Columbus, MN – The Saturday afternoon (June 27) harness racing program at Running Aces featured a grand slam performance from all-time track leader Nick Roland, who picked up four wins, two seconds and three thirds from 11 trips to the gate, and is quickly approaching his 800th victory at the Minnesota track, no other driver has won more than 600 races here.
The card was also highlighted by two divisions of the sophomore Minnesota-Sired pacers – with seven contenders facing the gate for the ‘A’ division and vying for a purse of $13,800 and eight contenders lining up for the ‘B’ grouping with $9,200 at stake.
Bunkerhill Phil (Don Harmon) left alertly from post seven to take the early lead in the ‘A’ split, with race favorite It’s A Marcs World (Nick Roland) yielding for the pocket from post six. Bunkerhill Phil posted very moderate fractions of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:29 and led to the cusp of the stretch before Roland exploded from the pocket with It’s A Marcs World and drew away to win by three lengths in 1:57.1 for his first win at a pari-mutuel track and career best mile, with a sharp final stanza of :27.4.
The gelded son of Marced Card is out of the Life Sign mare Life’s Image and is owned by Duane Roland and trained by Jessica Johnson. The smart money poured in on the winner, as he was bet down to even money odds ($4) from a lofty morning line of 10-1, while second choice Bunkerhill Phil held second and was well clear of Get My Good Side (Steve Wiseman) who finished third.
Nothinbutagoodtime (Dean Magee, $21.20) pulled the upset in the ‘B’ division with an impressive rally from last-to-first to capture his first lifetime win in 1:58. Thegreatestislove (Nick Roland) led most of the way and held a game second, while race-favorite Catchmeinadream (Rick Magee) checked in third. Nothinbutagoodtime is a son of It’s That Time and is out of the Cam’s Card Shark mare Sweet Repeat. The winning owner is Van Otterloo Stables and the winning trainer is Gordon Graham.
Drivers Rick Magee, Dean Magee and Lemoyne “Moonie” Svendsen each completed a double on the card, and trainers Edwin Quevedo and Jessica Johnson also picked up doubles on the afternoon.
Live racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (June 28) with first post at 1 p.m. (CDT) and features a pair of carryover pools: $1,986.77 for the 20-cent Pick-5 Jackpot, and $1,010.65 for the 50-cent Hi-5.