Columbus, MN — A Major Omen rallied from the back of the pack to win an action-packed edition of the $19,800 Open Handicap Pace on Tuesday night (Aug. 30) at Running Aces for his second straight win.
Driver Tony Kerwood was in no hurry off the gate with the sharp 6-year-old Art Major gelding, and eased away in seventh from post six while Caliber (Luke Plano) and SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) went to the front and posted an opening stanza in :27.
Saddle Up (Dean Magee) wanted the top and moved up to take control near the three-eighths juncture while PD The Big Easy (Brady Jenson) launched a first-over bid as they headed down the backside and Hoo Nien A (Mooney Svendsen) moved second-over. A Major Omen also joined the outer flow from the back as Saddle Up posted middle fractions of :55 and 1:22.3.
Saddle Up still had a short lead as they turned in for home with Caliber in second but A Major Omen was looming large from the backfield and swung for home with a full head of steam, surging past the leaders in deep stretch to post a half-length score over Caliber and Saddle Up in 1:51.3.
A Major Omen ($7.00) now shows 11 wins in 30 outings this year, with seasonal earnings of $110,055 for owner/trainer Gerald Longo.
Iron Sharpens Iron made it seven wins in a row in the $19,800 Minnesota-sired freshman ‘A’ trot in 2:00.3 over Whata Tettegouche and Wisco Wild Card, delivering as the 1-10 favorite.
Driver Luke Plano floated away from the gate in third from post eight before moving the impressive son of Banker Volo to the lead and settling on top just past the :29.2 quarter. He then slowed the tempo down and recorded middle quarters in :31.2 and :30.3 while well in control of the affair. Whata Tettegouche tipped from the pocket with a sharp challenge in the lane but Iron Sharpens Iron ($2.20) answered gamely to stay in front and record his ninth career win.
The winner is owned by Jeralene Roland and trained by Dan Roland.
BP’s Lucky Star (Chad Svendsen, $4.80) posted his first pari-mutuel win in the $13,200 ‘B’ split with a gate-to-wire score by 2-3/4 lengths in 2:03.2. Corona Cobra (Plano) rallied late for second and Azteca Your Money closed to pick up third.
The winner is a son of For You Almostfree, owned by Rick Huffman, Brenda Lovetinsky and Penny Lundell and trained by Justin Anfinson.
Watchmeneighneigh (Dean Magee, $7.20) rallied from the back of the pack to capture the $15,600 Open II Handicap Pace by a neck over Marktentwentyseven (Jenson) in 1:53.4, with Bombay Hanover (Plano) just a half-length back in third.
The winner is a 7-year-old son of Voracious Hanover, owned and trained by Gerald Longo, who for the second straight race program has swept both of the Open Handicap races on the card.
Driver Rick Magee led the program with three wins, while Dean Magee posted a double.
Live racing returns to Running Aces on Thursday (Sept. 1) with a nine-race program that will feature a carryover of $23,253.71 in the Pick-5 Jackpot wager. Post time is set for 7 p.m. (CDT).