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What Cheer, IA -- Fifteen fields of Iowa-sired harness racing two-year-olds and three-year-olds competed in the first of two 2020 Iowa Sires Stakes meets.   Freshman trotters led the card with Searching For You and driver Chad Svendson capturing the first race in 2:08.4. Owned by Kayveonna Johnson and Rick & CD Huffman, the trotting colt is from the first crop of Stage Muscles, a son of Muscle Hill. Rick Huffman trains. The second division of 2-year-old trotting colts & geldings went to Roll On Whitey in 2:08.2. The Honeydont Hanover gelding is trained and driven by lessee Gary Liles.   Only one of the eight competitors in the lone division of two-year-old trotting fillies stayed flat during a chaotic mile. Chad Svendson drove Airman's Kisses to a 2:11 win for owner's Rick & CD Huffman. Trained by Rick Huffman, the filly is by Airman Batten, a son of Swan For All.   The two-year-old Iowa Sires Stakes colt and gelding pace went to Duane & Connie Roland's Western Waltz. From the first crop of Western Trademark, driver Cory Larson and Western Waltz found room through a tight pack in the final stretch to steal a win in 2:05.2.   17-year-old driver Justin Gould gave a perfect trip to CharChar earning her a win in the first division of 2-year-old filly pacers. Hailing from the Mintun-Gould Stable, CharChar is from the second crop of In Over My Head. Freshman fily pacers picked up the pace in the second division with Curvyhipsandredlips capturing a gate-to-wire win in 2:03.1 with Will Roland in the bike. The daughter of Millionaire Cam is trained by Curtis Carey and owned by Jay Delong, Jeff Carey and Rick & CD Huffman.   First Gunner continued his winning streak bringing the tally to four with a 2:03.1 mile in the 3-year-old Trot. The son of Amigo Ranger was a top five pacer as a 2-year-old, only switching to the trot in 2020. First Gunner is owned by Kathy Shipley and trained by Tom Shipley.   Driver Chad Svendson paired with the Huffman Stable for another win on the trot. CR Valentine followed Broadway Sweetheart until the three-quarter pole then tipped out to challenge the mile leader. CR Valentine, a daughter of Amigo Ranger, took over in the stretch to win earning a new lifetime mark of 2:05.   Ivy B Poison raced a strong mile to take the first division of 3-year-old pacing fillies. Trained and driven by Scott Smith, the Sneaky B Skipalong filly clocked a 2:03.4 mile for owner Chris Philipp. After a 1:58.4 performance at West Liberty last week, Jennie Ann remained in top form besting the competition in the second division of filly pacers in 2:00.2. A daughter of the Rocknroll Hanover stud Lettherockbegin, Jennie Ann is owned, trained and driven by Rob Anderson.   In the last feature race of the day, the 2019 pacing colt champion Slippin The Clutch drew post position seven, starting in the second tier. Driver Will Roland navigated around some early traffic and pulled the 3-year-old son of Millionaire Cam at the half. The gelding found another gear breezing up to second where he was hung by Cashncam. The two battled to the finish when a late charge from Legal LIar threatened the pair. Slippin The Clutch won in 1:59.2 for trainer Curtis Carey and owners Jay Delong, Jeff Carey and Rick & CD Huffman.   For the full results of todays racing click on this link   Iowa racing action resumes on July 3 (Friday) at the Humboldt COunty Fairgrounds. Post time is 12:30pm.     Gretchen Roland for the Iowa Harness Horsemen's Association    

