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COLUMBUS, MN. - A pair of Minnesota-sired sophomore trotting events highlighted  the Sunday night action at Running Aces.  In the $7250 division for fillies it was Rails Of Victory (Nick Roland) who managed a mild upset over Diamond Alliance (Lemoyne Svendsen) and Coffee Black (Ryan Lems) in 1:59.1.  Roland also owns the daughter of Rail Splitter who notched her fourth seasonal win in ten tries.  The victory for Roland was one of three on the night for the defending local driving champion as he also scored with Lo Hot Pancakes and Headsup Yankee.  Lo Hot Pancakes' win was a popular one as he is owned by the Bucket List Racing Stable which is comprised of numerous local shareholders who bought affordable minor shares in the first few weeks of the current summer season as part of a Minnesota Harness Racing, Inc. promotional effort.  There was a large gathering of jubilant first-time winning owners who greeted their horse in the winner's circle. Skeet Thunder (Rick Magee) also pulled a mild upset in the $7250 split for Minnesota colt and gelding trotters.  Jeff Ryan owns and trains the altered son of Sos Lunar Eclipse, who lowered his lifetime mark to 2:00.4 with the victory over Delco Eclipse (Jason Ryan) and Mnia Lightnpower (Tim Maier).  The winner now has three 2013 wins in ten tries.  All Minnesota-sired horses are vying for spots this month in the lucrative Minnesota State Championships to be held on closing day of the meet August 31.  A total of eleven state-bred races are expected with individual purses for each class set at $20,000. In addition to Nick Roland's triple, drivers Moonie Svendsen and Rick Magee also doubled on the ten-race program. Gregg Keidel  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Salutation Hanover, one the the best bred and richest trotters ever to campaign in Minnesota, flashed his "back class" on Wednesday night to capture the $9500 Open Trot at Running Aces in 1:56.  It was just the eighth start of 2013 for the son of Andover Hall, but his third win and first in open company.  He now has amassed 25 career victories and lifetime earnings of $646,490.  Nick Roland steered Salutation Hanover, who is owned by Dr. Patrick Graham and trained by Brett Ballinger.  Hit It Hard (Luke Plano) was second with Shelby County (Lemoyne Svendsen) third in the featured race. Drivers Rick Magee, John DeLong and Luke Plano each scored doubles on the program.  Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - One of the winningest and most popular horses in Running Aces six year history returned to the winner's circle Tuesday night, but this time in an upset 1:52.1 triumph in the featured weekly $8500 Open Pace. An 11-time winner in 2012, often as a heavy favorite, Restless Yankee (Nick Roland) was dispatched at odds of 8-1 seeking his initial open class victory of 2013. He edged fellow closers Chewy Baca (Rick Magee) and Firstclassallthway (John DeLong) as odds-on front-running favorite Six Gun (Jason Ryan) faded to fourth after cutting all the fractions. The six-year-old Minnesota-sired gelding has now won 38 times in his fruitful career and banked $218,000 for owners Ron Emerson and Mark Holtan. A co-featured $9000 Fillies and Mares Open was also contested on the program with Show Runner (Tim Maier) rebounding from a pair of recent place finishes in the same race to capture the distaff feature for the third time in five weeks. The impressive filly, owned by Denise Maier and Eileen Brodbar, upset heavily favored Love This Place (DeLong), who recently arrived from Chicago, at odds of 9-2. Still Electric (Don Sherman) was within a length at the wire reached in 1:54.4. Earlier on the card, Al-Mar Passion (Magee) lowered the track standard for two-year-old trotters to 2:00.1, beating Chewy Dunkerton (Steve Wiseman) and Abra's Starlight (Roland) in a $13,500 state-restricted freshman trot. Rick Magee also owns the son of Abra who now has three wins in five seasonal starts. Racing resumes Wednesday night at Running Aces with a full field of trotters going postward in the $9500 eighth race Open Trot. by Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - The $9500 Open Trot produced a new winner for the fourth consecutive week on Wednesday night at Running Aces when Keystone Swagger (John DeLong) benefitted from a perfect pocket trip to win in 1:55.4, equaling the track record for older horses.  The standard the son of Angus Hall tied was less than two hours old as Salutation Hanover (Nick Roland) had also stopped the teletimer in 1:55.4 in a $4500 conditioned trot earlier in the program. Keystone Swagger is owned by Dandy Farms and trained in Minnesota by Jim Ellison. It was just his eighth career triumph, but did increase his lifetime earnings to $212,000.  Silence Son (Craig Banks) was a game second after cutting all the fractions and favored Shelby County (Moonie Svendsen) just nipped B C Lulu (Jason Ryan) for third. With the 2013 summer meet just slightly more than half over, the driver and trainer standings at Running Aces are extremely tight and no one has emerged as a clear-cut favorite in either race.  On the drivers side, Jason Ryan and Rick Magee are deadlocked at the top with 30 victories each in 28 nights of racing.  Luke Plano has 29, Nick Roland 28, Steve Wiseman 25 and John DeLong 24. Jason Ryan had a big week to move to the top of the conditioner standings with 16 trips to the winner's circle from his stable.  Close on his heels are David Flinn and Tim Brown with 15 each, then Don Sherman, Tim Maier and Nick Roland all with 14. Racing resumes Saturday and Sunday nights this weekend with a 50-cent Pick Six carryover of $743.65.  Post time Saturday is 7:00 PM (CDT). Gregg Keidel

