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Columbus, MN - The Tuesday evening (June12) Harness Racing card at Running Aces was loaded with exciting races and close finishes. One of the most exciting stretch duels came in the $10,000 upper-level claiming pace ($12,500 tags), when Cantholdmebackmack ($5.40) and driver Nick Roland rallied from the back of the pack to engage in a battle with race leader Bet Together (James Yoder) in the homestretch.   Bet Together had posted the early fractions of 27.0 and 56.1 before losing the lead to a strong challenge from 31-1 outsider Cenalta Power (Tim Maier) near the three-quarters. Bet Together dug down deep and reclaimed the lead turning for home, but then faced another strong challenge from eventual winner Cantholdmebackmack, who rallied past late to post a ¾ length tally in 1:53.1 for a two race win streak.   The talented 8 year old gelding by Relentless Yankee is owned and trained by Jessie Pacheco. Goody Two Socks (Rick Magee) was home third.   The $11,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace was another epic battle between the two top mares Gold Star Mysti (James Yoder) and Kiss On The Lips (Nick Roland). Kiss On The Lips and Nick Roland worked hard in the first quarter to establish the lead from the outside post in 27.1 and was in control at the half mile post in 57.3 but faced a tremendous challenge from Gold Star Mysti throughout the final half mile. Those two mares traded noses on the lead every step from there to the wire, with Kiss On The Lips prevailing by a head at the line. A Judges inquiry determined that Kiss On The Lips bore out in the deep stretch into the path of Gold Star Mysti, just enough to warrant a disqualification for interference. The order was reversed and Gold Star Mysti was declared the official winner for her first win of the season, the final time was 1:53.3. The winning mare is owned by Gold Star Farm, and trained by James Yoder. Driver Nick Roland led the program with three wins, while Rick Magee and James Yoder both posted driving doubles.   The 20 cent Jackpot Pick 5 wager continues to build and now stands at $7,333.63 for Saturday night, June 16. This weekend's feature races will each go for $20,000 with the Running Aces Trot on Saturday, and The Running Aces Pace on Sunday.   There are lots of activities for Father's Day at the track, including a chance to win a fishing trip, and a bottle opener giveaway along with Live music and other family themed activities. Post Time on both Saturday and Sunday is 6:00 pm CDT.   by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces    

COLUMBUS, MN. - Toatsmygoats, Part Time Lady and Da Terror all won hotly contested feature races on the Saturday night (August 22) card at Running Aces, one which was contested under threatening skies and several intermittent heavy rain showers. Toatsmygoats (Rick Magee) was the lukewarm favorite in the $16,000 Minnesota-sired three-year-old open pace and didn't disappoint with an Open lengths win over Queen Of Denial (Nick Roland) and Relentless Spirit (Luke Plano) in 1:56. Magee was content to sit a tight pocket ride throughout the race until bursting home with a :27.4 final panel to collar the eventual runnerup Queen Of Denial, who narrowly held off Relentless Spirit in a very tight place photo. The Van Otterloo Stables of Iowa own Toatsmygoats, who now has ten lifetime victories and earnings over $70,000 in two years of racing exclusively at Running Aces. Dave Flinn conditions the gelded son of Relentless Yankee. With her stablemate Party Hangover Two ordered to the sidelines this week, Part Time Lady (Steve Wiseman) took full advantage to post her first Fillies and Mares Open pace triumph of the season in 1:55, besting Kiss On The Lips (Gerry Longo) and De Valeria (Tim Maier). Wiseman, the current dash leader, moved the winning six-year-old daughter of Jereme's Jet to the front just past the half and cruised home almost two lengths ahead for Part Time Lady's 33rd career victory. She is owned by Ron and Tammy Wells of California and trained by Wiseman. The winner's share of the $9600 purse moved her lifetime bounty to $123,573. Da Terror (Nick Roland) got his first open company victory in a $7800 Open II pace for owner Banks Standardbreds and trainer Justin Anfinson. Roland positioned the six-year-old Western Terror gelding near the rear early, but moved up with cover in the outer flow from seventh to fourth during the middle half mile of the race. Four-wide for the stretch drive, Da Terror collared Cowboy Cold (Luke Plano) in the final strides with Red Pine (Steve Wiseman) lapped on as well at the end of the 1:54 mile. Racing resumes Sunday night at Running Aces with a ten-race card on tap beginning at 6 p.m. (CST). Gregg Keidel  

