early teens. He attended the University of Denver where he was a sports writer on the newspaper, but after hearing about the new Race Track Management Program at the University of Arizona, he knew he had to transfer to that school and was in that first graduating class. Among Dave's extensive resume in the sport, he was racing secretary at Los Alamitos and Cal Expo and co-racing secretary at Bay Meadows; assistant racetrack manager at Hollywood Park and a founder, president and major financial backer of the Premier Harness Meet at Los Alamitos in the 1990s. After his retirement, Dave concentrated on betting on the trotters and pacers and occasionally quarter horses while also developing a keen interest in politics. Dave met his wife Suzy in the late 1990s and they began dating in 2006. They completed building their dream house in 2014 and were married that year. Among their shared passions were a love of tennis, world travel and volunteer work. Eunice Morrow, who worked closely with Dave at the Premier Harness Meet, explained how important he was to harness racing in California in the early 1990s "Harness racing was in trouble maintaining a meet at Los Alamitos and thankfully Dave came to our rescue with a large monetary donation needed to keep harness racing active," Eunice said. "A few months later the industry found more funds were necessary and again Dave came to our rescue. He did not want it known that he had donated these deposits and volunteered the information that his mother in New York had loaned the organization funds. "Later, when Premier II Harness Racing was formed, Dave became Racing Secretary, spending many hours in several positions helping the sport he loved stay alive. Without Dave, I wonder if harness racing would have been able to continue." Eunice added, "There is no doubt David Goldschmidt will now be in Heaven with so many other of the great Harness Racing enthusiasts." Joel Lesser was best friends with Goldschmidt for over 40 years, playing hours and hours of tennis and golf, and also worked alongside Dave at the Premier Harness meets. "When he was president of Premier, he said that the fans and the horsemen came first, and management came last," Joel recalled. "I can say Dave Goldschmidt is the fairest and most honest person I have ever known in my life and wanted everyone to do well." By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness          

Tabbat Mcrey, who came from out of the clouds to record her first Cal Expo harness racing victory last week, gets the top billing in Saturday night's $8,500 Funicello/Holt Final for pacing fillies and mares. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races Saturday with first post at 6:10. The co-features will be a $7,200 Open Pace featuring the streaking Allmyx'sliventexas and two divisions of the Alan Horowitz Eliminations. Getting back to the Funicello/Holt, Tabbat Mcrey is a 5-year-old daughter of McArdie who goes about her business for owner David Watson and is reined and trained by Rene Goulet. After closing for the place spot in her local debut two weeks ago, the long-fused came back to get the job done by two lengths in last week's Prep for this event at 7-1 odds. Lakota Law completed the exacta in that affair and will be looking to turn the tables this weekend for owner Peter Jesh and driver/trainer Nick Roland. She was a 1:54 3/5 victress last season at Hoosier Park and fits very nicely with this group. Casey N Grinegan had to settle for a fourth-place finish as the 3-2 choice last week after being parked first-over to the lead in the stretch. Darryl Cutting conditions the Alberta-bred miss for Melinda Smith and Steve Wiseman will be at the helm. Completing the field are LLuli, Palmona Ruiz, That's How It Goes, Nightgirl, June Morning and Brooklyn Moonshine. Saturday night's third race is named for the Orangutan Foundation International. Nick Roland hoping to lay down the Law Nick Roland is making his presence felt here as both a driver and trainer with another California invasion, with his most immediate concern being Lakota Law in Saturday night's Funicello/Holt Final. The 5-year-old mare, who carries the banner of Peter Jesh, spent her summer at Running Aces and was runner-up behind Tabbat Mcrey in last week's Prep. She will be looking to turn the tables with conditioner Roland guiding from middle of the nine-horse line-up. "She's getting better," her mentor noted. "She had some soundness issues when she first got her, but we've been able to work on those and she's improving." Nick arrived with 16 racehorses and two babies, and is expecting six or seven more youngsters to join the barn shortly. He tips that some of the better performers are set to turn up in the entries, including the trotter Scramble Camp, who was scheduled to suit up on Friday night. In the meantime, Roland enjoys getting involved in the evening frays and is always open to catch drives. "It's always nice to have people put you up behind their horses. When the weather is nice, I certainly don't mind being out there every race. On the other hand, when it's colt and rainy, I have no problem sitting out some races." Nick hopes to stay here for most of the meet, which runs through April, with one caveat. "If the weather back home turns nice sooner rather than later, that could mean we leave a few weeks earlier than planned." In the meantime, look for Nick Roland to make his share of appearances in the Cal Expo winner's circle. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness                        

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  

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