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Firedrake Dominates At Running Aces

Published: July 24, 2017 12:46 pm ET

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Running Aces’ Sunday, July 23 program featured the $35,000 Dan Patch Free For All Pace, and the event drew a talented field of seven contenders who had collectively earned more than $2.1 million and won 187 races in their respective careers.

The contest wound up being dominated by the horse who came into the race with perhaps the least credentials in purses and wins, but perhaps one of the biggest hearts of all in the field, as Firedrake ($13.20) posted a sparkling gate-to-wire performance and absolutely dominated the affair.

Trainer/driver Nick Roland sent the four-year-old Dragon Again gelding right to the lead from Post 5 and controlled everything through moderate early splits (:28 and :56.2). He then faced a strong challenge and heavy pressure from race favourite and Midwest pacing dynamo Roland N Rock past the three-quarters of a mile marker in 1:25.

Firedrake had plenty of answers for Roland N Rock (who was driven by Steve Wiseman) and the rest of the field, as he turned back all challenges and turned on the afterburners. He sprinted home in :27.1 for the biggest win of his career, a two and a quarter-length victory in 1:52.1 to capture the Dan Patch FFA Trophy. Megatron (James Yoder) was up for second and Roland N Rock was home third.

Firedrake winning the $35,000 Dan Patch FFA with trainer/driver Nick Roland (Dee Leftwich)

Firedrake is no stranger to the winner's circle, in fact he has crossed the wire first in nine of his 10 starts this year. He suffered his only defeat to Roland N Rock in last week's $15,000 Dan Patch Preview.

Firedrake was unraced at age two, and had a great season at three with six wins and five seconds in 15 starts (most of which took place at Running Aces). The razor-sharp pacer is owned by Jessica Johnson and now shows 14 wins in 25 lifetime starts and $59,624.

Also on the Sunday card, Al Mar Money Glide ($65.00) pulled a big upset in the $13,000 Minnesota-Sired Three-Year-Old Trot, as he posted his first lifetime win in what was his seventh trip to the gate. He stopped the timer in 2:01.1 with Steve Wiseman aboard for trainer Brady Jenson and owner Larry Jo Jenson. The gelding is by Money Talks.

Driver Steve Wiseman posted another Grand Slam for his second consecutive night with four wins on the card. Nick Roland and Luke Plano both picked up driving doubles.

The 20-cent Jackpot Pick 5 pool continues to grow, as there is a carryover of $15,648.83 heading in to the track’s Tuesday night (July 25) program. There is also a carryover of $2,575.41 for the Race 11 Hi-5 wager on Tuesday.

(With files from Running Aces)

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