Minnesota's finest in-state bred three-year-old pacers went postward Saturday night (August 8) for a recently-enhanced purse of $16,000 at the harness racing meeting at Running Aces. When the smoke cleared, it was Toatsmygoats (Rick Magee) scoring his second triumph of the season in 1:54.4, besting Queen Of Denial (Nick Roland) by a half-length with Gooch's Hot Rod (Dean Magee) another two lengths back in third. Toatsmygoats sat fourth in the eight-horse field throughout the first three quarters, then swung wide for the stretch drive and sealed the deal with a quickest-of-all :28.2 final panel. The son of Relentless Yankee, owned by Van Otterloo Stables and trained by David Flinn, was the two-year-old Minnesota state champion on the merits of seven wins in eight starts but has taken longer to round into top form in 2015. He know has banked $61,440-all earned at Running Aces-in just 15 lifetime starts. Party Hangover Two (Steve Wiseman) returned to her winning ways in an $8000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, turning back Rev Me Up (Nick Roland) and Kiss On The Lips (Gerry Longo) in 1:53 for her fifth win of the current summer meet. Owned by the partnership of Arnstine, Chambers and Plested, the speedy four-year-old daughter of Party At Artsplace upped her career bounty to $905,541 with the victory. A $6500 Open II for males was also presented with Cowboy Cold (Luke Plano) making a successful leap in class to win in 1:52.2. Plano took full advantage of a pocket ride to edge fast-closing Quality Sport (Steve Wiseman) by a neck. Frontrunner Mattox's Spencer (Nick Roland) faded to third in the lane, beaten by two lengths. Three drivers scored driving doubles on the Saturday program-Tony Succarotte, Tim Maier and Rick Magee. In addition to the purse increases from $11,000 to $16,000 on all Minnesota-sired races for two and three year olds the remainder of the Running Aces meet, all overnight race purses will be raised by 20% effective immediately. Some stalls are available if any stable is interested in coming to Minnesota to try Running Aces for the final month of the season. Interested parties can contact Director of Racing Gregg Keidel at 651-925-4532. Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Veteran harness racing horseman Gerry Longo seems to be getting better with age. Now 70 years old, but still going strong with a string of ten horses in his stable, driver Longo swept to victory in the last three races on the Saturday night card at Running Aces. With the triple, Longo leaped back into fourth place in the current driver's standings sporting 30 wins in the first 29 nights of the 53-night meet. He also ranks fourth in the local trainer's standings with 20 wins from 70 starts. Longo won both feature races on the Saturday program guiding his own Kiss On The Lips to a 1:54.3 half-length score in the $8000 Fillies and Mares Open; and steering trainer Gene Miller's It's Getting Hairy to a 1:54.2 tally in the $6500 Open II for males. Longo concluded his "turkey" by capturing the $3000 condition race nightcap with longshot Barbosa, a four-year-old gelding which he also owns. Kiss On The Lips came first-up before the quarter and cleared to the front well before the half, then held off favored Party Hanover Two (Steve Wiseman), Keep The Dream (Travis Bowman) and De Valeria (Tim Maier) in a driving finish that resulted in all four mares being lapped-on to one another at the wire. The win was the 16th in 59 career tries for Kiss On The Lips, a five-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway who inched closer to the $100,000 earnings plateau-currently at $97,264. It's Getting Hairy is owned by Wolfswinkel Pacers Inc. and now sports 22 victories and a bankroll of $109,003. The Minnesota-sired six-year-old son of Relentless Yankee topped stablemate Bunkerhill Bill (Tony Succarotte), the runnerup who was uncoupled in the wagering, Major Hottie (Kim Pluta) and Greybeard (Brian Detgen). Barbosa kicked back $22.40 to his $2 supporters, upsetting fellow longshot Kablooie (Kim Pluta) and favorite Goody Two Socks (Rick Magee) in a very tight three-way photo finish. Unraced at two, it was Barbosa's ninth win over the last two seasons. If Longo can maintain his present 30% win percentage with starters from his current hard-hitting stable, this will be his finest and most productive season at Running Aces. One of just a handful