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Columbus, MN - Running Aces and Minnesota Harness Racing, Inc are hosting a special day for driver Steve Wiseman this Saturday (September 19) during Live Racing.   The event is a fundraising benefit for Wiseman who continues to battle stage four cancer. He has been undergoing treatment since his diagnosis late last winter and has subsequently missed most of his opportunities to drive due to the side affects of the treatments. He has recently gotten promising reports from his doctors and he remains in very good spirits and remains determined to do whatever it takes to fight and beat the illness.   Guests at Running Aces will be able to purchase Hats, T-Shirts, Wristbands and more with all proceeds going to benefit Wiseman.   Post time on Saturday is 1:00 pm central.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces      

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Sunday afternoon (August 16) harness racing program at Running Aces was the Minnesota-Sired sophomore trot with three divisions and a total purse of $23,000.   The $11,500 "A" division drew a talented field of seven, including division leader Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland, 2-1), last out winner and co-favorite Hearduwhispermynam (Rick Magee, 2-1), and Susie's Sister (Steve Wiseman, 7-2) who was making her first local start of the season, after an early summer campaign in Kentucky.   Teachmehowtotory was first to take the front with a sweeping move from the outside post, while Hearduwhispermynam also left quickly from post six and was caught out through the :29.2 opening panel before working to the lead. Hearduwhispermynam had the call at the half in :59 seconds but as soon as they straightened down the backside Susie's Sister was on the attack from third and moved swiftly to the front.   Once on the lead Susie's Sister ($9.60) opened up two lengths on her rivals and was never in doubt, maintaining that margin all the way to the wire in 1:56.4 to equal the track record for sophomore trotting fillies, which was set by her full sister My Little Susie in 2016. Hearduwhispermynam was home in second and Teachmehowtotory held third.   Both of the record setting siblings are by Claudius Augustus and out of the S J's Photo mare Sue's Photo. Susie's Sister is owned by Lynchris, LLC and trained by Jenni King. She now has two Running Aces track records to her credit and thirteen career wins.   The $6,900 "B" division went to Al Mar Why Not with trainer/driver Brandon Jenson in the sulky. Al Mar Why Not ($15.20) saved ground throughout and closed on the inside to win by 1/2 length in 2:00.2 over Double My Dekker (Dean Magee) and Miss Gracious (Mooney Svendsen). The winning owner is Bryce Jenson.   The $4,600 "C" division went to Black Buck (Rick Magee, $6.00) who got away fifth, then converted second-over cover into a big lead around the final turn, drawing away from the field to score by 5-1/4 lengths in 2:01 for his third career win for owner/trainer and breeder Jenni King.   Drivers Steve Wiseman, Mooney Svendsen, Rick Magee and Nick Roland all registered doubles on the Sunday card. Trainer Jenni King also had a double on the day.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, August 18, with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT).   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces

Driver Steve Wiseman is doing 'Whatever It Takes' to beat cancer, and beat the competition on the harness racing track at Running Aces. Steve Wiseman got some very bad news in late winter of last year when he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer with indications in multiple organs. It was a diagnosis that would have rendered most people into defeat, but not Steve. From the very first hints of trouble to the very serious diagnosis, Wiseman was adamant that he would fight the cancer - every step of the 'mile'. With tremendous support from his lovely wife and working partner Kathie Plested, his daughter Tyler and his extended family and with the support of the entire Harness Racing world behind him, Steve has been fighting the battle every day since that fateful diagnosis. Steve and Kathie have expressed how deeply moved they have been by all of the support and love that was shown to Steve during his time of need. So many people reached out to the Wiseman family and offered their love, prayers and financial support. The out-pouring of love and giving came from the far reaches of the Harness Racing community, from casual fans to fellow drivers to horse owners and even Mr. Harness Racing himself - John Campbell. There were support campaigns that sold t-shirts or hats or wristbands. There were Gofundme pages and there were prayer chains, and social media outlets were flooded with the hashtag #WisemanStrong. All of the prayers and positive vibes have helped Steve to fight the fight everyday, and have helped him get to where he is now ... back at the races where he has always belonged. The battles have been tough, but they have been won, the current reports from doctors are extremely positive at this time, and recent scans have detected little to no cancer. Steve indicates that he is feeling good and he is more than ready to get back to racing. He would like to put some weight back on and notes that one of the side effects of his treatments has been poor appetite and weight-loss, but he hopes to be able to put some pounds back on soon. Wiseman was very excited to get back to racing when i spoke to him the day before he would make his first qualifying starts of the summer, and he noted "I'm ready to get back racing, and i feel this is the one way i can give back to all of those who supported me ... to get back out there and drive for them ... that is the one thing that i can do." Well, that is exactly what all of his fans and supporters wanted as well, and he has delivered. On Saturday (June 13) at Running Aces 'The Magician' picked up a nice 1:57.2 qualifying win with Queenace Bluechip after orchestrating a perfect pocket trip, and also steered Royale Big Guy to a solid second from off the pace in 1:58.4 - both horses are from his own barn and trained by wife Kathie Plested. Wiseman looked good on the track, he looked sharp and he looked like someone who was in his element. Prayers do get answered and if you are determined to fight and give it all you've got, you can defeat most any obstacle - Steve Wiseman will tell you that, and he will keep on fighting this fight day after day and race after race. The Running Aces horsemen community is so happy to have the resident 'Magician' back on the stage and doing 'Whatever It Takes' to win against cancer and to win on the racetrack. He will be on the track and competing to try and capture his third local driving title (He was leading Driver in 2017 and 2018) when the Live Racing season opens at Running Aces on Saturday (June 20) at 1:00 pm Central. This summer, amid capacity restrictions and other protocols related to COVID-19, Running Aces will be conducting all of it's Live Racing programs in the afternoons, and due to the season's belated start, will race into the month of October for the first time in the track's 13 year history. Live Racing will take place on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays through the summer with the exception of a special Friday card on July 3 and no racing on July 4. There are also 3 added Wednesday racing days in September on the 16th, 23rd and 30th. The season will conclude on Saturday, October 4. Darin Gagne  

They say cancer has no friends, but in the case of Steve Wiseman that is not the case. Longtime California horseman Steve Wiseman has just been diagnosed with cancer. To say that the Cal Expo horsemen were devastated to hear this news is an understatement. With the horse community being as tight as it is, the news spread across the country and into Canada in one day with horsemen rallying to support Steve and his wife of 20 years, Kathie Plested. Steve, Kathie and their daughter Tyler run the largest stable in California during the winter and at Running Aces in Minnesota during the summer. Stevie as he is known to many has touched the hearts of horsemen wherever he goes. He is one of the "Good Guys". Whether to help a family ship a groom home who just passed away, to a shipper, away from home offering a Christmas dinner. Or rallying to help support a trainer who lost everything to a barn fire to a driver who was in a bad accident. Stevie has opened his heart to many. One of the top drivers and respected horsemen in California and Minnesota for many years, will now be racing one of the toughest races of his life. But with family and the hundreds of friends behind him with the love and support he can win this race. The California horsemen at Cal Expo this weekend will be sporting the Wiseman colors of Blue, yellow and white to show support and stand behind their beloved horseman and friend. We at Cal Expo ask the horsemen and fans to stand with us to show support by wearing his colors this weekend. Megan Beauchamp has graciously offered to sell T shirts via Facebook with the motto Wiseman Strong, Whatever It Takes logo with all proceeds going to the Wiseman family to help with the medical costs. Wrist bands are also being sold on Facebook in order to help the family as well. A Go fund me account has also been set up and anyone wanting to donate can go to: https://www.gofundme.com/wiseman-strong By Robin Clements        

