Columbus, MN --- Three veteran drivers have moved their tack to Minnesota for the first time for the 2010 Running Aces Harness Park meet that opens Tuesday night, June 1. When they answer starter John Betts' call to post they'll join a group of talented returning teamsters, six of whom fashioned UDR averages over .320 during the 2009 season.
Dean Magee, the 46-year-old brother of Hall of Famer Dave Magee, heads the new trio with 3,834 career victories. The Wisconsin native and Illinois stalwart over the past two decades brings just one racehorse with him and thus is hoping for ample catch-driving opportunities from other owners and trainers.
Tim Maier, at age 57 the most seasoned of the new faces, has relocated from California where he has recorded the majority of his 2,088 triumphs. He has brought with him a strong string of 14 horses who have recently completed another successful season at Cal-Expo Raceway in Sacramento.
Steve Wiseman, 43, is also a recent top driver at Cal-Expo, who will surely add to his 1,348 visits to the winner's circle in Minnesota as he brings in a four-horse stable. He has also been commissioned as lead driver for the large Ron Lingle-owned and Dan Guillian-trained stable which has taken up residence at the Cannon Falls fairgrounds in the Twin Cities area.
Rick Magee, the nephew of Dave and Dean, returns to Running Aces as the defending dash champion from 2009. His 66 local victories last year just edged the 2008 champion John DeLong, who tallied 62 times in Running Aces' second season. Other returning top six drivers are Nick Roland (59 wins), Joey Mapes (41), Gerald Longo (39) and Evan Coblentz (21).
The 2010 driver's colony will also include returnees Tom T. Tetrick, who notched 17 wins in limited action last summer, plus other multiple race winners Dan Poprawski, Adam Hauser, Craig Banks, J.D. Perrin, Brandon Jenson, Jon Anderson, Brian Detgen, Bob Lems, Gene Miller, Josh Banks, David Flinn, Jenni King and Mark King.
Running Aces will present live race programs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 5:00 p.m., central time.
Mike Tanner, the Executive Vice President of the USTA, will be on hand at Running Aces for this Tuesday's opening night program to meet Minnesota horsemen and to make the trophy presentation to the Inaugural Pace winner.