Columbus, MN --- Despite a rain storm throughout the middle portion of the program, another huge throng of fans turned out for the final Running Aces program of the season and witnessed 11 Minnesota-sired state champions crowned in $20,000 races for the various age, sex and gait divisions.
The Running Aces average nightly handle increased for the sixth consecutive season since live racing began in 2008, this year by five percent.
Driver John De Long copped four races on the lucrative season finale, three for trainer Justin Anfinson. Leading driver Nick Roland managed to capture a pair of victories as did Tim Maier, who was also awarded the leading trainer award for the meet.
She's A Foxie Lady (De Long) won the 2-year-old filly trot over Babygetyershineon (Jenni King) and CD's SOS (James Yoder). She earned almost $36,000 for owner Jesse De Long by scoring four wins and three place finishes in ten outings.
Delco Voracious (De Long) broke her own track record besting Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) and Dakota Law (Steve Wiseman) in 1:55.2 in the freshman pacing fillies split. Also owned by Jesse De Long and trained by Anfinson, the outstanding filly has won six of eight starts and banked more than $50,000.
The 2-year-old trotting colts division was won by Chewy Dunkerton (De Long) over ML's Journey (Craig Banks) and Al-Mar Passion (Magee) in 2:03. With three wins and seven seconds in ten tries, the winner has bankrolled more than $45,000 for owner Benjamin De Long.
Cyber Cowboy (Maier) scored an upset in the freshman colt pace for owner Margaret Epp and trainer Dan Epp. It was just the second seasonal score for the 1:59.1 winner, but he has finished in-the-money in eight of ten tries and banked $18,704 thus far. Wounded Warrior (Mark Mintun) was the runner-up with Im So Handsome (Wiseman) getting the show dough.
Just three 3-year-old trotting fillies went to post in their $20,000 event with Rails Of Victory (Roland) besting Diamond Alliance (Lemoyne Svendsen) and Coffee Black (Ryan Lems) in 2:00.3. Roland also owns the filly who has captured seven of 15 in her first year of racing and banked about $38,000.
Razzle Be Dazzled (Magee) has been the queen of the sophomore pacing fillies class all season and didn't disappoint in the championship, winning in 1:58.2 over Rearin And Ready (Jason Ryan) and Whata Smoothie (Kerry Banks). The Van Otterloo Stable owns the winner who has managed 11 wins in 14 starts and earned $60,000 in her second season. David Flinn has conditioned her throughout the summer.
Mnia Lightnpower (Maier) was the best in the sophomore trotting colts split, downing Al-Mar Delrailer (Roland) and French Eclipse (King) in 2:01.4. Janice Molgaard and Dick McDanel own the state champion who has five wins and $42,000 bankrolled on the season. He is tutored by Joel McDanel.
Circle Me Bert (Lems) was an upset winner in the sophomore pacing colts division, besting Ben N Al (Yoder) and favored Reds Place (De Long) in 1:56.2. Merlin and Kyle Van Otterloo own the winner and Wolfswinkel Pacers Inc. own the runner-up, but both are trained by Gene Miller. Circle Me Bert more than doubled his lifetime earnings with his half of the $20,000 purse.
A trio of $20,000 championships were also staged for older state-breds. In the trotting division RA's Shakenbake (Roland) was a 2:00.3 winner over Switcheroo (Magee) and Rich Dessert (Maier). Owned by the Trot Away Stable, the former 2-year-old state champ was winless in his 5-year-old campaign before his upset neck victory.
Country Jewel (De Long) was part of a three-horse Roland Stable entry and managed a 1:54.4 score over Blazing Fury (Magee) and stablemate I Do It Myself (Roland) in the pacing mares contest. The 5-year-old mare, owned by Roland, won for the 12th time in her career and increased her bankroll to $58,000.
The older horses and gelding pace was captured by recently claimed It's Getting Hairy, with Steve Wiseman driving for trainer Tim Maier and owner Denise Maier. The 4-year-old, plucked for $10,500 two starts back, bested Restless Yankee (Roland) and Ya U Bet Cha (Yoder) in an impressive 1:52.3. It was the sixth season's score for the winner who now boasts almost $70,000 in lifetime earnings.