Pridecrest, a coast-to-coast harness racing victor in his most recent appearance at the head of the class, gets the marquee treatment in Saturday evening's $7,400 Open Trot at Cal Expo Harness.. Going as the third event, the Open Trot highlights a 12-race Watch and Wager LLC program that gets underway at 6:10 p.m. Pridecrest is an 8-year-old son of Angus Hall who carries the banner of Heather Matthews with Kathie Plested the conditioner and Steve Wiseman once again doing the honors. Pridecrest will leave from the outside post in the field of six and figures to get plenty of respect at the windows off that sparkling victory two weeks ago. A lifetime earner of over $310,000 with a 1:53 2/5 career standard that was set over this track three years ago, Pridecrest made every pole a winner the last time this group met for Wiseman and has shown he can get the job done from the front, a tracking spot or with a closing kick. Mandeville has gone some strong miles here for owner/trainer/driver Gerry Longo, including an Open score on January 3, and will be gunning for his 24th lifetime victory while adding to his $220,000 lifetime bankroll. Taking on this pair are Majestic Lady Jo with Luke Plano; Windsun Galaxie, Dean Magee; Dougs Hobby Horse for Mooney Svendsen; and Bankers For All who leaves from the rail with James Kennedy guiding. Low takeout wagers spark huge payoffs There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4 - and you need only go back to last week to find the value added. On Friday, the anchor leg of the Pick 4 was captured by longshot Mystic Wonder and as a result returned a whooping $3,950 for each correct ducket. The Pick 5 on Saturday returned $814 for each correct ticket, despite the fact that none of the five winners went off at higher than 9-2 odds, with two of the victorious performers sent off at 5-2 on the board. Later on in that program, the Pick 4 paid a juicy $1,105 for each 20-cent investment with 9-5 favorite Royal Mistress being surrounded by Lookslikewemadeit ($25), Bobby Dazzler ($16) and Joltin Joe ($13) completing the sequence. Using the regular takeout, rate the Pick 4 on Friday would have come back $3,530 a difference of $420 on each winning combination. On Saturday, the Pick 5 would have returned $726 instead of $814, a difference of $88 per ticket, while the Pick 4 payout would have been $986 instead of $1,105, meaning $119 extra went to each winner. Getting back to Bobby Dazzler, who accounted for last Saturday's main event, hats off to trainer Kathie Plested who did a great job getting George McChrystal's 7-year-old ready for a big mile with Mooney Svendsen giving directions in his first appearance since mid-December. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness  

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 - 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 Saturday evening Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured the $23,000 Minnesota-Sired three year old Pacers, split into two divisions. The $11,500 colts and geldings division was headlined by heavy favorite SB Bodacious (1-5) who was a winner last out and came into this week's event with a record of 4-4-1 from nine starts. SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) sprinted from the gate from post one and faced immediate pressure from Flying Fritz (Nick Roland) who hounded the leader through the first half mile, prompting early fractions of :27 and :55.1. Next to come after the leader was Roman Treasure (Tim Maier) who made a three wide move around a tiring Flying Fritz, near the 1:24.2 check-in for three-quarters. Throughout it all, Burning Blaze was sitting in fourth and biding his time, and as they rounded for home driver Steve Wiseman steered the 2018 Minnesota harness Horse of the Year to the outside and got him rolling, in response - he stormed down the center of the track to pull away from SB Bodacious by two lengths and score his second win of the year with a 1:53.4 mile and a new lifetime mark. Roman Treasure held gamely for third. Burning Blaze ($17.20) now has nine career wins in eighteen races, and has earned $73,220 for owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and Edward Gutin. The winning trainer is Justin Anfinson. The $11,500 filly division went to prohibitive favorite Windmeupnwatchmego (1-9) as she once again turned in a dominating performance in 1:55.2 to score her sixth win in seven outings this year for owner Richard Davelaar and trainer Gordon Graham. Dean Magee was the winning pilot. Sweet Vivian (Steve Wiseman) was second and Trinitysfancyfilly (Brian Detgen) finished third. Both divisional winners are by the stallion Wind Me Up. Driver Steve Wiseman dominated the scene on Saturday night, picking up three wins and two seconds in his seven trips to the gate. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (July 28) with first post at 6 pm (CDT). By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces 

