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Columbus, MN - Running Aces closed out it's 2019 live harness racing season with a bang on Saturday night (September 14), hosting the track's annual Night of Champions program which featured some strong numbers, first in the form of record purses of $543,500 - the richest harness racing card in the states history, and 111 Minnesota-Sired horses participating in the historic card, also a new record.   The strong closing night numbers were icing on the cake for another successful season at the Minnesota track, for the fifth consecutive year, a new record was set for total wagering on the tracks live racing product.   The large and enthusiastic on-track crowd was treated to some great racing throughout the night, dominated by many impressive favorites delivering as expected, but the night was not without some upset winners, too.   Burning Blaze turned in another ultra-impressive performance in the $40,000 three year old colts & geldings pace, with a gate-to-wire win in 1:55.2 with Steve Wiseman in the sulky, easily dominating over some very strong competition. This was back-to-back Championship titles for the 2018 Minnesota Harness horse of the year, who struggled somewhat during the early stages of his sophomore campaign, but returned to his best form over the past two months.   Burning Blaze was favored at 3-5 in the wagering and returned $3.40 for every $2.00 ticket. The winning margin was 2-3/4 lengths over Trump Train (Don Harmon) and SB Bodacious (Rick Magee). The winning owners are Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and Edward Gutin, and the winning trainer is Justin Anfinson.   Bunkerhill Phil turned an impressive win of his own in the $50,000 two year old colts & geldings pace, to pick up his tenth win of the season and pace to a new lifetime mark in 1:56.1 with driver Don Harmon in the bike, they did it the hard way with a tough first-over trip for more than five-eighths of the mile. Get My Good Side (Steve Wiseman) rallied for second money, while Dubberyoo (Dean Magee) was home in third.   Bunkerhill Phil was the heavy favorite and returned $2.80 on top. The impressive gelding is owned and trained by Mr. Gene Miller.   Susie's Sister ($2.80) and driver Don Harmon dominated the $50,000 two year old filly trot as expected, turning in a 1:59.1 track record performance with her ninth career win in thirteen outings. The impressive filly by Claudius Augustus is owned by Lynchris, LLC and is trained by Don Harmon. Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland) was by far the best of the rest in the record mile, while Double My Decker (Rick Magee) got home third.   Watchmeneighneigh provided the longshot players with a late-card delight in the penultimate race of the season, scoring a sharp closing win in a career best mile of 1:53 at no less than 57-1 on the board, in the $40,000 three year old colts & geldings pace. Driver Dean Magee worked out a perfect second-over trip and tipped wide into the lane with plenty of pace to get up right on the wire and upset heavily favored Stuckey Dote in a thrilling finish, with Deweydiddonegood (Mooney Svendsen) an impressive third.   The winning tickets on Watchmeneighneigh picked up $117.00 for every $2.00 bet.   The Championship victory was career win number eight for the gelded son of Voracious Hanover, and boosted his career bankroll to $89,045 for owner/breeder Richard Davelaar. The winning trainer is Gordon Graham.   Other repeat Champions were: Twilight Tinker (2:01.1), Al Mar Reba Babe (1:56.4), Windmeupnwatchmego (1:55.3), French Eclipse (1:57.2), and Place N First (1:55).   Other first time Champions were: Ice Storm (1:59.1), Hearduwhispermynam (2:01.2), and Huftalookatdatfany (1:58.4)   Trainer Gordon Graham had four winners on the Night of Champions program.   Owner/Trainer Jenni King sent out three winners on the historic night.   Driver Dean Magee was recognized as the the Leading Driver of the season, picking up three Championship victories on Saturday for a grand total of 87 wins for the meet and his third Leading Driver title at Running Aces, and trainer Kathleen Plested was honored as the Leading Trainer of the 2019 season with 40 wins to post her third consecutive title in a row at Running Aces.   Drivers Nick Roland, Don Harmon, Rick Magee and Steve Wiseman all had two wins on the Night of Champions card.   Running Aces offers year round action with Simulcast Racing 11 am to Midnight everyday and Casino action 24/7. Live Racing will return in May of next year. Visit RunAces.com for information about upcoming events.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces                           

