The claiming races do not produce story headlines on a regular basis at most harness racing tracks, but one of the top performances of the night on Sunday, Aug. 27 at Running Aces came in such a contest.
Lovin On You, who is a Minnesota-sired four-year-old pacer by Easy Again, posted his sixth win of the season with a breathtaking rally from last-to-first while making up six lengths in the final sixteenth of a mile to capture his second straight win.
This winning performance was exciting and eye-catching enough by itself, but the fact that he did exactly the same thing last week made it far more impressive and noteworthy. In both cases, he posted the fastest final quarter of any horse on the program (:28.1 this week and :27.3 last week) and his 1:54.1 mile this week was also the fastest of the night. Last week, he did it from post eight and this week from post nine.
Brady Jenson was in the driver’s seat for both of these two wins and had not driven him since last September. Jenson is definitely no stranger to success with the bay gelding and has had at least one winning trip behind him each year of the pacer's career so far.
In this week’s contest, Bunkerhill Phil (Kevin Wallis) went to the front in the $8,600 affair while Alwayss Close (Sean Smithpeters) yielded for the pocket trip and Urkillinmesmalls (Todd Warren) secured third through a fast early fraction in :26.4 before Bunkerhill Phil throttled the speed down for the middle stages (:56.4 and 1:25).
Lovin On You put in a rough step or two before the half but was able to regain his composure immediately and join a clogged outer flow that included Always Close and Bunkerhill Bill.
The field began to fan out as they swung for home and Bunkerhill Phil fought gamely with Always Close advancing late, but once Jenson had clear sailing with Lovin On You, they flew home on the far outside and went by the leaders like a flash of lightning, posting a three-quarter of a length victory over Bunkerhill Phil, who just held second from Way To Close.
The winning owner is Dave Dobbelmann and the winning trainer is Edwin Quevedo. Lovin On You ($6.80) has now earned $128,652 from 44 career races.
Bringoverthemoney ($2.40) absolutely dominated the $15,000 Minnesota-sired aged trot event with seasonal best 1:54.3 win by more than 11 lengths over Hearduwhispermynam (Chip Lackey) and Wilamar Spark (Jenson). Mooney Svendsen was the winning pilot for owner Joshua Horvat and trainer Katie Horvat. The eight-year-old Money Talks gelding now has 35 career wins and earnings of $331,025.
BPs Lucky Star (Svendsen, $7.40) converted a perfect pocket trip into his seventh victory of the season, posting a one-length tally over Iron Sharpens Iron (Luke Plano) in 1:55 to take the $18,250 sophomore colt trot for trainer Rick Huffman, who also owns with Brenda Lovetinsky and Penny Lundell. The impressive son of For You Almostfree has now earned $74,384 this season.
Wisco Tootsie (Rick Magee, $3.20) posted another impressive win in the $18,250 sophomore filly trot to advance to four wins in a row and the Southwind Flash miss equalled her career best with another 2:00.1 mile. She checked in 3-1/2 lengths better than Caronamar (Warren) and longshot Sdiwanabaracehorse (Brian Detgen). Wisco Tootsie (Southwind Flash) is owned by The Sandstone Social Club and is trained by Dan Roland. She has now earned $58,873 on the season.
Stride The Hill (Wallis, $4.40) made the best of a two-hole trip to capture his second straight $18,250 Open Handicap Trot victory, stopping the timer at 1:55 while 1-1/4 lengths in front of Perlucky (Warren) with Chiplosive (Jenson) rounding out the $52 trifecta. The winner is a four-year-old gelding by Muscle Hill, owned by A Piece Of The Action and trained by Jenni King.
Drivers Mooney Svendsen, Kevin Wallis and Luke Plano all posted doubles on the Sunday program.
Live harness racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, Aug. 29 for a nine-race program that will feature a carryover of $15,390.21 in the 20-cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager. First post is set for 7 p.m. (CDT).
(With files from Running Aces)