The Tuesday night (May 28) program of Harness Racing at Running Aces featured the $15,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace as the main event. Cenalta Diamond was heavily backed as the top choice in the wagering at 2-5, on the strength of her 8-length romp over the top mares a week ago.  The 6 year old daughter of Allamerican Merlin did not disappoint her backers, turning in another dazzling performance from the outside eight post. Driver Tim Maier got her moving early, and briefly dropped in fourth while their other rivals skirmished for the front. Capitol Hill (Steve Wiseman) from post five, and Place N First (Rick Magee) from post two emerged from the pack, with Alwaysalittlemore (Williams Hernandez) dropping in third, as the quarter mile flashed up in :28 seconds. After the dust settled, Maier wasted no time in making his move with Cenalta Diamond, sweeping to the front in a flash and establishing command before the three-eighths pole. The early fractions were reasonable (56.4 at the half), but Maier called on his mare to strut her stuff in the third panel, and she responded with a :27.1 stinger that left her rivals five lengths in arrears. Alwaysalittlemore showed late interest and Pull The Shade (Dean Magee) closed impressively from the back, but the winning move was made going into that final turn. Cenalta Diamond ($2.80) coasted home and checked in 1 ½ lengths ahead at the wire in 1:53. Tim Maier is also the owner and trainer of the winner, who now sports 6 wins in 18 trips this year, and notched career victory number 25 with her second straight Mares Open tally at Running Aces. Also on the Tuesday card, Urgointohearmeroar (Dean Magee) made his local season’s debut in a $9,400 conditioned pacing event, looking for his eighth win in nine starts on the year, and twelfth career score in just fifteen tries. The public took close notice of the 4 year old Mystery Chase gelding’s resume and sent him off as the overwhelming 1-5 choice. The public was right, as he dominated the night’s closing affair, holding gamely to the wire and keeping Ohio invader Mcpansy (Williams Hernandez) at bay, to score a ¾ length tally in 1:54.1. Urgointohearmeroar ($2.60) is owned and trained by Mark Anderson. Driver Dean Magee posted another driving double on Tuesday night, extending his current streak of multiple win nights to 5, and securing the early spot atop the season’s leaderboard. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday, June 1, 2019, with first post at 6:00 p.m. (CDT)   By Darin Gagne for Running Aces

Columbus, MN -The Sunday evening program of Harness Racing was highlighted by the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot, with a good field of seven squaring off to determine this week's top local trotter. Silverlode (Steve Wiseman) was in search of her seventh-straight victory, and would have to do it from the outside seven post, as the even-money choice. Banker Volo (Nick Roland) was heavily supported at just over 2-1 on the board, and newcomer Muscle Ave (Williams Hernandez) was getting respect at 5-1. Muscle Ave was sent right down the road by Hernandez and made the front from post six, just in time to register the first quarter in :27.4 with Banker Volo finding the pocket. Muscle Ave led the field all the way to the far turn, before Silverlode launched a sweeping move to the front and led into the lane, but Banker Volo was raging with trot towards the inside, and Bringoverthemoney (Tim Maier) was rallying strong on the outside. Banker Volo was fastest to the wire, getting a neck up in front of Silverlode in 1:55, with Bringoverthemoney picking up third, and missing by just a half-length. Banker Volo ($6.80) is now owned by Lucas Roland and is trained by Jenni King. Tonight's victory was his first win of the season, in just his third start. It was career win number 37 for the current track record holder (Aged Trotting Horses) and former multiple category record holder. At age 10, the ultra impressive stallion continues to be competitive at the top-level, perpetuating a stellar racing campaign, while also having entered a second career in the breeding shed. Also on Sunday's card, was the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old Trot, with a full field of nine lining up behind the gate. Last year's two year old male trotting champion MD Magic (Nick Roland) was sent off as the heavy 1-2 public choice from post two, with Dewey's Machine (Steve Wiseman) getting some support at 5-1. But the night would belong to another sophomore gelding, and an upset winner. Ice Storm would steal the show. Ice Storm trotted away alertly from post one, saved ground in third throughout, and angled out willingly for Mooney Svendsen as the field turned for home. It was the second career win for Ice Storm ($41.60) a son of Ice Machine out of the mare Stormont Flambe, owned by Larry Jo Jenson and trained by Brady Jenson. The 1:59 Mike was a new career best. Al Mar Humdinger (Elvin Zimmerman) was a very sharp second, with Dewey's Machine checking in third. Dean Magee led the night with a driving double, while Brady Jenson sent out two winners to lead all trainers. Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, May 28 with first post at 7:00 p.m. (CDT)   By Darin Gagne   for Running Aces