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 - Running Aces is announcing a $20,000 Guaranteed Pool in the 20 cent Pick-5 on the Saturday night (September 14) harness racing program. The Pick-5, along with all other wagering pools on Saturday will be subject to Mandatory Payouts, as the Minnesota oval is closing out the 2019 season with its annual Night of Champions program, featuring a record of over $543,000 in purses. The 20 cent Pick-5 sequence has a carryover of $8,139.20 and will encompass four divisional Championship races and one Championship consolation event, and the sequence, which covers the last five races in the twelve race betting program, features full and competitive fields. Last year's Night of Champions program saw the Pick-5 pool generate over $50,000 in new wagers, while there was a $41,000 carryover pool. Post time for the Night of Champions main betting program is 6:00 pm Central, while there are also two early non-wagering events 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 - Real Gorgeous became the fastest harness racing horse in Minnesota history when he paced to his fifth consecutive victory at Running Aces in 1:50.1 on the Sunday (September 8) program. The 5 year old son of He's Gorgeous is owned, trained and driven by Jared Seekman.   Undefeated at Running Aces this season, Real Gorgeous ($2.80) was the overwhelming favorite to pick up number five in a row. Starting from post five, Seekman floated his charge away in fifth position, taking his usual seat toward the back of the pack early while Holdingallthecards (Dean Magee) engaged in an early speed battle with Whatchyastarinat (Darrel Wright) through a sizzling opening panel in :26.1, and then continued to pace strong with a :54.2 half mile, before Real Gorgeous launched his customary mid race first-over attack.   Real Gorgeous swept right on by Holdingallthecards as they straightened down the backstretch and opened up by three lengths, while Whatchyastarinat vacated the three-hole to come after Real Gorgeous and began cutting into the margin around the final turn as they completed three-quarters of a mile in 1:21.4.   In the homestretch, a furious battle ensued, with Real Gorgeous bracing for the strong challenge from Whatchyastarinat who tried hard to get by, but Real Gorgeous dug in deep and responded gamely to hang on for a half-length victory and an all time/all age track record mile of 1:50.1.   The previous record was set by Nine Ways, in the $50,000 Dan Patch FFA Pace on July 21st of this year, when he and driver Dean Magee stopped the timer in 1:50.2 to better his own 1:50.3 mark from his Dan Patch elimination win on July 14. Before that, a record of 1:50.4 stood for 6 years, tied by several horses but never beaten before this season.   The $16,000 Open Handicap Trot was also a featured event on Sunday's program, and Winning Lyric ($4.60, Dean Magee) delivered another impressive victory for his sixth win of the year, trotting the mile in 1:55.3 to defeat a very game My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) who was an impressive second. Winning Lyric is owned by Terrence Smith and trained by Edward Hernandez.   MD Magic ($4.00, Nick Roland) was much the best again in the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old Trot, with a sharp score in 2:00.1, and heads to this coming Saturday's Night of Champions program with 7 wins and $62,550 on the season, and a chance to break the single-season record ($70,300) for earnings in the Minnesota program, that he himself set last year as a freshman. MD Magic is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC. and is trained by Nick Roland.   Driver Steve Wiseman led the program on Sunday with 4 wins, while Leading Driver Dean Magee added a Hat-Trick to his impressive season's win total (83).   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday night (September 10) for the final Dollar Night program of the season. Post time on Tuesday is 7:00 pm, and the card will feature a Pick-5 Jackpot carryover of $6,915.25 and a Hi-5 Carryover of $1,323.08.   by Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Saturday evening (September 7) harness racing program at Running Aces was the $16,000 Open Handicap Pace, with a field of eight talented horses and geldings lining up for battle.   This week's top Open field saw the return of Stuckey Dote to the Minnesota five-eighths oval, taking on the best local horses in preparation for the Minnesota Night of Champions next weekend.   