Dean Magee surpasses $30 million in career purses

Columbus, MN — Running Aces recognized current leading driver Dean Magee on Saturday night (Aug. 3) for his career accomplishment of $30 million in purse earnings.

Dean Magee, who recently surpassed $30 million in career purse earnings, flashes his contagious smile after another big win at Running Aces. Dee Leftwich photo.

The milestone was celebrated with the presentation of a banner in the winner’s circle, after Dean piloted Contemporay Legend to a new lifetime mark of 1:52.2 in the night’s third race. Mark Anderson owns and trains the 5-year-old Mystery Chase gelding.

That was the first of three wins on the program for Magee, affectionately known to family, friends and fans alike as “Bobcat.” He currently stands atop all drivers at Running Aces as the leading driver of the season, with 12 wins separating him from his closest rival.

Magee has won 4,796 races and has finished in the top three in over 35 percent of his trips to the gate.

The Wisconsin native has been plying his trade as a driver since 1981, and spent many years as a regular top reinsman on the Chicago harness racing circuit, amassing solid numbers year after year. His biggest year in the win column was 1990, when he piloted 321 winners. In 2001, he posted his best seasonal purse earnings total of $1,814,082.

One of the biggest and most memorable wins of his driving career came in 2003, when he steered Yankee Cruiser to victory in the C$1.5 million North America Cup at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The victory would serve as a tribute to the late Brian Pinske, who had been the trainer of Yankee Cruiser before his untimely death.

Dean has been a regular driver at Running Aces since the track’s opening in 2008, and is among the top drivers every season. In the two previous seasons, he made a late run for the title, coming close both years but finishing second. This year he has dominated since week one, and continues to deliver solid wins night after night.

Nick Roland, the track’s all-time leading driver, currently sits second, and two-time defending champion Steve Wiseman sits third. But as the 2019 season heads for the far turn, they’ve got a lot of ground to make up to try and catch the “Bobcat.”

Live racing continues three nights per week at Running Aces, with Saturday and Sunday cards starting at 6 p.m. Central and Tuesday programs at 7 p.m. The Sunday (Aug. 4) program features a Pick-5 Jackpot carryover of $5,016.65.

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