Columbus, MN — Trainer Kathie Plested had Oneida Blue Chip ($8.60) well prepared for the feature race at Running Aces on Thursday (May 20). The 7-year-old daughter of American Ideal was making her first local start and first start with her new connections in the $11,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace.
Driver Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen sent her right to the lead from post five in the six horse affair and never looked back through fractions of :27.2 and :57.2 before kicking into high gear with a :55.4 final half-mile to draw away at every call and check in 4-1/2 lengths ahead of her rivals in 1:53.1 for her third win in 12 outings on the season. Race favorite Rockin With Lou (Gerald Longo, 3-5) picked up the pieces for second, while longshot Prom Queen (Dean Magee, 14-1) checked in third.
The winner was a recent purchase for owner Barbara Arnstine.
The Thursday program also featured the 3-year old Open Pace, going for $6,500, with a field of six sophomores facing the starter.
Trainer/driver Nick Roland sent Alilthundadownunda, his gelded son of Malak Uswaad N, straight to the lead from post two as the 5-2 second choice. Even money favorite Ice House (Brady Jenson) enjoyed the pocket trip. SD Watch Me Now (Brian Detgen, 8-1) got away third and was first to tip wide to challenge the leader.
Roland was able to orchestrate a second quarter breather of :30.1 (:28.2, :58.3) for Alilthundadownunda, which may have been the deciding factor in the race. By keeping his horse fully-charged for the final half, they were able to power home in :56.2 to easily turn back all challenges. SD Watch Me Now was 1-1/2 lengths behind at the wire, while Ice House was third best in the 1:55 mile.
It was one of two wins on the night for owners Set The Pace Racing, and it was the sixth career tally for the Minnesota-sired Alilthundadownunda ($7.60), who registered a sharp final quarter of :27.4 for his second consecutive race.
Driver Mooney Svendsen led the Thursday program with three winners, while Nick Roland scored his third driving double in a row and notched a training double at the same time. Driver Luke Plano also picked up a double.
Live racing is offered at Running Aces every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night, with first post at 6:05 p.m. (CDT).