Stuckey Dote took plenty of action at the betting windows, and was sent off as the 9-5 favorite over Dan Patch FFA champion Nine Ways who was well respected at 2-1 from post eight.   Firedrake (Nick Roland) left alertly from post seven, and found the third position at the pylons while Stuckey Dote (Mooney Svendsen) powered to the front, and Top Notch (Rick Magee) left alertly to secure the pocket from post one, as they registered a :27 flat first panel.   Nine Ways pulled early and drove first-up to challenge Stuckey Dote for a battle that lasted a half mile, with moderate middle fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1, before Nine Ways was forced to wave the white flag. Stuckey Dote continued to lead as they straightened for home, but Top Notch had enjoyed the perfect trip and angled wide from the pocket with a burst of pace to get up by a neck on the wire in 1:53.3 while both Who'szoomingwho (Darrell Wright) and Firedrake were both flying late for third and fourth respectively in a thrilling blanket finish.   Top Notch ($18 80) is a 5 year old gelded son of No Pan Intended, and out of the Camluck mare Tymal Talea. He is owned by Joe Casagranda and is trained by Rick Magee. The Saturday feature race win was the fourth tally of the year for Top Notch.   SB Bodacious ($11.40) picked up his fifth win of the year in the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pace event, flying late with a :28.2 final quarter to sweep by the field in an exciting blanket finish in 1:55.1 over race favorite Burning Blaze. Rick Magee is the trainer/driver of the impressive son of Voracious Hanover, who has now banked $46,311 in thirteen sophomore starts.   Drivers Rick Magee and Steve Wiseman led the Saturday program with two winners each.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (September 8) with 3 nights left to go in the 2019 season. The 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot now stands at $5,781.48. Post time on Sunday is 6 pm Central.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces                                                   

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday evening harness racing program at Running Aces was highlighted by a track record performance in the two year old fillies trot and a return to the winner's circle for one of the top pacing mares at the meet. The program got underway in style when Susie's Sister, a Claudius Augustus filly posted a dominating gate-to-wire win in the $13,800 Minnesota-Sired two year old "Class A" trot in 1:59.4 to equal the track record set by SB Madam Secretary on August 20. Driver Don Harmon sent Susie's Sister quickly off the gate from post five to take the early lead, after an early skirmish with SB Madam Secretary (Darrell Wright) who had to settle for the pocket. Susie's Sister was the heavy favorite and dominated the entire affair and was never in doubt, posting fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1 and 1:30.1 and leaving plenty left in the tank to trot home strong and draw away by 2-1/4 lengths and post the record mile over co record-holder and second favorite SB Madam Secretary. Longshot Go Margeaux was home in third at 88-1 to spice up the ($229.80) trifecta. Susie's Sister ($2.80) now has 8 wins in eleven career trips to the gate, and has bankrolled $34,718. The winning owners are Lynchris, LLC and the winning trainer is Don Harmon. Juslikeaqueen (Dean Magee) also posted a dominating effort in the $14,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace, to record her tenth win of the season with a ¾-length score in 1:53.4 over Amasa Arion (Rick Magee) and Dancingonthesand (Steve Wiseman). Juslikeaqueen ($5.60) sprinted from the gate from post six and always looked like the winner despite heavy first-over pressure from PV Miracle Mary (Darrell Wright). Amasa Arion saved ground throughout and was clearly second best, while Dancingonthesand (Steve Wiseman) also saved ground and was a game third. Juslikeaqueen now shows 27 career wins and has just eclipsed the $300,000 mark in career earnings with this week's winning performance. The winning owner is Antonia Storer, and the winning trainer is Tim Maier. The other two year old winners on the program were: Huftalookatdatfany (Dean Magee) in 2:04 in the $5,750 MN 2 YO Fillies "B" Pace, Scarlett Ruby ($6.40, Dean Magee) in the $8,625 MN 2 YO Fillies "A" Pace in 1:59.2, Double My Decker ($3.60, Rick Magee) in the $9,200 MN 2 YO "B" Trot in 2:02.1, and Bunkerhill Phil ($3.00, Don Harmon) in the $8,625 MN 2 YO colts & geldings Pace in 1:56.3. Dean Magee led the Tuesday program with 3 winners, while Rick Magee, Nick Roland, and Don Harmon all picked up driving doubles. