Iowa opener contested Sunday at What Cheer

What Cheer, IA — The 2020 Iowa 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 race 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.┬áRush 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 co-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 De Long, the Well Said filly made a strong debut for trainer Curtis Carey and owners Rick & CD Huffman, Jeff Carey and Jay De Long.

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 De Long.

Lucky Banker cashed in his first career win in the 3-year-old trot at What Cheer. Gretchen L. Roland photo.

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 in finishing second in a race 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 De Long, Rick & CD Huffman and Jeff Carey.

The Duane Roland Stable took the next two divisions of the 3-year-old pace. Bizys 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 p.m.

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