Columbus, MN — The Saturday afternoon (July 11) harness racing card at Running Aces featured two fields of sophomore Minnesota-Sired pacers, each going for a purse of $10,500.
The colts and geldings division appeared on paper to be a re-match between last year’s 2-year-old male champion pacer Bunkerhill Phil (Dean Magee) and relative newcomer to Running Aces Its A Marcs World (Nick Roland) – who spent his freshman campaign on the fair track circuit in Iowa.
These two have quickly become top rivals among the male sophomore pacers this season, first meeting up on June 27 in a $13,000 Minnesota-Sired event where It’s a Marcs World converted a pocket trip into a three length tally (1:57.1) over pace-setter Bunkerhill Phil. They met up again in a $6,000 3-year-old Open pace on July 3 where Bunkerhil Phil turned the tables on his rival by surging past It’s a Marcs World by a neck right at the wire in 1:55.3 to take a career mark.
This week the dynamic duo were the headliners in the Minnesota-Sired sophomore colts and geldings pace, with Bunkerhill Phil drawing post five (9-5) and It’s a Marcs World starting from gate position seven as the heavy 3-5 favorite. It’s a Marcs World served notice immediately that he was at the top of his game today, surging from the outside of the gate to secure an immediate lead over The Dak Attack (Brady Jenson).
The early fractions were moderate (:29.1, :59.2) while It’s a Marcs World maintained a two-length margin over the field. Bunkerhill Phil got away fifth, then launched a first-over move in the middle stages to take over second and drop in behind his chief rival. Heading into the far turn Roland asked for a bit more pace from the leader, and he responded in a big way – throwing down the third panel in :27.2 and sending Bunkerhill Phil and Magee into full-on chase mode.
It’s a Marcs World ($3.20) kept on firing and kicked home with another sharp :27.3 panel to register a final half in an eye-opening :55 seconds and leave Bunkerhill Phil reeling in second while beaten by 5-1/2 lengths. The final time was 1:54.2 and established a new career mark for the gelded son of Marced Card, owned by Duane Roland and trained by Jessica Johnson. Nothinbutagoodtime (Darrell Wright) rounded out the top three.
The sophomore filly pacing event went to Its Pacific Time (Rick Magee), who impressively wired the field from post eight in a career-best 1:56 to deliver as the heavy (1-5) favorite. Huftalookatdatfany (Nick Roland) was clearly second best on the day and Catchmeinadream (Mooney Svendsen) was a clear third. The winner is a daughter of It’s That Time out of the Cam’s Card Shark mare Pacific Fling, she has now recorded ten career wins in seventeen outings for owner John Hendricks and trainer Joel Mc Danel.
Driver Nick Roland led the program with four winners for a Grand Slam, while Dean Magee recorded a driving Hat-Trick with three winners. Trainer Jessica Johnson picked up a double on the program.
Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (July 12) with first post at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) and features a carryover in the 20-cent Jackpot Pick-5 pool of $7,057.79