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday (September 7) with local post time at 6:00 pm, and features two Carryovers: $5,013.70 in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot, and $3,054.48 in the 50 cent Hi-5. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - The Sunday evening harness racing program at Running Aces played host to the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot, with seven talented square-gaiters lining up for battle in the featured event on the card.   Winning Lyric (Dean Magee) was in search of a third straight win in the top Open class, and was heavily favored in the betting at 3-10. Longshot Bordogna (Darrell Wright) was quickest away from the gate and took command of affairs through a quick :27.3 opening panel, while Pridecrest (Steve Wiseman) came away second in the early stages.   The fractions from there were sensible (:58.0 and 1:27.2) and Bordogna continued to lead, with It's A Horse (Tim Maier) launching a sustained first-up rally from near the half mile, and Winning Lyric was looming large from three wide rounding the final bend.   It's A Horse ($48.80) gradually drew on even terms with the Bordogna, then took over, and the field began to fan out as they straightened for home. Winning Lyric (Dean Magee) charged hard on the outside and tried hard to get past the new leader as they battled right down to the line, but It's A Horse was ultra game, and held on for a neck victory in 1:56.2 over Winning Lyric and a late closing Scramble Camp (Nick Roland).   The 6 time winner this season is a six year old gelded son of Full Count, owned by Ray Alan Miller and trained by Marco Rios, who had 2 winners on the program.   Real Gorgeous ($3.80) with owner/trainer/driver Jared Seekman rolled to another impressive win in 1:52.3 in a $7,500 conditioned pace to extend his winning streak to four in a row. The five year old gelded son of He's Gorgeous is in top career form, and is unbeaten at Running Aces since arriving in early August.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday (September 3) with first post at 7:00 pm Central.   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces                          

Columbus, MN - The Saturday evening harness racing program at Running Aces featured the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 Year old Pacers event, with a full field of nine facing the starter. Burning Blaze was the talk of the tote board at just over even money in the win pool, while Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) was well supported at 2-1 from post nine.   Burning Blaze, the 2018 Minnesota Harness Racing horse of the year, drew post position one and came into this week's contest with two wins in his last three outings.   Sweet Vivian (Mooney Svendsen) left from post six to grab the early lead before Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman) made a sweep to the lead right near the :27.2 quarter mile. From there, Burning Blaze was never in doubt, stealing a :30.1 breather in the second panel, before pacing a final half mile in :56.3 to stop the timer in 1:54.1 for a 3/4-length tally over Sweet Vivian, with longshot A Little Rusty (Darrell Wright) picking up third.   Burning Blaze now has four wins in twelve sophomore outings, with seasonal earnings of $39,970. The winning owners are Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and Edward Gutin, and the winning trainer is Justin Anfinson.   Driver Steve Wiseman led the Saturday night program with 3 winners, while Darrell Wright picked up a driving double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (Sept 1) and features a Carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $3,246.10.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - Entering the Tuesday evening (August 27) harness racing card at Running Aces, Driver Steve Wiseman needed two wins to reach an impressive career milestone of 3,000 wins. He picked up number 2,999 in race four, piloting Catchmeinadream ($3.00) to three wins in a row with a 2:00.4 tally in the $8,625 Minnesota-Sired two year old fillies "Class A" pace for trainer Justin Anfinson and owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte. With just one more needed to hit the magic number, Wiseman wasted no time in getting the feat accomplished, steering Hearduwhispermynam ($3.60) to his third win in a row in the $8,625 Minnesota-Sired two year old colt & geldings trot in 2:01.4 for owner/trainer Jenni King in race five, to eclipse the 3,000 win plateau.   