Mandeville, Rockin With Lou dazzle in Aces features

Columbus, MN — Owner/trainer Gerald Longo had a big night at Running Aces on Sunday (Aug. 28), sending out the winners of both Open Handicap feature races.

Mandeville shook free in the lane with plenty of trot to win the Open Handicap in 1:56.1. Dee Leftwich photo.

Mandeville drew post two in the $19,800 Open Handicap Trot and got away sharply in second for driver Luke Plano while Bordogna (Rick Magee) surged to the lead from post five and set the opening fractions of :27.4 and :57.2.

Mind Yown Business (Brady Jenson) vacated the three-hole and launched an attack on the leader as they raced down the backside, and began to get the upper hand as they rounded past the 1:25.4 three-quarters while Mandeville waited patiently for racing room.

Mind Yown Business trotted strong in the lane but Mandeville ($6.60) shook free and had the most speed to the wire, surging past Mind Yown Business for a one length score in 1:56.1 with Pridecrest (Mooney Svendsen) closing for third.

It was the 11th win of the season in 22 starts for the impressive 10-year-old gelding by Majestic Son, who was making his 200th career start and has now bankrolled $410,428.

Rockin With Lou drew post eight in the $19,800 Mares Open Handicap Pace and was sent off as the 6-5 public choice.

Hottieonthehorizon (Plano) was fastest to the front from post nine before Graceful Horizon came after the lead just past the :27.2 quarter mile, while Bettor Trix N took a seat in the third spot. Rojo Caliente (Tony Kerwood) moved out and looked for cover but wound up first over down the backstretch and Dean Magee also launched Rockin With Lou to the outside and the action heated up as they rounded the far turn.

The top four turned in a good stretch battle but it quickly came down to pacesetter Graceful Horizon and the hard charging Rockin With Lou and the top pair really thrilled the crowd with an exciting duel to the finish. Rockin With Lou ($4.40) prevailed by a nose in the 1:53.3 mile. Hottieonthehorizon completed the trifecta over Rojo Caliente.

The win completed a grand slam on the program for driver Dean Magee and it was the 13th win of the year for the 5-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou, who has now banked $219,590 in her career.

Willamar Spark (Dean Magee, $3.20) delivered as the big favorite in the $16,500 Minnesota-sired sophomore filly trot, posting a one length score in a career best 1:58.1 mile. The daughter of Southwind Flash got away in fifth from post one before picking up mid-race cover. She was full of trot in the homestretch and surged past Scroll On By and CR Promise To You for her fourth career win for owners Jeanne Marquis and Jay De Long and trainer Justin Anfinson.

Poko Loki also delivered a huge performance as the heavy favorite in the $16,500 sophomore male trot division, drawing away by four lengths in a career best 1:58.1 mile. Chip Lackey was in the bike and got away second from post four with the son of Tamarind before moving to the front near the three-eighths mark. Once on the lead, Poko Loki ($3.20) was never in doubt. Shadowfax closed impressively from the back of the pack to get second and Ice Master picked up third money. The winner is owned by Ulf and Susan Holm-Johansen, with Ulf handling the training duties.

Race fans were treated to some great added entertainment on Sunday at Running Aces as ‘Circus Juventas Night’ was a huge success. Students from the Saint Paul, Minn. performing arts/circus program performed a myriad of routines on the track apron before and between the races. The event was very well received and will be back on the calendar of events at Running Aces next year. Circus Juventas is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an outlet/opportunity for youth to learn the performance arts offered by the Circus.

Live racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday (Aug. 30) with a nine-race program and will feature ‘Dollar Night’ specials. There is a carryover of $21,444.86 in the 20-cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager. First post is at 7 p.m. (CDT).

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