Columbus, MN — The $12,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace was the featured event on the Thursday night (July 8) card at Running Aces and on paper the contest looked to be strictly a re-match between Anna B (Brady Jenson, 1-1) and Always Be Lucy (Nick Roland, 2-1) but Hottieonthehorizon and driver Luke Plano failed to get that memo.
It was race favorite Anna B who set the early pace, with Always Be Lucy riding in the pocket as they posted a solid :56.3 opening half-mile. Plano steered Hottieonthehorizon to the outside as they straightened down the backside and she made a sharp brush to draw alongside the leader as they rounded the far turn, taking the lead just past the three-quarter-mile marker.
As they turned in for home, Hottieonthehorizon was in full stride and drew clear to the wire, checking in 2-1/2 lengths ahead of her rivals with a very sharp mile in 1:52.2 for her 20th career win. Oneida Blue Chip (Mooney Svendsen) rallied from off the pace to pick up second and Bearly Behavin also closed sharply to grab third.
The winning owners are Leslie Godlien and Rick Lancaster, and the winning trainer is Nick Roland.
The $7,100 sophomore colts and geldings pace event went to Alilthundadownunda (Roland) who picked up his fifth straight win. The son of Malak Uswaad N led at every call in the 1:56 mile while SD Watch Me Now came up a neck short at the wire for another sharp second, and Gee Wilikers was a clear third. Alilthundadownunda ($2.60) is owned by Set The Pace Racing and trained by Roland.
The $7,100 freshman filly pace event went to JK My Girl (Jacob Cutting, $12.60) who made a sharp mid-race move to take control and drew away from the field to win by a commanding 5-1/2 lengths in a sharp 1:56.2 mile for her first pari-mutuel win. The winner is a daughter of JK Endofanera and out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare JK Fannie. She is owned and trained by Tony Huffman. Anotherblazinwoman (Rick Magee) was second and Seventimesamiracle (Roland) picked up third money.
Driver Plano led the Thursday program with three wins, while leading driver Roland posted a double. Roland also registered the lone training double on the card.
Live racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (July 11) with first post at 6:05 p.m. (CDT).