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Back to Bedford for Iowa harness racing
Saturday, June 03, 2017 - by Gretchen Springer, for Iowa Harness Horse Association

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Bedford, IA --- Pacers and trotters hit the track for the first of 10 race meets featuring Iowa-registered older horses.

The trotters kicked off the meet with a field of five – four 4-year-olds and the 8-year-old Iowa veteran King Rail. Put It On Ice settled in the front, trotting to the half in 1:01.3, where The Winnin Dollar made a move from the middle of the pack to challenge the early leaders. The Winnin Dollar passed the three-quarters in 1:33.1 with Put It On Ice tight on his tail. After slowly gaining on the field, King Rail swung three wide at the head of the stretch, but The Winnin Dollar maintained his position crossing the wire in 2:05.1. King Rail was second and Put It On Ice was third.

Photo courtesy of the Iowa Harness Horse Association
The Winnin Dollar continues his winning ways for a new stable at the Bedford Fair on Saturday.

Owned by Jesse Delong of Clinton, Wisconsin, the SOS Lunar Eclipse gelding just recently made his way to the Carey Stable. He is trained and driven by Curtis Carey.

“Last week was the first time I'd ever drove him; I kinda got him in a bad spot and he made a break,” said Carey. “This week I was able to keep him out of trouble a little more and when I saw someone coming I pulled him first-over and let him trot. He was strong to the wire.”

The Pick-a-Winner crowd heavily favored Iowa champion Roland N Rock in the pace for older horses and he lived up to expectations. Free-legged pacer Rockme Amadeous lead to the half in 1:00.2, where both Roland N Rock and Kiowa Creek Rocket tipped out to challenge. Roland N Rock fought to the front, passing the three-quarters in 1:29, then cruised home in 1:58.3 with Duane Roland in the bike. Rockme Amadeous was second and Kiowa Creek Rocket was third.

Owned by Duane and Connie Roland, Roland N Rock raced his first start at Bedford in 2015. This win was the first of many to come his 2-year-old season, culminating with a 1:52.2 performance in the American National Stake.

“He's back to Bedford,” said Duane Roland. “We didn't really know what we had as a 2-year-old; he's come a long way since then.

"People have asked me, 'Why'd you bring him back?'” he continued.

The Rolands are used to questions about why they're racing Roland N Rock in Iowa. After tough competition on a national stage each winter, the horse makes his way back home where his owners can enjoy him over the summer.

“I didn't get to drive him last year,” says Roland, referring to a hand injury that kept him out of the race bike, “So we're glad to have him back; he's just fun to race.”

The Bedford meet continued with 2-year-old trotter Bust-N-Tough breaking his maiden in 2:14.2 for driver Mark Mintun and trainer/lessee Garry Phillips. The -year-3old trotter Awaygoesthecrown bested his field in 2:08 for driver/trainer Rick Huffman. Huffman owns the And Away We Go gelding along with Larry Mather and CD Huffman.

There were two fields of 3-year-old pacers. Driver Jason Ludwig piloted his way to the winner's circle in just his second driving start behind HF Card in 2:09. The Marced Card gelding is owned by Roger Roland and trained by Duane Roland.

The second pace went to maiden Meltdownshymntohm in 2:13.3, owned by Wilda McDanel and trained and driven by Cary Sturtz.

Iowa racing action resumes Sunday (June 11) at 12:30 p.m. in Central City at the Linn County Fairgrounds.

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