Iowa season opener held at What Cheer

What Cheer, IA — With blue skies and temperatures in the mid 60s, an excited crowd showed up at What Cheer, Iowa, to watch the season opener of harness racing. With two divisions each of freshman trotters and pacers, the sophomores also returned for their second season of racing and a Free-For-All Pace topped the card for the fans.

In the first race, Toast The Host (Mark Mintun) briskly left the gate to take the lead. As the 2-year-old trotters made their way around the track for their first starts, Toast The Host looked the part of a seasoned veteran as she led the entire mile. Taking the win, Toast The Host trotted her mile in 2:13.

The first division of 2-year-old pacers took the track in race two. Flawless Queen (Terry Lattin) paced to the lead as the gate folded, with the rest of the field tracking in line. As they passed the quarter-pole, Justin Gould made a bold move to pull Lil Char to the outside. Pacing alongside Flawless Queen, the two fillies were stride for stride as they raced to the three-quarters. Rounding the last turn, Lil Char poured on the speed to capture the win, pacing in 2:09.

Race three saw the second division of 2-year-old trotters compete. CR Promise To You (Chad Svendson) was uncontested as she trotted to the win in 2:19.1.

Hangman McGee (Terry Lattin) was on a mission in the second division of 2-year-old pacers in race four. Sprinting from the gate, Hangman McGee held off all challengers as they paced the half-mile track. Turning for home, it was all Hangman McGee, crossing the wire in 2:12.4.

Sophomore trotters made their start in race five. Operation Shipley (Royal Roland) had her mission and she delivered. Trotting out to take command, Operation Shipley was in complete control, winning the race in 2:08.4.

Three-year-old pacers made their start in race six. Jason Telfer and Maximum Force charged out of the gate to take the lead. With horses lined up behind the leader, Maximum Force continued to set the pace. But as they drove down the lane, Maximum Force showed more pace than the rest. Wire-to-wire, Maximum Force returned to the winner’s circle, pacing his mile in 2:09.1.

The feature race on the card was race seven, for Free-For-All pacers. As the starter said “Go,” Roland N Rock (Duane Roland) poured on the pace. Leading the field, Roland N Rock paced with ease around the track. Turning for home, Roland N Rock was all alone at the wire. Pacing the mile in 1:59.4, Roland N Rock turned in the fastest performance on the card.

Iowa horses will next compete at the Taylor County Fairgrounds, in Bedford, Iowa, on Saturday (June 5). Post time is 12:30 p.m.

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