Columbus, MN — The Minnesota Harness Racing season is set to get underway as Running Aces opens it’s thirteenth season on Saturday (June 20). The start of the harness racing season in the north metro area of the twin cities always helps to stamp the official arrival of summer here, and does so this year perhaps more than ever, after the season faced a COVID-19 related delay of over one month.
Despite the challenges of the global pandemic and local unrest over the past few months, Minnesota horsemen and racing fans are ready, and they are excited for the racing season, and that fun summer feeling to get underway. Racing fans have been calling and going online to get their live racing tickets, and making plans to attend the Opening weekend programs.
A total of 21 races have been carded for opening weekend, with 11 on the opening Saturday card which goes to post at 1:00 p.m. (CDT).
Amid all of the current health and safety protocols and capacity restrictions, Running Aces is conducting all of its Live Racing cards in the afternoons this year, with a 1:00 pm post time on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. There will be a special Friday card on July 3, and no racing on July 4, and there will be 3 Wednesday cards added in September (16,23,30).
The brand new Running Aces hotel is open and ready to serve guests, and offers special rates and room packages for racing as well. The Running Aces card Casino is also open, with capacity limits and other restrictions currently in place.
On the racetrack, you will quickly be able to spot the regular Running Aces stars – last year’s top driver Dean Magee will face off against all-time leader Nick Roland (each has 3 Aces driving titles) and they will battle with other top-5 regulars including Mooney Svendsen, Rick Magee and of course, Steve Wiseman.
Brady Jenson has earned his spot on the list, along with other regulars like Brian Detgen and veteran Gerald Longo. Don Harmon, Jared Seekman and Darrell Wright are all back, each for their second Aces season, while young-guns like Braxten Boyd and Jacob Cutting will try to make their mark. Cutting is a newcomer, as is driver Pat Berry, who will split his summer between The Meadowlands and Running Aces.
It’s safe to say the competition will be hot this summer at Running Aces, and the racing will be good.
2019 Minnesota harness horse of the year MD Magic makes an appearance on opening day, and the Open Trot on Sunday features no less than 4 current or former track record holders, including Pridecrest, the fastest trotter ever at Running Aces.
The exotic wagering format is similar to last season, and features early and late Pick-3 and Pick 4 offerings (.50 cent) along with the Jackpot Pick-5 (.20 cent) and the (.50 cent) Pentafeca or ‘High-5’. Also returning this year is the popular (.50 cent) late Daily Double.
Racing fans are invited to visit the Running Aces website – www.RunAces.com to get free tickets for live racing, browse information, results, replays, programs and handicapping tips.