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Running Aces Opens 2019 Season

Published: May 18, 2019 10:59 pm ET

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The 2019 Minnesota harness racing season got underway on Saturday, May 18 with Running Aces hosting their opening night of racing.

The Opening night card at Running Aces featured the $14,000 Open Handicap Pace for horses & geldings headlined by Stuckey Dote, the 6-5 morning line favourite entering off a career-best mile at El Dorado Scioto Downs in 1:50.3.

Stuckey Dote got in gear early with a sweeping move into the first turn to establish the lead over Firedrake, who got away quickly from post 6 and secured the pocket through a :27.2 opener. Driver Rick Magee settled his charge down on the front and registered a breather to a :57 half. From there they weathered a challenge from King Of The Crop to the 1:26.3 third quarter while Firedrake continued to draft. Stuckey Dote paced home strong to register a three-and-a-quarter length tally over King Of The Crop and Firedrake in 1:54.1 for his 30th win from 90 starts. Brett Ballinger trains the winner for owner Merlin Van Oterloo.

Longshots dominated the middle part of the opening-night program, with Brushin Albert and Dean Magee registering a 16-1 upset in the third contest, paying a $34.20 mutuel. Race 4 was won by Cenalta Cougar ($44.80) with driver Tim Maier, who would go on to lead the night with three wins. The longshot trail continued in Race 5 when Trinitysfancyfilly and Brian Detgen scored for a $21.60 payout.

Stuckey Dote delivered in the featured seventh as the favorite, and Tim Maier completed both halves of the late double while favoured in both events (Fox Valley Nemitz, paying $3.80, and Crystal Hotspur paying $5.20)

Live racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday, May 19 with first-race post time at 6:00 p.m. (CDT).

(with files from Running Aces)

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