Columbus, MN -The first Sunday card of the 2019 Harness Racing season featured a $15,000 Open Trot event, with a strong field of contenders. Silverlode was making her Running Aces return after a stellar campaign in northern California at Cal Expo over the winter and spring. Banker Volo was making his Running Aces return and just second start of the year, after a winter campaign in western Pennsylvania at The Meadows. Those two were the talk of the tote-board and rightfully so, as they also dominated the action on the track. Banker Volo (Nick Roland) struck the front first, with a burst right off the wings of the gate to challenge the inside entry Doug's Hobby Horse (Rick Bertrand) and take the lead at the quarter in 29.2, while Silverlode (Steve Wiseman) floated away third from her outside eight post, and advanced to challenge and take over the front near the 3/8 marker. The fractions were tepid for the top class trotters as they hit the half in just 1 minute flat and also completed a middle half of one minute flat (1:30). Silverlode faced mild pressure near the 5/8 when Al Mar Reba Babe was advancing first-over on the outside, but was never in jeopardy. Turning for home Silverlode had taken a clear two-length margin and had full benefit of the soft fractions, kicking home in 29.1 to check in 3 ¾ lengths ahead of Banker Volo, with Bringoverthemoney (Tim Maier) picking up the pieces for third. Silverlode ($3.20) is a 10 year old mare by British Sterling and is trained by Kathleen Plested, who co-owns with Medinah Racing. She now has 6 wins in a row and 7 victories in just 10 starts in 2019, and She recently surpassed the quarter-million mark in career earnings and now sport's a tally of $258,072. Four year old pacer Just B Talking ($84.40) became the biggest priced winner of the meet so far in Race seven on the card for Owner-Trainer-Driver Gerald Longo, with an impressive tally on the front end in 1:58.2 to light up the board at more than 41-1, triggering a carryover in the Hi-5 wager. And when 6 year old pacer Buzz Light (Nick Roland) turned in a sharp looking win at 11-1 ($24.20) in the finale in 1:58, that helped to trigger a double-carryover of $8,049.09 for the High Five Wager on Tuesday Night (5/21). Drivers Nick Roland, and Dean Magee both picked up driving doubles on the Sunday program. Post time on Tuesday night (5/21) is 7:00 pm CT.   By Darin Gagne For Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