Wiseman is a native of Bellingham, Washington and makes his home base in Sacramento California, where he has been among the top drivers at Cal Expo for many years. The very likeable and well-respected 51 year old has campaigned at tracks all over North America during his twenty five years in the sulky, but has settled into the circuit of Cal Expo and Running Aces for the past six years, a move that has worked out very well for him, and for his wife and Head Trainer Kathleen Plested-Wiseman, For the Wiseman's, Harness Racing is a family affair, with daughter Tyler also contributing a lot of hard work and adding to the success of the operation. Steve has been among the top five drivers at Running Aces each year since arriving to the Minnesota driving colony, and was the Champion driver in both 2017, and 2018. The Plested-Wiseman stable has captured the Leading Trainer title for three consecutive years at Running Aces, and is poised to make that four years in a row at the completion of the current meet. Other two year old winners on the Tuesday program were Huftalookatdatfany (Dean Magee) in 2:01 in the $5,750 two year old fillies "Class B" pace, Epic Victory (Brian Detgen) in 2:09.1 in the two year old fillies "Class B" trot, Susie's Sister (Don Harmon) in 2:00.3 in the $8,625 two year old fillies "Class A" trot, and Bunkerhill Phil (Don Harmon) in 2:00 in the $8,625 two year old colts & geldings pace. The $15,000 Mares Open Handicap pace was the feature on the Tuesday program, with seven talented distaffers lining up for battle in this week's edition. Juslikeaqueen (Dean Magee) was sent off as the 4-5 favorite from post seven, and left alertly along with PV Miracle Mary (Darrell Wright) who also sprinted from the gate from post six. Those two mares were locked in battle for the lead for nearly three-quarters of the mile, with Juslikeaqueen parked out the entire way through speedy fractions of :26.4, :55.2 and 1:24.2, before waving the white flag around the far turn. Pull The Shade (Brady Jenson) saved ground throughout and was able to collar the leader right on the finish line to score a ½-length victory in 1:54, with longshot Dancingonthesand (Mooney Svendsen) picking up third. Pull The Shade is a 5 year old daughter of Dragon Again out of the Artsplace mare Shades of Art, owned by Jason Maier and trained by Tim Maier. It was the fourth victory this season, and twelfth career tally for Pull The Shade ($10.20) Driver Don Harmon led the program with a Grand Slam of four winners. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, August 31 at 6:00 pm (CDT) featuring a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $2836.26. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Columbus, MN - The Sunday evening (August 25) harness racing program at Running Aces featured Open Handicap events for both Trotters and Pacers as the highlights of the eleven race card.   The $15,000 Open Handicap Trot drew a field of seven starters on the gate, with last week's winner Winning Lyric sent off as the overwhelming public choice at 3-5 on the board.   French Eclipse (Rick Magee) were first to the front, but Banker Volo (Nick Roland) quickly took over before the :28.0 quarter, and Dean Magee and Winning Lyric launched an early first-over attack near the :58.2 half mile to surge to the front, while It's A Horse (Tim Maier) immediately came after the new leader and applied heavy pressure down the backstretch and onto the final turn.   Winning Lyric ($3.40) fought back gamely as they turned for home and began to pull away from the field, trotting strong to the wire for a 2-3/4 length victory and two wins in a row, with It's A Horse and French Eclipse hitting the line together in a dead-heat for second in a sharp 1:55.2 mile over a track listed as good.   Winning Lyric has had a fantastic campaign this summer at Running Aces, with 5 wins, 4 seconds and 3 thirds from 13 starts for owner Terrence Smith and trainer Edward Hernandez.   Fox Valley Nemitz and driver Brian Detgen picked up a big win in the $17,000 Open Handicap Pace to get home first from post 7 in a talented 10 horse field.   Contemporay Legend (Rick Magee) flew off the gate for the early lead while Bettor's Promise (Mooney Svendsen) left alertly and both Firedrake (Nick Roland) and Nine Ways (Dean Magee) also came away charging fast into the first turn looking for a front position, through a fast :27.1 opening panel.   