Tuggin On My Heart prevails in thrilling feature race photo finish at Aces

Columbus, MN — The feature race on the Tuesday night (July 9) program at Running Aces was the $15,500 Open Handicap Pace which drew a deeply talented field of nine competitors.

Co-track record holder Crooked Smile (Todd Warren) was making his first local start of the season and was the talk of the toteboard at 3-5 odds while last week’s winner Tuggin On My Heart (Jacob Cutting) was the 4-1 second choice and No Lou Zing (Mooney Svendsen) was given a 5-1 chance by players.

Tuggin On My Heart (inside) prevailed by a neck over PD The Big Easy in a thrilling photo finish in the Aces Open Pace. Nicole Tate photo.

PD The Big Easy (James Kennedy) left fastest for the early lead from post five while Tuggin On My Heart and Cutting surged from post eight to secure the pocket and Crooked Smile also left alertly from post nine to go after the top during a fast opening quarter in :26.3. Warren made the front with Crooked Smile near the three-eighths pole and had command at the :54 halfway point while Tuggin On My Heart rode intently in the garden seat and PD The Big Easy tracked the leaders from third. Mac’s Marvel (Luke Plano) made a big three-wide move down the backstretch and headed into the far turn but never drew on terms with the top three.

In the lane Tuggin On My Heart tipped from the pocket with pace and PD The Big Easy tipped wide for the drive while Crooked Smile waved the white flag and Ynotthishos (Nick Roland) rallied from the back of the pack. A thrilling battle to the wire was won by Tuggin On My Heart ($10.60) who dug in gamely to hold off PD The Big Easy by a neck in the 1:52.2 mile with Ynotthishos checking home in third.

The winner is a 6-year-old son of Rockin Amadeus, owned by Dave Dobbelmann and Cathy Dessert and trained by Edwin Quevedo. He now shows 28 career wins with earnings of $281,010.

The program also played host to Minnesota-sired freshman action with a total purse of $56,000 spread across three races.

Swinging On By (Karpathian Kid) made it two in a row with a sharp tally in the $21,000 freshman ‘A’ pace in 1:59.2, getting home 1-1/2 lengths better than Delco Kathleen (Warren) with Blazin For Life (Rick Magee) a further length back in third.

Dean Magee was the winning pilot and worked out a perfect pocket-trip for the bay gelding for owner/trainer Brett Ballinger and additional owner Darren Taylor. Swinging On By was the favorite and returned $4.20 for every $2 win ticket.

Linked To Chaos (Easy Again) picked up her first career pari-mutuel win with a sharp effort in the $14,000 freshman ‘B’ pace, arriving home a half-length better than Lets Boogie (Warren) with Tutto Bene (Cutting) a close third in a 2:00 mile.

Mooney Svendsen was the winning pilot behind Linked To Chaos ($5.40) for owner Jay De Long and trainer Justin Anfinson.

Peanutbutterfalcon (Quality Kemp) converted a pocket trip into his first career win in the $21,000 freshman trot with driver Jeff Hunt at the controls. The pair posted a three-quarter length tally over a fast-closing SD Imma Superstar (Brian Detgen) while It’s Gonna Be Mae (Sean Smithpeters) rallied late for third in the 2:04.2 mile.

The winner is owned by his breeder Jeralene Roland and is trained by Dan Roland. The win mutuel was $19.40.

Jeff Hunt, Williams Hernandez and Jacob Cutting led the Tuesday night program with driving doubles while Hernandez also posted a training double.

Live racing returns to Running Aces on Thursday night (July 11) with a 12-race program that gets underway with first post at 6 p.m. (CDT).

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