By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel and Racetrack
The $16,500 Mares Open Handicap Pace was one of the featured races on the Thursday night harness racing card at Running Aces, and the event drew a well-matched field of six contestants.
Rockin With Lou (Dean Magee) was sent off as the favorite from post six and floated away from the gate in last position while Avaya Hanover (Mooney Svendsen) charged to the front of the field and Kiss On The Lips (Like Plano) secured the pocket while Shesureissomething (Rick Magee) dropped in third.
The early pace was moderate (:28.2 and ::57.2) and the first move was made by Shesureissomething who came after the leader down the backside, which resulted in a :27.3 third panel battle (1:25). Avaya Hanover fought gamely into the lane but Shesureissomething was getting the best of her and Rockin With Lou was charging hard from the back of the pack. Shesureissomething ($9.40) drew clear by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:54.1 over Rockin With Lou and Avaya Hanover.
The winner is a 5-year-old daughter of So Surreal and now shows 4 wins in 15 starts this year for owners Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte and trainer Justin Anfinson. The $18,000 Minnesota-sired sophomore pace went to Give Me This Dance (Dean Magee, $3.00) who took control just after the quarter and never looked back posting a solid two length tally. Antetokounmpo (Rick Magee) lead early and then travelled in the pocket before trying to come after the leader in the homestretch. He was clearly second best in the 1:55.1 mile. Kitty Wampus (Svendsen) sat third most of the way and held that spot at the finish.
Give Me This Dance is also owned by Alan and Chery Sandbulte and trained by Justin Anfinson. This was her 8th win in 9 starts this year, and the winning time equaled her career best.
The Burning Blaze pacing series got underway with two divisions on Thursday. Brady Jenson trained and drove Search the Sea ($2.30) delivered as the heavy favorite in the first spilt in 1:56.1 and Snoah (Svendsen, $28.40) lit up the board in the second division in 1:57.3 for trainer Bob Johnson.
Luke Plano, Nick Roland, Dean Magee and Rick Magee all recorded driving doubles on the program. Maria Alvarez and Justin Anfinson both had training doubles.
Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (May 29) with first post at 7:00 pm (CDT) and will feature two carryovers. The Pick-5 Jackpot will start at $7,602.52 and the 50 cent Hi-5 has a carryover of $2,003.34 for Race 7.