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Luke Plano Scores 3,000th Win

Published: August 3, 2016 9:49 am ET

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After sweeping the Running Aces' late Daily Double on Sunday night to achieve his 2,999th career win, Luke Plano wasted no time in reaching the 3,000-win plateau on Tuesday.

The big milestone came Tuesday's first race with Majorley($5.80), a nine-year-old Art Major gelding owned and trained by Edwin Quevedo. Plano got away in the pocket from post one, then quickly brushed to the lead just past the quarter pole. The result was never in doubt after that with Majorley scoring by a length in 1:55.1.

“When you reach the edge of one of these big milestone numbers, it’s easy to get stuck in that 'one-away' holding pattern, so I was very happy to be able to get it right away in Race 1 tonight,” said Plano.

For good measure he added another win a few races later to get a jump start on the next 1,000.

Luke Plano was born in Ohio, and is the son of another great horseman and top driving talent Rick Plano. He makes his home in Sacramento, California and is one of the most sought-after drivers at Cal-Expo Harness each season. The 36-year-old driver was a runaway winner in the driver’s standings this past season at the west coast track, which is where he started his driving career back in 2000. Since then he has steadily become a very talented reinsman, picking up at least 150 wins every year since 2005. His best year to date was in 2011, when he piloted 269 winners and racked up $660,354 in purses.

Plano has been campaigning at Running Aces during summers for the past several years now, and has been among the Top 5 Drivers at the Minnesota Oval since his arrival. Last season, while competing here at Aces, Luke surpassed the $10 million dollar purse earnings threshold. He's currently fourth in the Aces' dash-winning standings this season,

In addition to being a sought after catch-driver, Luke also trains a small stable of horses. His trainees have had 14 wins and 42 top-three finishes in 105 races so far this meet in Minnesota.

The Tuesday night feature was the $13,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace, and the “Party Girl” Party Hangover Two did not disappoint with a dominating performance in the contest. Leaving from Post 8 in the nine-horse affair, trainer-driver Steve Wiseman used his mare’s tactical speed to sprint from the gate and they found the lead just after the :27.2 quarter. From there it was never in doubt for the talented five-year-old by Party At Artsplace, winning in 1:54.2. With a record of eight wins from 12 starts, she now has $44,070 in the bank this season by virtue of her 8-for-12 record forowners Kathy Plested, Barbara and Donald Arnstine, and Stephen Chambers. Party Hangover Two returned just $2.40 as part of a two-horse entry in the wagering. Tonight’s performance adds to a laundry list of her big wins here at Running Aces over the past two years, all of them at the top level.

Firedrake, a three-year-old gelding pacer by Dragon Again, was an absolute monster on Tuesday with a scintillating performance in a $5,500 conditioned event. He started from Post 7 for trainer/driver Nick Roland, who sent him storming out of the gate to an immediate lead. From there he posted fractions of :28.2, :58 and 1:25.3 before motoring home in :27.3 to post a two-length win. Race favourite Dakota Jack (Steve Wiseman) sat in the pocket and tried to mount a stretch rally, but there would be no getting to Firedrake. He paced away from his closest rival and stopped the clock in a lifetime best 1:53.1, with the last half mile in a very impressive :55.1. This super-nice pacer is owned by Set The Pace Racing LLC and has now won six of 12 lifetime starts.

(with files from Running Aces)


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