By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel and Racetrack
August 10, 2022
The $16,500 Open Handicap went to post as the featured event on Tuesday night (August 9) at Running Aces with a six-pack of top level pacers lining up behind the starting gate in race seven on the nine race program.
Caliber was the talk of the tote-board at 4-5 while A Major Omen was sent off as the 9-5 second choice.
Caliber blasted off the gate from post five to take immediate control during the :27 opening panel as driver Luke Plano settled him into a nice rhythm on the front. SB Bodacious tracked intently from the pocket while Shark Play travelled in third.
The middle half was very solid (:55.4) and Caliber remained in full command throughout. Alilthundadownunda (Brian Detgen) made a first-over bid down the backside and A Major Omen picked up the cover from last, but they were not able to get close to Caliber as he straightened for home with two lengths to spare. A Major Omen rallied on the far outside to nap the second spot and SB Bodacious checked in third in the 1:51.2 mile.
The margin of victory for Caliber ($3.60) was 1-1/4 lengths. He now shows seven wins in 19 starts this year for owners Terrence Smith and Tony Beltrami and trainer Maria Alvarez. The 5-year-old son of Sweet Lou has now earned $227,359 from 41 career races.
Hoo Nien A (Tony Kerwood, $6.60) annexed the $13,000 Open II Handicap pace with an impressive rally from last-to-first in 1:54.2 to tally three wins in a row. Bombay Hanover (Plano) also posted a closing effort to pick up second. Albergo Hanover (Lackey) went a first-over trip to check in third.
The winner is a 10-year-old son of Always A Virgin and is owned and trained by Gerald Longo. He now shows 34 career wins and has bankrolled $253,979 to date.
Brady Jenson was Toast of Tuesday night, posting a driving Grand Slam and a training double.
His four driving wins included $41.80 winner Bunkerhill Bill, along with Sneaky Hill ($4.00), Zanetti ($3.20) and Fort Apache Scout ($27.60).
He completed the training double on the card with Sneaky Hill, and Headlining (Plano, $11.80).
Over the last month or so, Jenson has been steadily climbing the ladder in the standings for both drivers (now fourth) and trainers (now third).
Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Thursday (August 11) with first post at 7 p.m. (CDT) and will feature a carryover of $7,180.83 in the 20-cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager.