Columbus, MN — The Saturday evening (July 20) Harness Racing program at Running Aces featured two $25,000 events to kick of the biggest weekend of the summer at the Minnesota oval, Dan Patch Weekend.
The $25,000 Ron Banks Pace attracted a strong field of 10 talented pacers going to post, headlined by Holdingallthecards (6-5, Dean Magee) and Stuckey Dote (2-1, Rick Magee). Holdingallthecards was entering this event after a solid win in the top Open Pace a week ago in 1:51.4, and Stuckey Dote was returning to Running Aces after a three-race stint at Chicago’s Hawthorne Racecourse, where he picked up a 1:51.2 win, and a second.
Holdingallthecards fired fastest from the gate from post three and took off for the quarter pole with Stuckey Dote finding the pocket easily from post two. King Of The Crop (Steve Wiseman) left alertly and was able to secure a spot in third as they posted speedy fractions of :26.1, :54.2 and 1:22.1 with Holdingallthecards keeping the field in chase mode. As they rounded for home, it was clear that Stuckey Dote had taken full benefit of his pocket journey, and was full of pace, exploding Into the two-path as they straightened for the wire, and drawing away to a two-length score in 1:51, with King Of The Crop closing inside to grab second over Holdingallthecards.
Stuckey Dote ($6.60) is a 6-year-old gelding by Voracious Hanover out of the Artsplace mare Missy Artsie, he is owned by Merlin Van Oterloo and trained by Brett Ballinger. The victory in The Ron Banks Pace was win number six on the season, and 33rd lifetime for Stuckey Dote, who also eclipsed the $300,000 mark in career earnings tonight.
The $25,000 Vernon Devine Trot was the other big feature event on the card and attracted a nice field of nine top-level trotters to square off in the evening’s nightcap event. Pine Dream was the talk of the tote-board at 4-5 and was a new shooter to Running Aces and a regular Hawthorne competitor, he drew post eight for his local debut.
Banker Volo was the second choice in the wagering at 3-1, followed by My Uncle Cuz at 7-2. Banker Volo (Tim Maier) utilized his customary early speed and trotted out to the early lead from post two, while My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) floated away quickly to grab the pocket, and French Eclipse (Rick Magee) came away in third from the pole position. Pine Dream made a big move from the back of the pack near the three-eighths juncture but went off-stride when near the top, losing all chance. Banker Volo led all the way into the lane, but my Uncle Cuz had plenty of trot and emerged from the pocket to score a one-length victory over Banker Volo in 1:56, with French Eclipse holding the third spot.
My Uncle Cuz ($9.80) is a 5-year-old gelded son of Abc Garland, he now has three wins in ten starts this year and lifetime earnings of $294,699. The winning owner is Krista Harmon, and the winning trainer is Don Harmon.
Windmeupnwatchmego ($2.20, Dean Magee) picked up her fifth win in six seasonal starts tonight, with a 1:54.4 score in the $11,500 Minnesota-Sired 3-yea-old filly pace, and SB Bodacious ($3.80, Rick Magee) scored his fourth win of the year in the $11,500 Minnesota-Sired 3-year-old colts & geldings pace with a 1:54.2 mile over Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo).
Dean Magee had a very big night on Saturday, with a Grand Slam of four winners on the card. Rick Magee also had a big night, with a Hat-Trick of three winners.
Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (July 21) with a fantastic twelve race program, featuring the $50,000 Dan Patch FFA Pace.