Columbus, MN — The featured event on the Tuesday afternoon (June 23) program at Running Aces was the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for horses and geldings, which went to post with a talent filled field of seven.
The slight favorite in the field was Heza Real Diamond (Nick Roland) who fired fastest off the gate from post six and quickly took control. Keep On Rocking A (Pat Berry) left alertly as well from the outside post seven and easily secured the pocket position, with Nine Ways (Tim Maier) settling away in third and Royale Big Guy (Mooney Svendsen) dropping in fourth.
The early pace was moderate (:27.4, :56.3) before Roland asked for more from Heza Real Diamond, throwing down a :27 third panel while taking heavy pressure from Keep On Rocking A who vacated the pocket. Berry took the lead with Keep On Rocking A as they straightened for home and paced strong to the wire, while Royale Big Guy shook free late to secure a clear second over Heza Real Diamond. The winning margin was two lengths for Keep On Rocking A ($4.80), an 8-year- old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover who is owned and trained by Chris Scicluna. The final time was 1:52.
This is the first season at Running Aces for both Berry and Scicluna, each of whom turned in a double on the card. Scicluna drove his other part of the owner entry in the Open (Major Pocket A) to pick up the pieces in fourth.
Today’s victory was career win number 25 for Keep On Rocking A, who has now earned $243,742 lifetime.
She’sgotitgoingon ($3.20) dominated the $10,000 Mares Open Pace event, with a confident steer from co-owner/trainer Don Harmon.
The 4-year-old daughter of Tellitlikeitis yielded the lead, then took control just past the quarter and the outcome was never in doubt from there while scoring a 1-1/4 length tally in 1:54.4 in her season’s debut. She is also co-owned by Krista Harmon. My Kiwi N (Chris Scicluna) was home second and Juslikeaqueen (Tim Maier) secured third.
Defending Aces champion driver Dean Magee led the Tuesday card with three winners, all of them for trainer Williams Hernandez — Coz And Effect (1:53.4, $21.60), I’m An Athlete (1:52.4, $3.80) and Future Delight (1:54.3, $25.20). Trainer Rick Bertrand also sent out two winners on the card — Nightgirl (Kyle Husted, 1:56, $18.80) and Haulin’ Oats (Nick Roland, 1:55.3, $2.80).
Live racing returns to Running Aces on Saturday (June 27) with first post at 1 p.m. (CDT) and a carryover of $1,404.73 in the 20-cent Jackpot Pick-5.