Columbus, MN — The Saturday night (May 25) harness racing program at Running Aces kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a large crowd and some fantastic races. The card featured $23,000 in purses for the Minnesota-Sired 3-year-old pacers, splitting into two divisions by sex.
The $11,500 colts & geldings grouping included 2018 Minnesota Harness Horse of the year, Burning Blaze who was sent off at 1-5 in the wagering, with last-out winner SB Bodacious a clear second choice at 4-1.
Burning Blaze (Nick Roland), Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo) and Trump Train (Steve Wiseman) all left the gate with early speed and the scramble was on for the front spot, resulting in a very fast 26.2 opening quarter.
Burning Blaze emerged with the lead and Roland backed the second quarter down tremendously (31.2) before speeding back up for a :29 flat third panel (1:26.4). Trump Train launched the first-over attack just past the 5/8 pole and SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) picked up the live cover, with Stay Humble N Kind snug in the pocket.
As they rounded for home, the top four were all loaded with pace, and Burning Blaze was under siege. Stay Humble N Kind raged forward in the passing lane, while SB Bodacious tipped wide and turned on the after-burners to nail the victory right on the wire, a nose ahead of Stay Humble N Kind, with Burning Blaze home in third.
SB Bodacious, a gelded son of Voracious Hanover and Salsa Hanover is now undefeated in two sophomore starts and posted a new career mark of 1:55.3 with his third-lifetime win. Rick Magee also trains the impressive pacer, for owner Mikaela DelGiudice.
The $11,500 filly division went to race favorite and divisional two-year-old champion Windmeupnwatchmego, in her season’s debut. She got away fourth and then surged to the front down the backstretch before easily pulling away from the field to score an impressive 3-3/4 length tally in 1:56.2. Dean Magee was the winning driver, for trainer Gordon Graham and owner Richard Davelaar.
Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) remained razor-sharp, capturing the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for the second straight week, and three wins in a row. He fired fast from post 8 and posted a 26.1 opening quarter to establish command. From there he was never in doubt and scored a one-length tally in 1:52.2 for his fourth win of the year for owner Merlin Van Oterloo. Brett Ballinger is the winning trainer.
Live Racing returns to Running Aces Sunday, May 26, with the first post at 6:00 pm (CDT).