Columbus, MN — The Tuesday (June 7) program at Running Aces featured a trio of pacing events, with top billing going to the weekly $16,500 Open Handicap which drew a six pack of talented contenders for this week’s edition.
When the starting gate pulled away from the field Pancetta was the first pacer across the line from post two but the outside pair of Way To Close and Caliber both joined the charge into the first turn for an early three-wide battle. Caliber was able to power to the lead and Way To Close dropped into the pocket just ahead of Pancetta as they tripped the beam in :26.4 for the opening panel.
Caliber controlled things for the next five-eighths of the mile and kept everyone in a lineup until Nick Roland activated Alilthundadownunda, who tipped out from the back of the pack as they headed into the far turn.
Alilthundadownunda ($10.60) began to close in on the leaders as they passed the three-quarter juncture in 1:23 but he really kicked into high gear with a breathtaking move to the far outside as they swung for home, moving from fifth to first in just a couple of strides. From there he powered to the wire for a half-length score over a very game Way To Close with pacesetter Caliber back in third in a 1:51.2 mile, the meet’s fastest clocking so far.
The winner is a 4-year-old son of Malak Uswaad N and is owned by Set The Pace Racing and is also trained by Roland. He now shows six wins in 14 starts this season and 27 wins from 50 career races and has a bankroll of $245,639.
The $13,000 Open II Pace went to A Major Omen (Roland, $3.00) who got away in fourth position in the seven horse contest while Allmyx’sliventexas and SB Bodacious traded the early lead.
Roland got A Major Omen rolling near the half-mile juncture and they battled with SB Bodacious for three-eighths of a mile before taking control at the top of the lane. In the homestretch A Major Omen drew clear and posted a sharp looking 3-1/4 length tally in 1:52.2 with SB Bodacious holding second while longshot California Rock was placed third.
The winner is a 6-year-old son of Art Major and is owned and trained by Gerald Longo. He now shows seven wins in 19 starts on the year.
The $17,000 Linkjack Hanover series finale was also featured on the Tuesday program and saw a diverse field of eight starters line up behind the gate.
Frisky Pedro and trainer/driver Luke Plano were the fastest from the gate and led early before Artspire made an early move to the front and led the affair to the top of the stretch, posting solid fractions of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:24.3 while Rollin Withholly A and Watchmeneighheigh advanced on the outside.
As they straightened for the finish, Artspire was unable to fend off the pressure as four of them lined across the track for a thrilling deep stretch battle with Frisky Pedro ($17.00) emerging in the passing lane to capture the event by a half-length in 1:54.1 over Watchmeneighneigh and Rollin Withholly A.
The winner is a 6-year-old son of Millionaire Cam, owned by Dave Haness and Nikki Hudson. The series title is his fourth win of the year and a seasonal best.
Live racing returns to Running Aces on Thursday (June 9) and features ‘Mental Health Awareness’ night at the races to benefit a pair of local charities (Acres for Life and Cornerhouse). There are family activities added to the program and there is a special kid’s ‘Pop-IT’ horse giveaway and an on-track ‘Survivor’ handicapping contest. The program will also feature several carryovers, including $18,689.69 for the 20-cent Pick-5 Jackpot, $2,887.43 for the Early Pick-4, and $908.86 for the Hi-5 wager.