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Running Aces ends season with a bang
Sunday, August 29, 2010 - from Running Aces Harness Park

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Columbus, MN--An all-time track record, a record amount of purses on a single card, an overflow crowd of nearly 4,000 fans, and a live handle record for a single program all highlighted the 51st and final night of racing at Running Aces Harness Park for 2010.

A total of $166,500 in purses was offered on the 10-race card with eight of the races designated as Minnesota State Championship races in the various age, sex and gait categories.

An open pace and an open trot were the other two events and each produced repeat winners--one in spectacular fashion.

ML Jackhammer extended his open pacing win streak in the week's richest event to five as he swept to an all-time, all-age track record of 1:52 for driver Daniel Maier and owner Linda Magnusson, his wife. It was clear from the start that Maier had the track standard in mind as he sped to the first quarter in 26.2 despite being assigned the outside 9 post position. The 7-year-old continued his onslaught through the half of 54.4 and three quarters of 1:23.1. When asked for more ML Jackhammer responded through the lane and his 28.4 final panel completed the record mile a full second better than any horse had done in three seasons of commercial racing in Minnesota. Arizona Liar held the old record at 1:53.

The Open Trot was captured by Mac's Bad Boy for the third straight time. Driver Mark King, trainer D. W. Camac and owner John Wagner have the four-year-old SJ's Caviar gelding in fine form winning five of his seven starts in the Gopher State.

The Minnesota State Championship races started with the $15,000 freshman trot and favored R A's Shakenbake responded well with a nine-length triumph in 2:03.4. Driver Will Roland took no prisoners with the pride of the Rockaway Racing Stable, going wire-to-wire to best runner Speedy Sensation (Rick Magee) and Abra's Quick Photo (J. D. Perrin) who was third.

The Rockaway Stable completed the daily double when their freshman pacing filly Wisconsin Place captured the $20,000 final for that division. Dean Magee steered the daughter of Place To Be to victory over Blazin With Pride (Tom Tetrick) and the tandem of Ladyofcastlebrook (Evan Coblentz) and You Little Rascal (Rick Magee) who deadheated for show.

The 2-year-old pacing colts were next up and Jolly Mon Sing captured the thrilling $17,500 championship for driver Ryan Lems by just a head over Gravity Storm (Craig Banks) and Yank My Missile (Rick Magee). The top six finishers were all within three lengths in the 1:59.3 mile.

Little Tootsie bested the sophomore filly pacers as Dean Magee guided the heavy favorite to a seven-length tally in 1:57.  It was just the second win for the Merlin Van Otterloo-owned filly who obviously is the class of her division in Minnesota, but seldom got a chance to show it.  Wildatthebeach (Ryan Lems) and Brooklyn Charm (Brandon Jenson) got the place and show dough in the $17,500 race.

Restless Yankee (Craig Banks) lived up to his favoritism in the 3-year-old colt pace, easily outdistancing Mackthedoodle (Adam Hauser) and I Will Win (Dean Magee) in a 1:57.1 mile. Ron Emerson and Mark Holtan own the impressive colt who got the winner's share of the $17,500 purse.

Craig Banks returned in the very next race to capture the $20,000 Minnesota-sired trot for 3-year-olds and up. DJ Speedy Fox, who Banks owns in partnership with Lucas and Ernest Koltis, passed DJ French Baby (Rick Magee) in the stretch to win by a length in 2:01.1. Nearly Rich (Brandon Jenson) was third.

Dandy Di's 1:55 victory in the $20,000 aged mares event came as no surprise as she bested Cheeseplumper (Rick Magee) and Chocollicious (Will Roland). Driver Tom Tetrick moved the Chris Lems-owned 5-year-old mare to the front just past the quarter and never looked back.

In the final race on the night and in the Running Aces season, Ryan Lems notched his second Minnesota championship with his own Do The Kankan. The $22,500 race for aged pacers went in 1:57 with the winner topping WW Win (Dean Magee) and Dancing Up A Storm (Rick Magee).

The handle on closing night was $97,102 and over half of it was bet on-track. For the season, Running Aces average nightly handle was $90,473 which more than doubled the 2009 average of $43,353.  On-track handle was up slightly and export simulcast handle more than tripled as the Minnesota track offered more races and fuller fields throughout the summer.

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