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Opens To Roland N Rock, Banker Volo

Published: August 1, 2016 12:41 am ET

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The regular Sunday night feature at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack is the $13,000 Open Handicap Pace for horses and geldings and the July 31 edition was another great contest with a very talented field of nine facing the gate, but there was one horse that stole the show.

“Rocky,” a four-year-old by Rocknroll Hanover who goes by the official name of Roland N Rock (his more intimate fans call him "Rocky"), took command of this field and served immediate notice to his rivals that this was his night to shine at Running Aces. He put forth a never-in-doubt, commanding gate-to-wire performance (his best ever locally), in 1:51.4, missing the track record for four-year-old gelding pacers by just a tick of the clock.

"Rocky" is no stranger to success, in fact he won his first 18 lifetime races and took the Midwest by storm. He spent his three-year-old campaign knocking heads with the best horses in the sport, including Freaky Feet Pete and Wiggle It Jiggleit, and while he did not rise to the very top of that group, he certainly did not shame himself, earning $132,705 at three and counting a Grand Circuit win at Goshen and a 1:51.1 mark at Hoosier Park amongst his accomplishments.

As a four-year-old, he started his campaign out east once again, facing the toughest four-year-old pacers around before making the pilgrimage back home to Iowa and his adoring owners Connie and Duane Roland. Since his Midwest return, he has raced at Aces four times now, with two wins, and a close third (by a neck) to his credit, but tonight’s performance really was a shining display of his immense talent, and add that to back-to-back track record smashing performances at three Iowa fairs this summer and you have an idea of just how great this horse really is.

The final tally tonight was a four and a quarter length win over Im An Athlete (Jim Marino) and Bettormeboy (Rick Magee). The betting public made no mistake here, as Roland N Rock delivered as the 4-5 choice, with Nick Roland in the sulky, returning $3.80.

The Saturday night (July 30) harness racing feature at Running Aces was the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot and it was Banker Volo ($5.80) who returned to his winning form and posted his seventh victory of the season in just his ninth start.

When the gates swung open, there were five horses leaving and trying for the top early positions, so trainer/driver Nick Roland took Banker Volo back to drop in sixth in the early stages and let the fractions set up for him; he sat through the :27.4 quarter, then took the opportunity to pick up second over cover past the half-mile pole in :57.1. Roland then followed that cover to fourth on the outside at three-quarters in 1:26.2 before the duo came charging home in the stretch in :29.3 to post a one-length victory in 1:56.2, with pacesetter Wheres The Clicker (Tim Maier) checking in second, and a dead-heat for third between Explosive Muscles (Gerald Longo) and Flameon (Dean Magee).

With tonight’s win, Banker Volo padded his seasonal bankroll to $34,177 for owners Daniel and Jeralene Roland.

(With files from Running Aces)

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