Catching up Nick Roland 

Nick has been at Running Aces since it opened in 2008. He has held the top driver and trainer
title multiple times over the years. Roland’s stable is one of the larger stables at Running Aces
and currently has over 20 horses.

Nick was raised in the harness racing world, like so many horsemen are. His parents met at the
races as teenagers. His mom’s side of the family has been involved in harness racing since the
1950’s. His dad’s side started in the 1970’s.  He grew up riding on the jog cart with dad and
jogged his first horse alone around 8 or 9 years old. 

What’s the biggest change at Running Aces you’ve seen since opening year? The purses. When
we raced in April of 2008 in the sleet and snow. Bottom was $1,200. Open was about $4,000,
maybe $5,500. 

What’s your favorite part about being in the industry? The people. Everyone here gets along
and looks out for each other. It’s not that way at every track, but the people at Running Aces
are very supportive. 

What’s your favorite track? My favorite pari-mutuel track is Prairie Meadows. (no longer a
harness racing track)

What horse has taught you the most? Gooch’s Bad Boy. He taught me the most about being a
versatile horseman. He also taught me to appreciate a horse you can depend on. There were a
lot of times I needed Gooch to get a check, sometimes a big one and he never let me down.
**Gooch’s Bad Boy is now happily retired at Acres For Life as a therapy horse.

Team Trotter or Team Pacer? I really don’t care. I just like driving good horses. Really good
trotters are rarer, those are a treat to be able to sit behind. (he says with a smile, if this was a
movie, there’d be a flashback scene in black and white to Nick driving a good trotter or two,
with some cheesy music) 

Did you plan on doing this (harness racing) for a living? I always liked racing and was good at it.
My parents insisted I go to college and get a “regular job”. When I got out of college, I worked
for an insurance company. I struggled to make ends meet. I worked there for about a year
before going back to racing horses in 2008 with my sister. 

If you could do anything else for a career, what would it be? Probably be a government
contractor. They seem to be paid well. 

How do you celebrate a good night? How about a bad night? I used to get emotional about
good or bad. Now I try to not get too low or too high. Forget about the bad as soon as possible.
Enjoy the good moments when they come. \

Who is your current favorite horse in the barn? Teachmehowtotory  

What is your favorite announcer’s comment? Like a hound dog backing into a porcupine, he
gone! – Gerry Longo 

Favorite local restaurant here in MN? J Pot in Maplewood

Thank you, Nick, for the interview and good luck on the rest of the season. We’ll be cheering for

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