of trainers who have called Running Aces their summer home since the track's inception eight years ago, Gerry shows no signs of letting up any time soon. "I've been training horses my whole life," Longo exclaims, "and I want to race as long as I'm able and competitive." There seems to be no reason to start planning a retirement party anytime soon! Gregg Keidel Director of Racing  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Sons of Minnesota sire Relentless Yankee dominated the $8000 Open Pace at Running Aces for the second straight week on Saturday (June 27). First to cross the finish line was Chewy Baca (Gerry Longo), followed by Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland), It's Getting Hairy (Dean Magee) and Goody Two Socks (Tim Maier). The top three are all harness racing six-year-olds from the same 2009 crop, while the fourth place finisher is a year older. Chewy Baca extended his win streak to five with the impressive 1:52.3 victory, the last four at Running Aces, for 70-year-old owner-trainer-driver Gerry Longo. The winner got away fifth in the compact field of six, came first-over at the half then swung three-wide around the final turn before pinning the two length triumph on his fellow state-bred blood relatives. Longo is enjoying one of the finest statistical meets of his lengthy career. The green, gold and black clad veteran is currently second in both the drivers and trainers standings at Running Aces with 16 trips to the winner's circle including a dozen with horses from his stable in the first ten nights of the 53-night stand. His UDRS average is well over .400 and his UTRS well over .500 in the month of June. Leading driver-trainer Nick Roland also had an exceptional Saturday night scoring a triple with horses he also conditions. The 32-year-old Iowa native won both $5500 splits of the Minnesota-sired sophomore paces. Queen Of Denial captured the filly division in 1:55.4, besting Moonshinenmonkeys (Tim Maier) and Smokin Hot Coco (Travis Bowman). Gotalilcaptaininme beat Willystay-R-Willgo (Longo) and Toatsmygoats (Rick Magee) in 1:57.4 in the tandem male event. Roland also guided I'm So Blue to a 1:55.1 score in a $4000 conditioned pace. The triple gives him 20 driving wins in the first ten nights. A $7000 Open II Pace was also won by a Minnesota-bred son of Relentless Yankee as eight-year-old Restless Yankee triumphed for the 47th time in an illustrious career which as produced $283,319 in earnings. Former Running Aces driving champion Dean Magee, back in Minnesota for the summer after a couple years absence, guided the ageless wonderhorse to the 1:53.3 tally over Ideal Smile (Steve Wiseman) and Stonebridge Lyric (Bowman). Racing resumes Sunday (June 28) with a 6 p.m. (CST) post time. Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Minnesota-sired horses finished one-two in the weekly $8000 Open I pace at Running Aces on Saturday night, only to be outdone by their Gopher State brethern who swept the top three payoff positions in the $7000 harness racing Open II pace.   It's Getting Hairy (driver Gerry Longo), the longest shot in the race, captured the Open I in 1:53.1 for the owner Wolfswinkel Pacers Inc. and trainer Gene Miller. Both the winner and runnerup Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) are six-year-old sons of Relentless Yankee and were standouts earlier in their careers in the Minnesota-sired juvenile program. Winonefordoug (Tim Maier) raced gamely to finish third in the six-horse field.   It's Getting Hairy, who surpassed the $100,000 earnings plateau with the victory, paid $31.60 to win and keyed $82.60 exacta and $382.40 trifecta returns.   A couple races earlier Longo guided his own Chewy Baca to a nose 1:54 triumph over fellow Minn-breds Goody Two Socks (Maier) and Restless Yankee (Dean Magee) in the Open II. All three of the top finishers that produced a very tight photo finish to determine the winner are also sons of Relentless Yankee. Chewy Baca won for the 29th time in his career and increased his career bounty to $132,181 as the betting favorite. He paid $4.60 and topped $11.40 and $33.80 exacta and trifecta ticket payoffs.   Longo also won an earlier $5000 conditioned race with Peg Hoffman's Flukie Flight to give the 70-year-old reinsman a driving triple for the second straight program at Running Aces.   After seven nights of the 53-night 2015 meet, the elder statesman of the local driving colony is leading the dash standings with a dozen victories.   He is followed by Nick Roland with 11 wins, Steve Wiseman with 10, and Luke Plano--who also fashioned his second straight driving triple--with 9.   