What Cheer, IA -- The 2020 harness racing season opened on Sunday (May 24) at the Keokuk County Fairgrounds in What Cheer, Iowa. Eighty-four horses competed in 16 overnight races. The grandstand was closed to spectators following Iowa's COVID-19 guidelines and participants on the backside practiced social distancing. The 2-year-olds in the first six races were all first time starters. The Dan and Jeri Roland stable dominated the 2-year-old trots taking all three races. Mneumonic captured the first win in 2:11.3 with Mike Morales in bike. A daughter of Dontyouforgetit and the Muscle Hill mare Southwind Celine, Mneumonic is owned by Dan and Jeri Roland. Rush to the Bank, a colt by Banker Volo, won the second 2-year-old trot in 2:11.2 for owners Jeri Roland and Vickie Rush. It's So Fluffy, a Banker Volo filly owned, trained and driven by Dan Roland, took the final division in 2:17.1. The fastest 2-year-old pace of the day went to Welltheraceison in 2:08.1. Driven by Eric Delong, the Well Said filly made strong debut for trainer Curtis Carey and owners Rick & CD Huffman, Jeff Carey and Jay Delong. The next division of 2-year-old pacers went to Zipper Flipper, a Roll With Joe colt trained by Rick Huffman and owned by Huffman and Larry Mather. Chad Svendson piloted Zipper Flipper in his 2:12 mile. Another Curtis Carey trainee, Messin With Melesa, took the final 2-year-old pace in 2:09. Driven by Nick Roland, the Time To Roll filly is owned by Rick Huffman. Three-year-old veterans and first time starters came out on the top of their divisions in both the pace and the trot. Minnesota bred filly Go Margeaux started her 3-year-old season strong with a win for the Justin Anfinson stable. Driven by Nick Roland, the Braggart filly clocked a 2:05.4 mile for owners Jeanne Marquis and Jay Delong. After a rocky 2-year-old season of never seeing the winner's circle, Lucky Banker cashed in a win with a 2:04.3 mile with Mark Mintun in the bike. The 3-year-old son of Banker Volo is owned by Mintun and Stephanie Gould. The final 3-year-old trot went to first time starter Lucky La Boot. An American Native gelding out of the Lucky Chucky mare Lucky Combination, Lucky La Boot is owned, trained and driven by Gary Liles. Three-year-old pacer Slippin The Clutch came back in top form after finishing last season with a 1:50.4 mile at Lexington. Trained by Curtis Carey, Will Roland drove the Millionaire Cam gelding to victory in 2:02. Slippin The Clutch is owned by Jay Delong, Rick & CD Huffman and Jeff Carey. The Duane Roland Stable took the next two divisions of the 3-year-old pace. Bizy's Beatle, a Sportsmaster gelding, paced a 2:05.2 mile for his second lifetime win. First time starter Somewherebeautiful, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, took the final division of the 3-year-old pace in 2:06 for owners Duane and Roger Roland. The meet concluded with one FFA Trot and three divisions of FFA pacers. Bordogna dominated in the FFA trot. After some early shuffling, driver Adam Hauser took the 4-year-old son of Trixton to the top where he separated from the field cruising home in 2:03. Bordogna is trained by Justin Anfinson and owned by Cathy Dessert and Ken Stauffer. After starting his racing career as a 2-year-old in Iowa with driver Will Roland five years ago, 7-year-old gelding Buzz Light reunited with Roland to best the top division of FFA pacers in 2:00.2. Buzz Light is trained by Nick Roland and owned by Cathy Dessert. Owned, trained and driven by Rob Anderson, Harry Fredrick took the second FFA pace in 2:02.1. The final race of the day clocked in at 2:03 for Officer Jim, a 4-year-old American Ideal gelding driven by Brady Jenson, trained by Brandon Jenson and owned by Stephanie O'Connell. Iowa harness racing action resumes Saturday, May 30 at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds. Post time is 12:30. From Gretchen L. Roland for the Iowa Harness Horse Association

IaHHA is pleased to announce opening day of harness racing in Iowa will be Sunday (5/24) at What Cheer.  While this will not be a full opening for spectators in the grandstands, live races will be broadcast on Facebook.  Program pages are now available on the Iowa Harness Racing website:  www.iowaharnessracing.com. We are living in unprecedented times.   The COVID-19 situation has changed our lives but not our love of racing. We are thankful to be able to start our racing season this weekend and hopeful that we can fully open soon. Please observe the state guidance under which we are allowed to race at this point. This was from Governor Reynolds May 13 proclamation – L. Race tracks: A speedway or race track, including a track conducting horse or dog races, may reopen or continue its operations provided that it does not permit any spectators to attend its events in person. We realize it is a gray area regarding who are spectators and who are participants. We have been advised by our lobbyist that we can allow people to park their cars along the track to watch the races. Please exercise good judgement regarding social distancing and interaction with others at the races.  Racetracks in other states have much greater restrictions. We are concerned that pictures and videos from the races will be posted on Facebook and other social media of people interacting in ways that are not following the Governor’s proclamation.   This could cause subsequent races to be cancelled, and no one wants that. Regardless of your personal views on the virus, it is everyone’s responsibility to adhere to the current guidelines. There are some changes in the schedule that we are aware of at this point in time. • The overnight races at Eldon scheduled for June 17 & 18 are cancelled. The aged races are rescheduled for August 22 & 23 at What Cheer. • The race program at Allison on June 27 has been moved in its entirety to What Cheer. • The races at Bloomfield and Monticello are cancelled. Additions or changes to other locations or dates may occur. We will update our schedule on IowaHarnessRacing.com and publish updates to our Facebook page as we become aware of changes. Thank you for your cooperation.  Let me know if you have questions or comments. Royal Roland President, Iowa Harness Horseman’s Association

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