Columbus, MN — The Tuesday night (Sept. 10) program at Running Aces featured a trio of Open Handicap pacing events, one for mares, one for horses and geldings, and one for 2-year-olds.
The $14,000 Horses and Geldings Open was an action-packed affair with Firedrake (Nick Roland) firing fastest off the gate to the early lead before releasing the front to Top Notch (Rick Magee) who was immediately confronted by Who’szoominwho (Darrell Wright) who took over the front just before the half-mile in a solid :56.1.
Who’szoominwho dominated the affair from there, and withstood strong pressure from Skim The Top (Don Harmon) throughout the final half. Firedrake angled out near the three-quarters and was charging hard outside at the wire but ran out of racetrack to fall a half-length short of the leader as they crossed the line in 1:52.3. Skim The Top fought hard to the wire as well to check in third and was only beaten by three-quarters of a length.
Who’szoominwho ($12.60) is an 8-year-old gelded son of Palone Ranger, and out of the No Pan Intended mare Southwind Tiki. He is owned by Mariah Wright and trained by Darrell Wright.
The $15,000 Mares Open Pace went to Amasa Arion ($4.20, Rick Magee) who converted a perfect pocket-trip into a new lifetime mark in 1:52.4 for owner Kristy Casagranda and trainer Rick Magee. The ultra-sharp 4-year-old daughter of Western Thorn has now won eight of 11 starts this year, and has bankrolled $80,609 in her career. Juslikeaqueen (Dean Magee) was home second and Strings (Nick Roland) checked in third.
The $10,000 2-year-old Open Pace went to heavy favorite Bunkerhill Phil (Don Harmon), who scored his ninth win of the season and became the winningest horse this season at Running Aces with a 1:57.3 tally over longshots Grace N Honor (Rick Magee) and Thegreatestislove (Darrell Wright). The winning owner/trainer is Gene Miller. Bunkerhill Phil has now banked $44,349 in 12 career starts.
The 20-cent Pick-5 Jackpot has a carryover of $8,139.20 and is expected to be guaranteed at $20,000 (pending regulatory approval) for Saturday night (Sept. 14). There will be mandatory payouts in all pools on Saturday night as well, as the season closes out with the huge Night of Champions program that will offer purses of nearly $500,000. Post time on Saturday is 6 p.m. (CDT).