Plano's scores came behind Kablooie (1:54.1), Real Attitude (1:53.4) and Mattox's Spencer (1:52.3)   Moonshinenmonkeys (Tim Maier) upset a field of state-bred three-year-old fillies in a $5500 event. Heavily-favored Queen Of Denial (Roland) crossed the line second but was placed third for interference, while Dancin Debby (Mooney Svendsen) was elevated to the place position. Mark King owns and trains the winner who lowered her record to 1:55.4.   In the tandem $5500 split for sophomore male Minn-breds, Gotalilcaptaininme (Steve Wiseman) topped Imgoodatwhatido (Travis Bowman) and Willystay-R-Willgo in 1:56.3 for owner Jessica Johnson.   Racing resumes Sunday at 6 p.m. (CST) with an 11-race program.   Gregg Keidel  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Running Aces Harness Park, now in its seventh season, established a new handle record on Sunday night when $270,252 was bet on the 11-race program which featured fuller-than-normal fields and highly competitive races.   Over one-half of the races were decided by a half-length or less and only one winner had more than a two length advantage at the wire.   Only two favorites prevailed on the night with win prices ranging from a low of $5.80 to a high of $21.80.   The weekly Sunday feature, a $10,000 Open Pace, was captured by Headsup Yankee in 1:52.3.   The five-year-old Minnesota-sired gelding has made steady progress since joining the open ranks three weeks ago, finishing third and then second before Sunday's victory.   The son of Relentless Yankee is owned by Ken Stauffer's Trot-Away Stable and was trained and driven by Nick Roland.   He beat Silver Spir (Jason Ryan) and Del Rio Seelster (Lemoyne Svendsen).   The win was one of four on the night for Roland, who also scored with Justthewayitis, Split Ticket and Gift Of Honor.   A Running Aces newcomer, Native's Revenge, shocked a group of conditioned horses and optional $5000 claimers with a nine-length dominating performance clocked in 1:51.4 for new trainer-driver Steve Wiseman.   A recent arrival from Hoosier Park, where the four-year-old Allamerican Native gelding was no better than fourth in his last six outings, Native's Revenge went directly to the lead in his initial Minnesota appearance and never looked back throwing an impressive :54 final half.   The winner, who beat Peanuts (Rick Magee) and Peyton's Troubador (Kim Pluta) is owned by Harold Actkinson.   Leading driver Jason Ryan visited the winner's circle three times on Sunday, guiding She's A Foxie Lady, Terror Time and R Gauwitz Hanover to narrow victories.   Only four weeks remain in the Running Aces season with live racing presented each Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through August 30.   Gregg Keidel - Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - Smarter Yet won for the third time in five tries in the weekly Running Aces' Open pace on Sunday night.   Kim Pluta guided the seven-year-old gelding for trainer Ron Merritt and owner Kevin St. Charles. It was the 37th lifetime win and raised Smarter Yet's career bankroll to $236,925. The noted closer used his usual strong stretch drive to catch Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) and Silver Spir (Jason Ryan) in the final strides of the 1:53 mile.   Pluta also won a $7000 conditioned pace on the undercard with Restless Yankee, one of the best Minnesota-bred horses ever. Following the 1:53.4 victory, the Bob and Ryan Lems-owned son of Relentless Yankee now has 46 triumphs and $278,531 in earnings. He bested Dont Tell Rusty (Jason Ryan) and Mister Virgin (Nick Roland).   A $7000 trot mixing top condition horses with $10,000 claimers was captured by Axle (Kody Massey) with a narrow decision over Forceful Gale (Brian Detgen) and Flameon (Lemoyne Svendsen). The winner was claimed from owner-trainer George Reider by Daniel Maier.   For the third consecutive racing night, veteran Gerry Longo scored a driving triple on Sunday. Handle for the 11-race program was $201,791.   Gregg Keidel    

