Columbus, MN — The Saturday afternoon (Aug. 29) program at Running Aces featured the $9,500 Open Handicap Pace for horses and geldings and the betting public quickly zeroed in on last week’s winner Heza Real Diamond as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite.
Driver Nick Roland floated away from the gate in fourth with Heza Real Diamond while Elusive Image (Rick Magee) was quickest off the car and Stuckey Dote (Darrell Wright) surged toward the front early. As they approached the three-eighths marker Roland got moving with the favorite and began a first-over attack that would persist for more than a half-mile, gradually wearing down the front runner as they turned for home.
As they straightened for the wire, Heza Real Diamond ($2.60) drew away from his rivals with authority and the battle was on for second with Hoo Nien A (Chris Scicluna) rallying from well off the pace to just beat Elusive Image at the line for second, 2-1/2 lengths behind the winner in the 1:52.2 mile.
Heza Real Diamond now shows nine wins in 17 starts this year and has banked $41,698 on the season. The impressive 4- year-old gelded son of Allamerican Native is owned by Orlando Nevarez and trained by Edwin Quevedo.
Driver Braxten Boyd led the Saturday program with a double and trainers Tim Maier and Edwin Quevedo each registered doubles on the day.
Live racing continues at Running Aces every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, and beginning on Sept. 9, Wednesday racing will also be offered. All post times are at 1 p.m. (CDT). The 2020 meet will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 4).