The Saturday, May 25 harness racing program at Running Aces kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a large crowd and some fantastic races. The card featured $23,000 in purses for the Minnesota-Sired three-year-old pacers, splitting in two divisions by sex.
The $11,500 colts & geldings grouping included 2018 Minnesota Harness Horse of the Year Burning Blaze, who was sent at 1-5 in the wagering, with last-out winner SB Bodacious a clear second choice at 4-1.
Burning Blaze, Stay Humble N Kind and Trump Train all left the gate with speed and scrambled for the front spot, resulting in a :26.2 opening quarter.
Burning Blaze emerged with the lead and Roland backed the second quarter down heading to a :57.4 half before accelerating towards a 1:26.4 third quarter. Trump Train launched a first-over attack just past the five-eighths pole and SB Bodacious picked up the live cover, with Stay Humble N Kind snug in the pocket.
As they rounded for home, the top four were all loaded with pace and Burning Blaze was under siege. Stay Humble N Kind raged forward in the passing lane while SB Bodacious tipped wide and charged late to nail the victory right on the wire, a nose ahead of Stay Humble N Kind with Burning Blaze home in third.
SB Bodacious, a gelded son of Voracious Hanover and Salsa Hanover is now undefeated in two sophomore starts, and posted a career mark of 1:55.3 with his third win. Driver Rick Magee also trains the pacer for owner Mikaela DelGiudice.
The $11,500 filly division went to race-favourite and divisional two-year-old champion Windmeupnwatchmego in her season's debut. She got away fourth and then surged to the front through the backstretch before easily pulling away from the field to score a three-and-three-quarter length tally in 1:56.2. Dean Magee was the winning driver for trainer Gordon Graham and owner Richard Davelaar.
Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) remained razor-sharp, capturing the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for the second-straight week while winning his third in a row. He fired fast from post 8 and posted a :26.1 opening quarter to establish command. From there he was never in doubt and scored a one-length tally in 1:52.2 for his fourth win of the year for owner Merlin Van Oterloo. Rick Magee drove the winner for trainer Brett Ballinger.
Live racing returns to Running Aces Sunday, May 26, with first post at 6:00 p.m. (CDT).
(with files from Running Aces)