Columbus, MN – Nick Roland captured two of the three featured events on the Thursday night (June 17) harness racing program at Running Aces, piloting his own trainees to victory in both the $15,000 Minnesota-Sired sophomore “A” Pace and the $12,000 Mares Open Pace.
It was Roland and Alilthundadownunda ($4.40) dominating the sophomore “A” split impressively from post nine, controlling the affair from just after the start. Roland got away with a soft opening half of :59.2 and then turned in a :56.2 final half to keep his rivals in chase mode, opening up in the lane to win by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:55.4 for two in a row, and three wins in four local starts this year. The winner is owned by Set The Pace Racing.
In The Mares Open Pace, Roland steered Always Be Lucy to a grinding first-over trip and kept her game all the way to wear down frontrunner Hottieonthehorizon (Chris Scicluna) and hold off a fast closing charge from Anna B (Brady Jenson). Always Be Lucy ($20.40) won by a neck in 1:54.3 for her fourth win of the season and her 22nd career score. She is also owned by Set The Pace Racing.
May Day Maggie (Mooney Svendsen, $6.60) scored her first win of the season in the $10,000 “B” split of the sophomore pace, with a dominating gate-to-wire tally in 1:57 for a new career mark. The filly by Special Forces is owned by Rick Huffman and Larry Mather, and is trained by Joel Mc Danel. Starstruck Cowgirl (Rick Magee) was second best all the way, and Brooklyn Wind Up (Brady Jenson) rallied to pick up third.
Roland completed a driving hat trick on the Thursday card in addition to the training double. Luke Plano also completed a driving and training double.
Live racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (June 20) with first post at 6:05 pm (CDT) and will feature a carryover of $19,054.50 for the Pick-5 Jackpot wager, and a Guaranteed pool of $5,000 for the Late Pick-4 wager.