Columbus, MN – The featured events on the Saturday evening (June 1) card at Running Aces were the two divisions of the $23,000 Minnesota-Sired 3-year-old Pace, with seven starters in the $11,500 colts division and six starters in the $11,500 fillies division.
Burning Blaze (Steve Wiseman) was the public choice at even money in the colt division, coming off a strong third last out and a strong win on this season’s debut before that. SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) took plenty of pari-mutuel support and was sent off at 8-5 while looking to extend a perfect twp-for-two sophomore record. Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo) also garnered plenty of support at 4-1 after just missing by a nose to SB Bodacious last out.
Those top three public choices dominated the proceedings, with Stay Humble N Kind putting forth his career best mile (1.55) to date, blasting the gate with plenty of speed and seating SB Bodacious in the pocket and Burning Blaze in third. The early fractions were moderate (:28.4, :58.3),and by securing that second quarter breather, Owner-Driver-Trainer Gerald Longo had reserved plenty of pace for the final half. Burning Blaze took a crack at them and was bearing down as they passed the three-quarter marker in 1:26.3, but Longo had plenty in the tank.
Stay Humble N Kind ($10) went on to score a milestone victory on two counts – first lifetime win for the 3-year-old Fancy Schmansy gelding, and career win number 2,900 for 74-year-old veteran driver Gerald Longo. The final time of 1:55 established a lifetime mark for the three-quarter length winner. SB Bodacious rallied past Burning Blaze in the lane for second.
iIn the Saturday opener, the $11,500 fillies pace was another dominant performance by Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee), who was unhurried in the early stages while away in fourth, before launching her attack around the second turn. Once the field of sophomore distaffers straightened down the backside, it was game-on.
Trinitysfancyfilly (Brian Detgen) was on the lead and fought hard against the (1-9) favorite, but was unable to fend off the champion filly. Windmeupnwatchmego ($2.10) drew away from her rivals to score a five-length romp in 1:56.3 to remain a perfect two-for-two this season. A Little Rusty (Gerald Longo) was late on the scene to just take second money over Trinitysfancyfilly. Windmeupnwatchmego is trained by Gordon Graham for owner Richard Davelaar.
The $16,000 Open Handicap Pace event went to Annihilator (Dean Magee), who made an impressive rally from well off the pace with a three-wide move around the far turn to come after front-running favorite Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) and got up at the wire for a neck victory. Annihilator ($29.80) scored his second win of the year in 1:53.1. The winner is trained by Edwin Quevedo for A Piece Of The Action, LLC.