   COLUMBUS, MN. - For the second straight week trainer-driver Jason Ryan swept both the Open Pace and the Fillies and Mares Open Pace on the Tuesday night program at Running Aces.  This week the feat was doubly impressive as Six Gun, a five-year-old gray gelding owned by Anthony Artuso, set the all-age, all-time track record of 1:50.4 in the $8500 feature race.  The gate-to-wire stellar performance lowered the 1:51.2 mark established last season by Restless Yankee.  Firstclassallthway (John DeLong) and Armbro David (Tim Maier) finished second and third in the elite six-horse field. Ironically, Restless Yankee--in just his fourth start back at Running Aces this season--also won a $7000 conditioned race on the same card in 1:53, which will likely set up a grudge match between the current and former track recordholders in next Tuesday's Open. In the top distaff race Passion R Virginie held off a late challenge by Show Runner (Tim Maier) and Blazing Fury (Rick Magee) to give Ryan his impressive driver-trainer double.  The 1:53 clocking was a new lifetime best for the six-year-old mare that the 24-year-old reinsman also owns. Racing resumes Wednesday night at Running Aces with a 7:00 PM (CST) post time.

Older Minnesota-sired horses continue to excel against open harness racing company in the weekly featured paces at Running Aces.

When Blazing Fury popped the pocket and swept to a half-length victory in Tuesday night's $10,000 Mares Open at Running Aces, it was the third win on the harness racing program for the owners, Van Otterloo Stables, and for driver Rick Magee.

Ronnie Wrenn Jr., the 25-year-old son of Ron Wrenn Sr. and the nephew of Peter Wrenn, captured five of the nine races at Running Aces on Sunday night (June 16) catapulting the promising young harness racing driver into second place in the track's driver standings.

A pair of harness racing three-year-olds, Tropicana Special and Flea Flicker, beat a field that included six other older rivals in the $7500 championship leg of the 'Royal Flush' trotting series for non-winners of two races at Running Aces Saturday night.

Candy Is Dandy, a four-year-old Revenue S mare, beat a full field of the best open trotters in Minnesota on Wednesday night (August 3), lowering her own divisional harness racing track record for older females. Driver Rick Magee let the relatively green trotting mare settle in third from her inside starting position and shadowed favored Rompaway Brandon (Dan Maier) and longshot Vyce (Evan Coblentz) until the top of the stretch.

An enthusiastic throng of harness racing fans returned to Running Aces Saturday night to witness the "reopening" of the 2011 season which was interrupted for three weeks by a state government shutdown. Nine races were contested in front of over 2,000 patrons on a steamy Minnesota night with a few spotty thunderstorms thrown in for good measure.

When your name is Magee and you come from a harness racing family in the Midwest it's a good bet that you know how to drive a horse. Case in point: newcomer Rick Magee who won three races on the Thursday, January 15 race card at Monticello Raceway.

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