Firedrake pressed up alongside Contemporay Legend and led through the middle stages (:56.0 and 1:24.2) but was parked the entire way, never finding the pylons.   Despite the brutal trip, Firedrake continued to fight on and eventually cleared, only to face immediate strong pressure from Nine Ways who had also been out the entire way. Firedrake turned back the challenge of Nine Ways, then fought off Skim The Top (Don Harmon) but was unable to withstand a furious late charge from Fox Valley Nemitz on the far outside.   Fox Valley Nemitz came from way off the pace and rallied 3-wide around the final turn, finding clear sailing in about the four-path in the lane to sweep by for a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:53 over Firedrake who kept the rest of the field at bay and held second in a monster effort.   Fox Valley Nemitz ($30.00) now has five wins in sixteen outings this year, with earnings of $45,855 for owner Susan Holm-Johansen. The winning trainer is Ulf Holm-Johansen.   Drivers Jared Seekman and Dean Magee led the program, each with a driving double.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday (August 27) with a full menu of Carryover pools: $851.54 for the Early Pick-3, $1,847.25 for the Early Pick-4, $2,268.90 for the Jackpot Pick-5, and $1,067.17 for the High-5. Post time for the 12 race program is 7:00 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 - The Tuesday evening (August 20) harness racing program at Running Aces was jam packed with exciting and competitive races, and featured many outstanding performances. Among those were two major standouts - SB Madame Secretary who stormed home to capture the $8,625 Minnesota-Sired "A" freshman filly pace in track record time, and Amasa Arion, who flew home with a furious kick to get up right on the wire in the $15,000 Mares Open Pace for 5 wins in a row. Driver Darrell Wright floated SB Madam Secretary away from the gate at the back of the field before joining the outer flow with second-over cover near the midway point, while the early fractions were honest (:30.1 and :59.4). Go Margeaux (Rick Magee) had led the early stages before Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland) took over near the 1:29.2 three-quarters, with Susie's Sister (Don Harmon) bearing down from second and SB Madam Secretary dropping in third as they rounded the far turn. As they straightened for home Susie's Sister took a tentative lead, but SB Madame Secretary was trotting strongest of all to the wire, nailing a track record victory by a neck over Susie's Sister with Passion in Paris (Steve Wiseman) getting up for third money in a career best 1:59.4 mile. SB Madam Secretary ($30.80) is a daughter of Tom Ridge, out of the Revenue S mare Candy is Dandy, owned by breeder Deborah Hofsaess and Susan Holm-Johansen, and trained by Ulf Holm-Johansen. The historic victory was the second career triumph in seven outings for the bay filly. Amasa Arion scored an impressive victory in the $15,000 Mares Open pace feature, besting a very talented field of eight mares, including headliner and race favorite Juslikeaqueen (Dean Magee). Driver Rick Magee got the 4 year old Western Thorn prodigy away in good order from the gate, dropping in third from post four, while Delightfully Wild (Nick Roland) and Juslikeaqueen battled for the front spot, and posted a quick opener in :27.4. Juslikeaqueen would lead from there, while PV Miracle Mary (Darrell Wright) pressed the pace from first-up, and Pull The Shade (Brady Jenson) advanced with the live cover through the middle fractions of :56.3 and 1:25. They were all bunched up turning for home, providing lots of pressure to leader Juslikeaqueen, and Rick Magee angled Amasa Arion from fifth on the inside all the way out to the four-path and they accelerated with an impressive burst to the wire to nail a neck victory over Juslikeaqueen in 1:53.4 with Pull The Shade a close third. Amasa Arion ($6.00) is a sharp 4 year old mare, by Western Thorn, she has now won five races in a row and seven of nine season's starts for owner Kristy Casagranda and trainer Rick Magee. Rick Magee and Steve Wiseman both led the Tuesday program with 3 winners each. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, August 24 and offers a trio of Carryover pools: $1,666.54 for the 50 cent early Pick-4, $1,260.64 for the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot, and $1,199.42 for the 50 cent Hi-5. Post time on Saturday is 6 pm (CDT). 