Columbus, MN — The Saturday (Aug. 1) afternoon Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace with a very talented field of nine horses and geldings lining up behind the gate to square off for weekly top honors.
Prologue (Tim Maier) was first to strike the front from post six and led through the :28 opening stanza before Hoo Nien A (Chris Scicluna) swept by just past the quarter-mile and took control of affairs.
Once on top, Hoo Nien A served notice that he was boss of the field, posting an honest :28.3 second panel and then throwing down :27 flat in the third to open up by two lengths and keep the field chasing.
Hoo Nien A ($8.20) closed out his dominating performance with a final quarter in :27.3 to seal the deal and stop the timer in 1:51.1 for his second straight win. Prologue crossed the wire a length back in second but was placed last for a pylon violation – bringing longshots Elusive Image (Jacob Cutting, 31-1) and Whatchyastarinat (Braxten Boyd, 14-1) onto the board for second and third, respectively.
The feature race win was the second of the season and twenty-first career victory for the gelded 8-year-old son of Always A Virgin, who is also owned and trained by Chris Scicluna.
The $10,500 Minnesota-sired sophomore filly pace went to It’s Pacific Time (Rick Magee, $2.40) delivering as the heavy-favorite for three in a row, and posting a new career mark of 1:53.4 in her twelfth-lifetime win for owner John Hendricks and trainer Joel Mc Danel.
The Minnesota-sired sophomore male pacers also went for $10,500 with a field of seven facing the gate and heavy-favorite It’s A Marcs World (Nick Roland, $2.10) posted another sharp win in 1:53 for a career-best mile while Bunkerhill Phil (Dean Magee) was a very sharp second once again. The winning owner is Duane Roland and the winning trainer is Jessica Johnson. It was also three in a row for It’s A Marcs World.
Dean Magee led the Saturday program with a driving double.
Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday, August 2, with first post at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) and will feature a carryover in the 20-cent Pick-5 jackpot wager of $18,701.66.