COLUMBUS, MN. - For the second consecutive week an invader from Chicago captured the Open Trot at Running Aces on Wednesday night.   Rock Hollywood, a seven-year-old gelding who hadn't won in 21 starts over two years, trotted to an impressive victory over last week's winner Trot Fudge Sundae (Rick Magee), another recent Chicago newcomer, and Franky Provolone (Jason Ryan) to earn the winner's share of the $10,000 purse. Leading driver Nick Roland made a quarter-move to the front and never looked back winning by a length and a quarter in 1:55.4, just one second off the all-time track trotting record.   Although Rock Hollywood was bred in Illinois and earned over $200,000 in his formulative years, he raced exclusively in Norway in 2013 and early 2014 before being returned to the United States. He had two place finishes in Chicago after being returned to North America before being shipped by owner Mike Brink to trainer Brett Ballinger at Running Aces.   Toatsmygoats equalled a long-standing track record for two-year-old colts when he destroyed a field of Minnesota-sired freshmen pacers in 1:56.3. It was the Relentless Yankee colt's second win in as many tries, both chasing $13,000 state-restricted purses, for the Van Otterloo Stable, trainer Dave Flinn and driver Jason Ryan. The quick clocking matched the one of Chewy Baca--also owned by the Van Otterloo Stable and trained by Flinn--in 2011.   The 50-cent Pick 6 wager went unsolved for the seventh straight program producing a carryover of $4,298.87 into the wager on Saturday night when racing resumes at Running Aces. The wagering pool could exceed $8000 by the time the bet begins on the fifth through tenth race on Saturday. Post time is 7:00 p.m. central.   From the Press Box at Running Aces

COLUMBUS, MN. - Blazing Fury and trainer-driver Rick Magee turned a two-hole trip into a length-and-a-half victory Saturday night when they split horses in the stretch to win the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace in 1:55.2 at Running Aces.   It was the first local start of the season for the eight-year-old daughter of Minnesota sire Relentless Yankee. It was the 41st career victory for Blazing Fury, thirteenth at Running Aces, and pushed her past the $200,000 lifetime earnings plateau for the homebred owned by Van Otterloo Stables. Nocturnal Rose (Tim Maier) and Lady's Art (Steve Wiseman) were next to cross the wire.   Earlier on the program driver Rob Dinning, a newcomer to Running Aces in 2014, enjoyed a back-to-back-to-back triple. The 31-year-old reinsman scored a huge victory with Bunkerhill Bill in a $13,000 event restricted to Minnesota-sired sophomore pacers. Owned and trained by Gene Miller, the winner lowered his lifetime best by over three seconds with the impressive 1:53.3 triumph.   Dinning's other winners were Maby Bonkey, who captured a $3000 non-winners pace in 1:56.4; and Turbulance Force, who topped a field of condition-claiming trotters in 2:00.1.   Racing resumes on Sunday night with an 11-race card beginning at 6:00 p.m. (CST).   From the Running Aces Press Box  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Providing further proof that there are "certain horses for certain courses," Restless Yankee returned to Running Aces in Minnesota Sunday night after spending the winter at Pompano Park and the spring at Vernon Downs and captured the $9500 Open Pace in 1:53.4.   It was the 45th career win for the seven-year-old gelded son of Relentless Yankee--at least two-thirds of which have been over the excellent five-eighths mile oval. Defending driving champion Nick Roland was in the sulky for owners Robert Lems, who is also the trainer, and his son Ryan Lems.   Restless Yankee raced second-over in the outer flow from before the half as pacesetter Mystical Valentine (Jason Ryan) was putting up fractions of :27, :55.2 and 1:24 while trying to fend off a relentless first-over attack by Canadian Touch (Tim Maier). Just after Canadian Touch cleared in deep stretch he made a break which allowed Restless Yankee to inherit the lead just before the wire. Jebswesternshake (Rob Dinning) rallied late to garner the place position with Mystical Valentine awarded the show dough after Canadian Touch was place from third to sixth for the lapped on break.   The win was one of three on the night for Roland, who is approaching the 1,000 career victories plateau. He also scored with a pair of Jesse DeLong trainees--trotter Chewy Dunkerton in a $6500 Minnesota-sired three-year-old colts race and pacer I'm Blue Too in the $4000 conditioned race nightcap.   Maier notched his second trainer-driver triple in the first three nights of the summer-long meet scoring with Silver Spir (1:52.3), It's Getting Hairy (1:53.3) and Emery Vern (1:55.3).   Adam Hauser had a trainer-driver double as he captured the $6500 Minnesota-sired three-year-old filly trot with Country Cheerio and broke the pari-mutuel maiden of Everyone's Desire in a $3000 non-winners of one race.   Racing resumes Tuesday and Wednesday night at Running Aces with a 7:00 p.m. (CST) post time.   Gregg Keidel

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