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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 - 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

Following start No. 244 in Friday night's fourth race, Nutmegs Desire will begin a new career as a broodmare, but not before Cal Expo gives her a special sendoff. The 11-year-old daughter of Real Desire comes into Friday's final harness racing assignment with 55 wins, 42 seconds and 30 thirds, $241,614 in her bank account and a 1:53 1/5 career standard that was set six years ago. Nutmegs Desire goes about her business for Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman with Kathie Plested conditioning and Steve Wiseman back at the controls. In last week's tour, the hard-knocking pacer sat the pocket early for Wiseman, responded when the question was asked in the stretch and proved clearly best for her fifth snapshot from 11 starts on the season. Nutmegs Desire is scheduled to be make her special appearance on Friday following the running of the second race and everyone is invited to come down and join in the ceremony. "We like the idea of bringing Nutmeg down to the Winner's Circle before her race," said co-owner Chambers. "Mostly we're doing it this way because after she races, she's pretty full of herself and will not be very interested in standing still for a picture with a group. "We intend to make the ceremony short and sweet, so Nutmeg can get back to the paddock and get dressed for her final race." Nutmegs Desire will be presented with a new blanket and her owners will also be giving a check to the California Standardbred Rescue Fund representing last week's earnings from her victory. Said Barbara Arnstine, "As much as we love and appreciate Nutmeg, this isn't just about her. It's a small chance to educate the public about harness horses - their sociability, their love for their 'jobs' and their longevity, which leads to another career in many cases." Plans call for Nutmegs Desire to join Ricky Schneider's broodmare band in Alberta following Friday night's curtain call and she will be bred to Vertical Horizon. An 11-race card is on tap Friday evening under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Low takeout wagers offer great value   There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5 on the first five races of the evening and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $30,000-guaratnteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. To give you some idea of how sweet the reduced takeout can be, last Saturday night's 50-cent Pick 5 returned $2,381 for each winning ticket. Using the old takeout, the payoff would have been $2,126, a difference of $255 for each ducket.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness  

The 10-year-old trotting mare Silverlode and Steve Wiseman have made quite the pair over the last couple of months, teaming to win three of their last five starts at the head of the harness racing class. Included among those victories is romping score in the Joe Lighthill Trot on February 23, with the 2:57 2/5 clocking for the mile and a half journey resulting in a new North American record for the elongated distance over a mile track. Silverlode was bred by Steve and Vickie Desomer and earned a good chunk of her $242,000 bank account while racing for them. She now goes about her business for Medinah Racing and Kathie Plested with Kathie and Wiseman calling the shots since late last year when she returned from the Midwest. "This mare and Kathie and I have a lot of history, because we were working for Steve and Vickie when she was racing at 2 and 3," Wiseman noted. "The Desomers always thought she had a lot of talent, and she's matured with age and is a real professional." Silverlode has completely dominated her opposition in the last two top dances for the trotting set, following her score in the Lighthill with a nearly six-length romp in the most ecent Open Trot two weeks ago. On both occasions, she has settled early, made a brush to the lead midway and taken complete control of things from that point. "That's really her preferred style and it's worked out perfectly in the last two starts." Silverlode will be suiting up once again in Saturday night's featured fifth race."The plan is to race her a few more times and then take her back to Running Aces for the summer," Wiseman said. Jim Grundy Memorial, Open Pace head card A very contentious $6,500 Open Pace and the $4,500 Jim Grundy Memorial for pacing fillies and mares get the marquee treatment Friday evening at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 6:10 p.m., and there will also be three California Sire Stakes to be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular program. A solid case can made for each of the half-dozen performers in the Open Pace. Blue Star Maverick is a 6-year-old son of As Promised who is owned by Lorne Duffield, takes his lessons from Kathie Plested and will have Mooney Svendsen giving directions. He accounted for the Shelly Goudreau Final on February 23, was runner-up in the Open Pace two weeks ago and then prevailed by a head in a blanket finish in the most recent top dance for the division last week. Eastender and Bettor In The Bank dead-heated for second in that affair. The former is owned by Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson with Luke Plano reining and training, while Bettor In The Bank carries the banner of Debra McCarthy, hails from the Gordie Graham shedrow and has James Kennedy back at the controls. Eastender captured a conditioned race on February 22, then came right back to post a 23-1 upset in the Open Pace the following week. He sat a tracking trip for Plano to the stretch last week, took the lead at the midway point of the drive and just failed to last that evening. Bettor In The Bank came flying to be right in that tight finish last week and has used his strong closing kick to account for half of his 10 trips to the post this season. He won back-to-back Open Paces last month and has found himself with too much work to do in the stretch in his last two appearances. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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

