2018 State Champions Shine at Fall Race Meet in Wheaton, Minnesota
Minnesota Night of Champions on September 15th marked the conclusion of a very successful 2018 Race Meet at Running Aces, but the harness racing action continued as Minnesota bred and owned trotters and pacers returned to the track at the historic Traverse County Fairgrounds in Wheaton, Minnesota on Sunday, September 23rd for a great program of County Fair racing.
A large and enthusiastic crowd of harness racing fans watched from their seats in the grandstand as pacers lined up behind the starting gate for Race 1 on a beautiful early Autumn afternoon in rural Minnesota.
Trinitysfancyfilly won the first race in gate to wire fashion for driver and trainer Brian Detgen. With one last day of Fair racing scheduled for Cannon Falls this Friday, September 28th, Detgen is on top of the 2018 County Fair driver standings and is the favorite to win Minnesota County Fair Driver of the Year.
The cleverly named Graburhelmetnhangon placed second for driver Natalie Zabrzenski and trainer Elvin Zimmerman. Flying Fritz and Gitchie Girl were third and fourth in the Minnesota bred two year old pace.
Just eight days after winning the State Championship races for Minnesota bred two year old trotters at Running Aces, MD Magic and Twilight Tinker won their respective divisions again on Sunday in Wheaton.
With Running Aces’ all-time leading driver Nick Roland in the sulky, both juvenile trotting champions triumphed again, both leading from gate to wire.
MD Magic, by Braggart out of the Striking Sahbra mare Magical Debut, has an impressive record of 8 wins and 1 second in 10 lifetime starts for earnings of $68,050.
Nick Roland, who is also Running Aces’ all-time leading trainer, has developed and trains both MD Magic and Twilight Tinker with his longtime girlfriend Jessica Johnson.
Dewey’s Machine and Z Machine finished 2nd and 3rd behind MD Magic in the Minnesota bred trot for two year old colts and geldings, the same exact order of finish as in the $40,000 State Championship race at Running Aces on Minnesota Night of Champions.
Listentomoneytalks was 4th for driver and trainer Jenni King.
With her second consecutive win in Wheaton on Sunday, Twilight Tinker passed $20,000 in lifetime earnings with just 7 lifetime starts. Like MD Magic, Twilight Tinker is by the Minnesota registered stallion Braggart. She is out of the Revenue S mare Tapenade and races for MHRI director Cathy Dessert.
Her full brother, Bragginade, was the Minnesota Champion two year old colt trotter last year, and he was first to cross the finish line in Race 5 on Sunday!
Trained and driven by Nick Roland, Bragginade won a very competitive race. D Incinerator, who raced well all summer at Running Aces, placed second, ahead of his stablemate, Bringoverthemoney, who has dominated this division at Running Aces, with 10 wins, 6 seconds and 2 thirds in 18 starts in 2018 for earnings of $64,732.
Brian Detgen trains both D Incinerator and 2017 Minnesota Fair Trotter of the Year Bringoverthemoney.
In the program’s featured race, 2017 and 2018 Minnesota Champion pacer Dream Chasin won his second consecutive start and 7th in 18 starts this year over a very good field of State bred colts and geldings, which included 2017 Horse of the Year Giggle Monster.
Here Comes Teddy passed $40,000 in purse money won this year with his second place finish for regular driver Brian Detgen and trainer Elvin Zimmerman. Joker John saved ground as the field made two trips around the historic half mile track with an inside trip in a race which featured lots of action and finished third for driver and trainer Nick Roland. Lookingforaplace, who took the lead from pace setting Dream Chasin at the half, hung on for 4th for driver and trainer Jenni King. Giggle Monster and My Muddy Buddy, with owner Justin Van Otterloo in the sulky, completed the field.
Returning to the winner’s circle after his dramatic victory on Minnesota Night of Champions, Dream Chasin closed sharply for driver Natalie Zabrzenski to reclaim the lead at the wire in front of an admiring crowd.
2017 Minnesota Fair Pacer of the Year Dream Chasin has 10 wins 3 seconds and 5 thirds in 31 career starts and earnings of $86,815 for trainer Greg Budach. The homebred son of Fancy Schmancy out of the Francis Albert mare One Wild Apple is owned by Michelle and Greg Budach of Janesville, Minnesota.
Like MD Magic, Twilight Tinker and Dream Chasin before her, Mimi Marguerite followed up her impressive win on Minnesota Night of Champions at Running Aces with a trip to the winner’s circle in Wheaton, her 4th consecutive win. The classy daughter of Braggart out of the Wilson Wyoming mare Wymar’s Image now has 5 wins and 5 seconds in 11 lifetime starts for third generation and 2017 Minnesota Fair trainer of the year Justin Anfinson.
Floatinonthebreeze was second for driver and trainer Jenni King and Frenchkissmebaby was third, starting from the second tier in post position 6.
Rounding out the field were Rock on Ruby for driver and trainer Craig Banks, the winner’s stablemate, Dekker, with Jesse Yoder in the sulky, and 2017 Minnesota Champion two-year-old trotter The Sweetest Thing, racing for driver and trainer Alexia Kehl.
The program concluded with Races 7 & 8, a Free For All Pace and Trot. Veteran Minnesota bred pacers Goodytwosocks and Ya U Bet Cha were first and second in the first FFA, with the pace setter Place’n First hanging on for third.
Goodtwosocks closed fast before an enthusiastic crowd of harness racing fans to win the afternoon’s fastest race for driver and trainer Alexia Kehl. Brian Detgen was in the sulky behind Wendy Haberberg’s fan favorite Ya U Bet Cha, and Jenni King drove and trained Place’n First.
Jenni King also drove and trained French Eclipse who won the afternoon’s last race, a FFA trot. Switcheroo placed second for driver Brian Detgen and trainer Wendy Haberberg, and the Jenni King trainee Whatevershesgot was third with Nick Roland driving. The four year old Whatevershesgot has finished 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in 59 of 75 lifetime starts.
The first horse races in American history were for trotters at the County Fairs, some established as long ago as the early 1800’s, and harness horsemen, agricultural communities and racing fans have continued to support harness racing at County Fairs nationwide ever since.
Minnesota Harness Racing, Inc. and our members gratefully recognize and thank the horsemen who worked so hard to put on a great show in Wheaton on Sunday, September 23rd, and we applaud and thank the enthusiastic harness racing fans who supported what was a most entertaining and memorable program at the historic Traverse County Fairgrounds on a beautiful Fall day in Western Minnesota.