During Running Ace's Tuesday night (May 23) harness racing program, there was a dramatic finish in the $18,500 featured Open Handicap Pace and a new track record was achieved in the process.
Saddle Up (Dean Magee) was sent off as the 4-5 public choice from post six in the seven-horse affair and wasted no time asserting himself in the contest, leaving fastest of all to easily make the front while American Dreamer (Todd Warren) also left sharply and secured the pocket.
Saddle Up maintained firm control while posting fast early fractions of :26.4 and :54.4 before Macs Marvel was activated first-up by driver Luke Plano near the five-eighths juncture and quickly joined the leader as they rounded the far turn, with American Dreamer a close third.
In the lane, Saddle Up dug in gamely as Macs Marvel surged outside and American Dreamer challenged inside for a thrilling three-way battle to the finish line which put the photo finish camera to the test. The win photo revealed Macs Marvel had gotten home a head in front of Saddle Up and a neck in front of American Dreamer in a stunning 1:50.3 mile.
The impressive clocking also lowered the track mark for four-year-old gelding pacers by one-fifth of a second and established a career mark for Macs Marvel.
The son of Captaintreacherous now has 10 wins in 47 career starts and earnings of $114,870. He is owned by Jose Cervantes and Terrence Smith, and is trained by Williams Hernandez. Macs Marvel paid $13.80 to win.
Biggiessecondshot (Brady Jenson, $7.60) powered home to capture her $9,000 division of the first leg of the Linkjack Hanover Series by a head over Always Close (Brad Irvine) in a seasonal best 1:54. The win was her fourth win in her last five starts for owner/trainer Bob Johnson.
Officer Jim (Todd Warren, $2.60) dominated the second $9,000 split with a 1-1/4-length tally in 1:51.4 for his 10th win in 13 starts this year for owner Debra McCarthy and trainer Gordon Graham.
Luke Plano had a big night on Tuesday with four driving wins while Brady Jenson posted a driving double.
Live harness racing returns to Running Aces on Thursday night (May 25) with an 11-race program, which will feature first-round action in the Burning Blaze Pacing Series and a carryover of $7,092.89 in the 20-cent Pick-5 wager. The action gets underway with first post at 7 p.m. (CDT).
(With files from Running Aces)