By DarinGagne – For Running Aces
Alilthundadownunda stole the show at Running Aces on Tuesday night (May 24) when he swept from last to first in the $16,500 Harness Racing feature.
Sent off as the 5-1 second choice in the deeply talented six horse contest, Alilthundadownunda and trainer/driver Nick Roland were content to settle away in last position from post four, as Way To Close (Rick Magee) set the pace and tried to make it two Open wins in a row.
Heavy favorite A Major Omen (Mooney Svendsen) tried to get by the leader early but was parked-out through the solid early pace of :26.4, and 55 flat. Bombay Hanover (Luke Plano) tipped out for cover but A Major Omen was throwing in the towel as they rounded past the three-quarters in 1:23.1 and Alilthundadownunda started to roll from the back of the pack and made a three-wide move to draw within three lengths of the leader.
As they straightened for home, Alilthundadownunda surged alongside Way To Close and those two battled to the wire with Alilthundadownunda ($13.00) getting there first by a neck. EL’s Disco Johnny (Dean Magee) was home third over Chase The Gold (Brian Detgen).
The winner is a four year old son of Malaak Uswaad N and is owned by Set The Pace Racing. He now shows five wins in 12 starts this season and 26 career tallies with a bankroll of $233,594. After a stellar sophomore campaign in Minnesota in 2021, he was named harness horse of the year in the state and he clearly has been able to step up to the plate against the top aged pacers in his first two tests of the new Minnesota season.
The first leg of the Linkjack Hanover pacing series were also contested on Tuesday night, with Artspire ($4.80) taking the first division in 1:55.1 and Giggle Monster ($3.20) taking the second split in 1:55. Both are owned by Set The Pace Racing, and trained and driven by Nick Roland.
Roland led the card with a driving grand slam and a training triple, while both Luke Plano and Dean Magee posted driving doubles and Liberio Pacheco registered a training double.