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

A well-matched field of top-class pacing fillies and mares will take center stage Friday night at Cal Expo in the $10,000 Kirk Breed Pace. A 10-race program is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 7:10 p.m. and the main harness racing event will go as the sixth contest on the evening. Trainer Kathie Plested looks to have a strong hand in the race with Capitol Hill and Dancingonthesand representing the shedrow. The former is owned by the trainer and George McChrystal with Steve Wiseman guiding, while Dancingonthesand races for the trainer and Alan Cooper with Mooney Svendsen at the controls. As has often been the case at the head of the distaff pacing class, last week's Open saw an upset as Capitol Hill sat a pocket trip for Wiseman and came home smartly to get the job done by a length and a half as a 15-1 shot. Dancingonthesand has recorded six wins from her 10 trips to the post on the season and the long-fused mare looms large. Her most recent tally came on April 6, as she did the stalk-and-pounce to perfection to win going away. Legio X Equestris is going in very sharp form at the moment for owner David Shell and trainer Luke Plano with a win and two seconds from the last three clashes at the top rung here. Ryan Grundy guides the daughter of Roll With Joe and she was a 1:53 victress two back in a handy coast-to-coast decision. Completing the field are Lickcreek Speedway, Brighten Your Life, Delightfully Wild and Magnifique.   Kirk Breed, Tony Miller remembered with races Friday's Kirk Breed Pace is named for the man who served as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board from 2008 until his death at the age of 73 in 2013; while the Tony Miller Memorial is in honor of the harness valet here at Cal Expo who passed away recently at age 56. Mr. Breed was appointed as general manager at Cal Expo during the first term of Gov. Jerry Brown in 1979, and was credited with turning around the event's financial fortune during lean times. He later became a lobbyist on behalf of the racing industry and also served for eight years on the Cal Expo board of directors. The Oklahoma native loved horses and worked tirelessly to reduce equine fatalities and improve track safety for horses, jockeys and drivers. Tony Miller was a third-generation horsemen who was an owner, thoroughbred valet and most recently harness valet here at Cal Expo for the past 12 years. He passed away after a battle with colon cancer. *** The 14-year-old pacing mare Blue Note will be making the final start of her career Friday evening when she suits up in the evening's fifth race and there will be a special ceremony prior to that start in the winner's circle to honor this popular performer. Rick Cisco owns and trains the daughter of Little Steven, who is out of the Denali mare Romantic Music. She comes into her final assignment with 37 wins from her 321 appearances, $155,000 in her bank account and a 1:54 1/5 mark that was set here two years ago "She's a gem, and always tries her heart out," Cisco said. "I want to be sure to credit Luke Plano, because he's had a lot of success driving her over the years. The plan is to send her to Minnesota, where she'll be bred to Wind Me Up."     By Mark Ratzky publicity – Cal Expo Harness

This meet has been a homecoming of sorts for David Shell's California-bred Legio X Equestris and she has turned in some big efforts while racing with the top distaff pacers on the grounds. The 5-year-old harness racing daughter of Roll With Joe, who was a 1:52 flat victress at Pocono last year, dominated conditioned rivals here in 1:53 2/5 last month for Luke Plano, and is coming off back-to-back solid tries in the Filly and Mare Open. "She'd been racing in Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and David wanted to bring her home for the winter," said Plano. "Even though I was racing her for the first time at this meet, I trained her a bit as a 2-year-old before she made her first start." Plano admits it's been a bit of a rollercoaster return to California for Legio X Equestris, she has shown her ability more often than not. "When she came out, she shipped from New York to Indiana, then on to here, and I don't think we realized how much it had taken out of here. There were also a few health issues along the way, but now everything seems to be fine." In last week's top dance for the distaff set, Legio X Equestris brushed to the lead at half for Luke, putting up solid fractions of :55 3/5 and 1:23 4/5 before being overpowered in the late stages by Dancingonthesand. "I'll tell you one thing about this mare - she loves to play the hard way," Plano added.   Dancingonthesand, Silverlode among top players An Open Trot that sees the return of Silverlode and an extremely contentious Filly and Mare Open Pace are the main attractions on Cal Expo's Saturday night program. Watch and Wager LLC presents 11 races with first post at 6:15 p.m. Silverlode is a 10-year-old daughter of British Sterling out of the Website mare Charlotte's Web who comes into this assignment with $243,000 in earnings and a 1:54 3/5 mark that was established last season. The hard-hitting mare, who is owned by Medinah Racing and Kathie Plested, with Plested training and Steve Wiseman in the sulky, has posed for pictures following four of her seven trips to the post in 2019. She suits up this weekend riding a three-race winning streak while making her first start since March 16, when she crushed her rivals by four a half-lengths as the prohibitive 2-5 favorite while doing her work from the No. 10 slot, which will again be the case this time around. Looking at the Distaff Open, Dancingonthesand is a 4-year-old daughter of A Rocknroll Dance who goes about her business for Alan Cooper and Kathie Plested with Plested training and Mooney Svendsen handling the lines. The bay miss has returned to greet her connections in the winner's circle following six of eight appearances this season and shaved a second and two fifths off her lifetime record with last week's sparkling 1:53 score. Sent off at 9-2 from her outside post in the field of seven, Dancingonthesand was unhurried in the early stages following strong fractions, swung off cover into the drive and went on to the length and a half decision.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness

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