Columbus, MN — The Tuesday evening (June 18) card at Running Aces featured the $16,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace, with a full field of nine distaffers going in to battle.
The talk of the toteboard were the two Tim Maier trainees — Cenalta Diamond (9-5, Tim Maier) from post nine, coming in with two Open wins in her last three starts, and Pull The Shade (2-1, Dean Magee) from post seven, showing two seconds and a third in three local starts at the top level.
Last week’s winner Delightfully Wild (Nick Roland) was also well supported at the windows at 7-2, and she left alertly from post eight, mixing it up with Cenalta Diamond who won the early skirmish (:27.1) and set the pace with Delightfully Wild settling into the pocket.
The outer-flow developed just at the :56.4 half-mile when Alwaysalittlemore (Williams Hernandez) came first up and Place N First (Rick Magee) followed, with Pull The Shade joining the outer lane for the third-over position. Alwaysalittlemore surged quickly to the leader and a furious battle ensued, with Cenalta Diamond fighting hard to fend off her rivals.
Alwaysalittlemore wrangled the lead away near the third juncture (1:25.1) and led the field into the lane with nearly two lengths to spare, but Place N First began to roll as they neared the wire and was able to surge past for a half-length victory in 1:53.3 over Alwaysalittlemore and a fast closing Pull The Shade.
Place N First picked up her first win of the season. She is a 10-year-old daughter of Place To Be out of the Blissfull Hall mare Memory Hall and she is owned and trained by Jenni King and has now won 33 career races and amassed $197,696 in earnings.
Driver Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen led the night with three wins for his first hat trick of the summer.
The 50-cent Hi-5 wager in race eight drew plenty of support from players, converting a $5,370 carryover into a total pool well in excess of $30,000 which helped to produce a robust payoff of $3,434.80 for each winning 50-cent ticket.
The 20-cent Pick-5 wager now carries a jackpot of $11,055.79 going into the Saturday night (June 22) program, which kicks off with first post at 7 p.m. (CDT).