Minnesota native Lemoyne Svendsen off to fast start at Running Aces

Columbus, MN — Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen was born in Albert Lea, Minn., and grew up around harness racing in Iowa and Minnesota and across the greater Midwest. He has been a major presence at Running Aces since the track opened in 2008, and is among the all-time top reinsmen there. So far in the 2022 season at Running Aces he has jumped out to an early lead in the driver standings.

Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen in the winner’s circle at Running Aces. Dee Leftwich photo.

Svendsen has won eight races over the first four nights of the meet and is currently striking victory in 26.7 percent of his races. He has also been a top competitor at Cal-Expo for more than 20 years and altogether he has steered 3,890 horses to victory lane and piled up $14.19 million in purse money over a racing career that spans 45 years.

The affable 63-year-old Svendsen is quick to share that “harness racing and family go hand in hand for me” and he explains that “harness racing has always been a big part of my family, and it has been very good to us.”

He also shared that his biggest thrills in the sport have been “whenever I am able to share a big win with family or close friends, those are the big moments for me.”

Svendsen was inducted into the Minnesota Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2014, simultaneously with his late father Lorenz. Mooney fondly remembers that “the whole family was here for that, and that was the best part.”

On Thursday night (May 19) at Running Aces, Svendsen won half of the eight races on the program, including three wins for trainer Kathleen Plested, who is the current leading trainer with four wins from eight starters. Svendsen and Plested have teamed up for countless wins over the years, and Svendsen’s wife Jodi has also worked in the Plested-Wiseman stable for many years.

Plested, the wife of the late trainer/driver Steve Wiseman, is a very accomplished horsewoman in her own right and has many seasonal titles to her credit.

The Plested and Svendsen combination will team up in two races on the Tuesday (May 24) card at Running Aces. In race two, Svendsen will drive Thisishowwedoit from post four in a $5,500 conditioned pace where the 6-year-old son of Shadow Play will try for his 16th career win and is listed at 7-2 on the morning line. In the third race, they team up again and try for two in a row with Villa For Rent (6-1) from post four in the first leg of the Linkjack Hanover pacing series which goes for an $8,000 purse.

They will also be among the favorites when the star trotter of the Plested barn and Running Aces track record holder, Pridecrest, goes to post in the Steve Wiseman Memorial Trot in June. The first round of the event will be contested on June 19 and the $35,000 final will be on June 26.

Running Aces offers live harness racing three nights a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with first post at 7 p.m. (CDT). There’s always free admission and plenty of free parking.

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