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 2018 Harness Racing Horse of The Year in Minnesota was back in action on Saturday night (Aug 17) at Running Aces.   Burning Blaze headlined the field in the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired three year old Pace, taking on a field of six other rivals, and starting from post seven on the gate. Driver Steve Wiseman sent the gelded son of Wind Me Up away quickly, clearing the front from a fast starting Sweet Vivian (Mooney Svendsen) with a moderate first quarter clocking of :28.1 while A Little Rusty (Dean Magee) settled away in third.   Wiseman orchestrated a well rated mile for Burning Blaze, who carried the field through fractions of :57.0 and 1:26 with no pressure whatsoever, and had plenty in reserve for the stretch drive, peeling off a 27.2 closing stanza to keep everybody chasing him home, including pocket-sitter Sweet Vivian, who was not able to make up ground on the leader, despite her own :27.2 final kick. A Little Rusty was able to hold down the show spot.   Burning Blaze ($5.60) has now registered three wins in eleven outings in 2019, with seasonal earnings of $31,970. His career numbers are impressive, 10 wins, 3 seconds and 5 thirds from 20 starts, with a bankroll of $85,220 for owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and Edward Gutin. The winning trainer is Justin Anfinson.   Brady Jenson led all drivers on the program with two wins, including a one-two sweep of Race 5, a $6,800 conditioned pace in which he drove his trainee Selma O'Brien ($16.60) to her second consecutive score in a career best 1:54.4 with his other trained entry Nurse Nattie (Tim Maier) getting second. The Jenson-trained Exacta paid a healthy $125.60 to Lucky winners and loyal Jenson fans.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (Aug 18) with local post time at 6:00 pm.     By Darin Gagne for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday evening (August 13) harness racing program at Running Aces was highlighted by two year old action, including the $11,500 featured event for Minnesota-Sired colt & gelding pacers. Bunkerhill Phil (Don Harmon) was the (1-1) race favorite from an assigned post eight, coming into the event with six wins in a row in seven career starts. Alright Frankie (Rick Magee) drew post five and was looking to extend his own winning streak to three for trainer Justin Anfinson, and was also heavily supported in the wagering at 6-5. Alright Frankie was fastest from the gate and quickly established command, with The Dak Attack (Brady Jenson) getting away in the pocket and Get My Good Side (Steve Wiseman) floating away in third through sensible early fractions of :28.4 and :59.4, while Bunkerhill Phil launched a first-over bid just past the half mile. Alright Frankie continued to pace strong, and faced no pressure, as Bunkerhill Phil failed to become a major threat. Alright Frankie ($4.80) posted a final half of :58 flat to get home 1-1/4 lengths ahead at the wire in 1:57.4 over Get My Good Side and The Dak Attack. The winner is a gelded son of In Over My Head, out of the Towner's Big Guy mare Shantytown Girl, and is owned by the partnership of Austin Patrick, Kaitlin Patrick, Jesse De Long and T. Jeff Carey. The impressive freshman pacer has now won four of eight lifetime races with four seconds, and earnings of $27,403. Catchmeinadream ($ 9.60, Steve Wiseman) was a sharp looking winner in the $11,500 two year old filly pace with a 3-1/4 length score in 2:01.1 over the sloppy track, to register her first lifetime win for owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and trainer Justin Anfinson. The Minnesota-Sired two year old trotting event had three divisions, with Go Margeaux (Don Harmon) taking the filly $4,600 "B" division in 2:05.4 over a sloppy surface, and Susie's Sister ($3.40, Don Harmon) taking the $6,900 "A" division in 2:01.3. The $11,500 two year old colts & geldings trot went to Hearduwhispermynam ($3.60, Steve Wiseman) with a sharp closing effort from the back of the pack to score his second lifetime win, with a 2:00.4 mile. Rick Magee led the Tuesday program with four winners for a Grand Slam, while Don Harmon, Dean Magee and Steve Wiseman all turned in doubles on the night. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, August 17 and offers a pair of carryovers: $1,810.64 in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot, and $1,877.26 in the 50 cent Hi-5. First post on Saturday is 6:00 pm (CDT). By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

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