By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino Hotel and Racetrack
The Thursday (June 9) Harness Racing program at Running Aces was highlighted by the Burning Blaze pacing series Final, which featured a field of eight behind the gate for the $15,000 contest.
Search The Sea drew post one and came into the affair with back-to-back wins in the first two rounds of the series. He was sent off as the overwhelming 1-5 public choice.
Trainer/Driver Brady Jenson wasted little time before sending his charge through the inside lane to take control of the affair and post a :28.1 opening panel, while Rick Magee and 40-1 longshot Headlining left alertly from post four to secure the pocket and outsider Point Me High dropped in third.
Jenson orchestrated a :30.1 breather in the second panel before Snoah and Lion Virgin got rolling from the back of the pack. Search The Sea began to pick up the tempo and opened up by more than two lengths near the three-quarters that was registered in 1:27.3 and he stepped on the gas pedal even further as they rounded for the homestretch.
Search The Sea ($2.40) was well in front as they came through the lane, sailing away from his rivals to post a dominating 8-1/2 length tally in a career best 1:55.4 mile.
The rest of the field was stacked up at the finish and Lion Virgin nosed out Snoah for place, while Point Me High was home fourth.
The winner is a 3-year-old son of Downbytheseaside and is owned by Theresa O’Connell and Michael Rabida.
It was a special moment in the winner’s circle when Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte, the breeders of Burning Blaze made the blanket presentation to Brady Jenson for the series finale win, as they are also Jenson’s God-parents.
Give Me This Dance (Dean Magee, $15.20) converted a pocket trip to capture the $9,700 sophomore Open pace for her tenth win of the year.
Fox Valley Ozzy (Gary Rath) was the 1-9 favorite and led from just past the :28.2 quarter. He got a breather of :29.3 in the second stanza before turning on the speed for the final half mile which was recorded in a very sharp :55.3.
Give Me This Dance vacated the pocket at the head of the lane and the top two posted a thrilling stretch duel with just a neck separating the pair at the wire, while It’ll Be Fine edged out Anotherblazinwoman for third in the 1:53.3 mile.
The winner is a filly by Wind Me Up and is owned by Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte and trained by Justin Anfinson.
The $16,500 Mares Open Handicap Pace was a repeat performance for race favorite Rockin With Lou and driver Dean Magee.
They settled away at the back of the pack while Gottalovemyshadow and Tenthousand Angels went for the front positions.
Magee got underway with Rockin With Lou ($3.60) before the half mile juncture and continued a first over grind, taking the lead at the top of the lane and powering clear to post a 2-1/4 length tally in 1:53.3 over Shesureissomething and Gottalovemyshadow.
It was the tenth victory of the season from sixteen starts for the five year old daughter of Sweet Lou, who is owned and trained by Gerald Longo.
Driver Nick Roland led the program with three wins, while Dean Magee, Luke Plano and Brady Jenson all posted doubles. Jenson also had two training wins, as did Michael Campbell.
Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (June 12) featuring Pepsi Family Night. The Pick-5 Jackpot wager has a carryover of $20,423.58 as racing gets underway at 7:00 pm (CDT).