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Firedrake Breaks Aces Track Record

Published: September 4, 2017 1:57 pm ET

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The Sunday evening (September 3) harness racing program at Running Aces was highlighted by the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for horses and geldings, and once again it did not disappoint as the talented field of seven put on an exciting show. After the dust cleared at the wire, Firedrake etched his name into the history books with a track record-setting victory.

Firedrake, the four-year-old gelding sensation by Dragon Again, has posted a fantastic campaign at Running Aces in 2017. He was nearly undefeated in his first eight races (save a disqualification early in the season), and he won the $35,000 Dan Patch Free-For-All Pace (1:52.1) in July. Now, he has added a track record to his impressive four-year-old resume.

Trainer-driver Nick Roland sent Firedrake fast off the gate from post six, utilising his early speed to take the first call before yielding to rival Bestinthebusiness (James Yoder), who was looking to build on a three-race winning streak. Bestinthebusiness cleared from post seven just past the fast :26.4 quarter-pole clocking, and led through the middle panels of :56.1 and 1:23.2 while pressured by a strong first-over attack from Lodi Machette Man (Steve Wiseman).

Lodi Machette Man was still at the throatlatch of Bestinthebusiness as they turned for the money and JDs Brent N Sheree launched three-wide, but Firedrake was waiting in the garden seat that he had secured early on. Roland pointed Firedrake up the inside, and the pair rallied past their tough rivals to get the victory. The tally is his ninth of the season, and a lifetime best 1:51.2 mile that eclipsed the previous track mark from 2013 (Tyber Tyke, Nick Roland 1:51.3).

Firedrake ($5.60) has now won 15 of his 30 lifetime races, and has bankrolled $69,404. He is owned by Jessica Johnson.

The $13,000 Minnesota-sired three-year-old also went to post on Sunday, and Imapixieatmidnight ($6.60) did not disappoint her faithful backers as she posted a flawless mile for her fifth win of the season. Trainer-driver Nick Roland guided her away from the gate to the pocket position from post four, and took command of affairs just past the five-eighths checkpoint, with enough in the tank to hold off a late challenge from Its Stormin Money (Steve Wiseman). The half-length victory in 2:00.2 equalled the lifetime best for the filly by Sos Lunar Eclipse, who now shows nine lifetime wins and $79,677 in earnings for owners Set The Pace Racing, LLC.

Roland led all drivers on Sunday night with a driving double on the card.

Live racing continues at Running Aces three nights a week through September 16.

(Running Aces)

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