By Darin Gagne for Running Aces Casino, Hotel and Racetrack
The Thursday night (June 16) Harness Racing program at Running Aces was loaded with featured pacing events with the $16,500 Mares Open Handicap Pace took top billing.
The distaff feature drew a field of seven and Rockin With Lou was the talk of the tote-board from post 7, as she was looking for her third conservative win.
When the starter said go, it was Avaya Hanover and driver Mooney Svendsen who were the fastest from the line and they took the front as Hottieonthehorizon (Nick Roland) was forced to accept the two-hole trip. Rockin With Lou got away at the back of the pack.
The early fractions were fairly tepid (:28.2 and :58.1) which prompted Tenthousand Angels (Like Plano) to get going with a first-over bid and Gottalovemyshadow and driver James Lackey to also join the charge from mid-pack.
Avaya Hanover responded to the outside challengers with a :27.3 third panel and swung for home with a one length lead, but Gottalovemyshadow ($18.00) proved fastest in the lane in a thrilling blanket finish to post a half-length tally in 1:54.3 over Hottieonthehorizon and Avaya Hanover.
The winner is an 8-year-old daughter of Shadow Play and is owned by Joe Scanio, Maria Alvarez and James Cosenza and trained by Alvarez. She now shows 30 career wins and $274,157 in earnings.
The $16,500 Minnesota-sired sophomore filly pace went to Kitty Wampus (Svendsen) for her second career win. She got away third and sat patiently while stablemates Anotherblazinwoman and Give Me This Dance traded turns on the lead.
Down the backstretch and around the far turn, Give Me This Dance opened up on the field, but in the lane Kitty Wampus angled out and was loaded with pace, unleashing a very impressive deep-stretch charge to get up by a nose over heavy favorite Give Me This Dance in 1:54.3.
Kitty Wampus ($17.80) is a daughter of It’s That Time and is owned by her breeders Van Otterloo Stables and trained by Brett Ballinger.
The $16,500 sophomore male division went to Curvsreasyondaeyes (Plano) who worked out a perfect pocket trip while Antetokounmpo (Rick Magee) made the pace and Fiffer Feffer Fef (Svendsen) challenged most of the way while Lovin On You (Dean Magee) followed with cover.
Deep in the stretch the top four were fanned across the track and Plano was able to send Curvsreasyondaeyes ($28.80) through the inside lane to post a half-length victory over Lovin’ On You and Antetokounmpo in the 1:56.2 mile.
The winner is a son of Easy Again and owned by his breeder Kati Sokolowski and trained by Maria Alvarez.
The $13,000 Mares Open II Handicap went to Sweet Young Thing (Svendsen) who converted a pocket trip into a one length score in 1:54.1 for her fourth win in 15 starts this year.
Kiss On The Lips (Roland) was second best and Always Choose Chip (Jenson) rallied for third.
The winner is owned by Sal Wenceslao and is trained by Bob Johnson.
The $9,000 Mares Open III went to Lickcreek Speedway (Jenson, $12.20) who posted a gate-to-wire effort in 1:54.2 over Biggiessecondshot (Brian Detgen) and Easy Three (Rick Magee). The winner is owned and trained by Emilio Cisneros.
Mooney Svendsen, Nick Roland, Brady Jenson and Maria Alvarez all posted doubles on the Thursday card.
Live Racing returns to Running Aces for the Father’s Day program on Sunday (June 19) with first post at 7 p.m. (CDT).