Columbus, MN - The Tuesday night (Sept. 4) harness racing program at Running Aces played host to the $14,000 Minnesota-Sired Trot event, with a full field of 9 contenders. MD Magic (Dean Magee) was looking for his 6th straight win in this division, and was sent off as the 4-5 choice. Dewey's Machine (Steve Wiseman) had been runner up 5 times so far this season and was heavily backed as well at 8-5. Z Machine (James Yoder) was fastest off the gate and led the field through the early quarter in :29.1 before MD Magic cleared from post 9, and controlled the fractions through the middle stages. MD Magic was holding sway past the half in 1:00 and three-quarters in 1:30.3, but Dewey's Machine had advanced from fourth to drop into the pocket around the final turn. As they rounded for home, Dewey's Machine was ready to engage the leader and the result was a thrilling stretch battle between the top 2 two year old trotters this season, with Dewey's Machine getting up in the final strides to take the victory by ¾ length in 2:00.3 on the sloppy track surface. The victory was win number three in 9 career starts for the gelded son of Ice Machine, out of the Deweycheatumnhowe mare Dewey's Splendour. Dewey's Machine ($5.40) is owned and trained by Justin Anfinson. Gold Star Mysti posted another dominating performance at Running Aces with a gate-to-wire win in the $11,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace. From post 5, Gold Star Mysti (James Yoder) fired fastest of all to establish command, with Kiss On The Lips (Dean Magee) also leaving sharply from post six to secure the pocket, and Totally Racy (Steve Wiseman) was away sharply as well to sit just off the pace in third. The lineup remained the same through fractions of :27.2, :57.2, and 1:26.2 before Totally Racy launched a rally to the outside from third, but Gold Star Mysti ($2.60) had plenty in the tank and kicked home in :28 flat for a two length score over Totally Racy and Kiss On The Lips in 1:54.2. The victory on Tuesday was win number six on the season in twelve starts for the 5 year old daughter of Mysticism, owned by Gold Star Farm and trained by Maggie Audley. Trinitysfancyfilly (Brian Detgen) took top honors in the $8,500 Minnesota-Sired 2 Year Old Filly Pace for her first lifetime win. The daughter of Fancy Schmancy was impressive with a sharp wire-to-wire win in 2:00. Trinitysfancyfilly ($2.80) is owned by Sarah Solheid and trainer/driver Brian Detgen. Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman) turned in another dominating win in the $8,500 Minnesota-Sired 2 Year Old Colts & Geldings Pace leading right from the word go and was never in doubt in a sharp 1:56.4 mile on the sloppy surface for his sixth career win in eight starts for owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and Edward Gutin. Burning Blaze ($2.10) is trained by Justin Anfinson. Driver Steve Wiseman led the program with four wins, while Rick Magee turned in a Hat-Trick and Lemoyne Svendsen completed a double on the Tuesday card. Live Racing returns to Running Aces this Saturday night (Sept. 8) with first post at 6:00 pm CDT and two Carryovers; The 20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 Carryover is $35,189.98 and the 50 cent Hi-5 Carryover is $2,255,52. By Darin Gagne', for Running Aces   

Columbus, MN - The featured Harness Racing event on Saturday night (Sept. 1) at Running Aces was the $11,000 Open Handicap Trot, and it proved to be another exciting rendition with four current track record holders amongst the field of six contenders.   Banker Volo (Rick Magee) showed his customary early speed to take firm control early, and post a 27.2 opening quarter with the mare Silverlode (Lemoyne Svendsen) getting away in the pocket and Pridecrest (Steve Wiseman) getting away in third.   Banker Volo maintained honest fractions with a middle-half in 58 seconds and Pridecrest launched his first-over attack just past the half. Banker Volo still had command as they turned in for home but the challenges were coming on all sides, with Pridecrest bearing down just outside the leader, Silverlode ducking to the inside, and Ideal Jesse joining the frey on the far outside.   When the dust settled at the wire, Pridecrest ($3.60) had prevailed with another impressive effort and his second straight win in 1:54.3, and third straight overall. Leading trainer Kathleen Plested-Wiseman conditions the 6 year old Angus hall prodigy who has now won 5 of his last 6 races for owner Christopher Schick.   Giggle Monster was back in the spotlight on Saturday, turning in his biggest win of the season while capturing the $14,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 Year Old Pace in a lifetime best mile of 1:53.4 with Dean Magee at the lines.   Dream Chasin (Williams Hernandez) and Ridonkuloso (Steve Wiseman) had the early speed in the affair through a :57 opening half. Giggle Monster got rolling from fifth with a quick sweep to the leader down the backside and took control around the final turn with an impressive turn of foot.   Here Comes Teddy (Brian Detgen) closed well for second but Giggle Monster was 2 lengths ahead at the wire for his third win in 13 starts on the year for owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte and trainer Justin Anfinson.   Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen was the leader on the night with three wins, while Steve Wiseman and Dean Magee both picked up doubles on the card.   The 20 cent Pick-5 jackpot Carryover has grown to $31,010.39 for Sunday night (Sept. 2) and the 50 cent Hi-5 wager also offers a carryover of $3,420.87.   by Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

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