During the course of our much-anticipated 2022 season, the Voice of Running Aces, Darin Gagne, will share with us throughout the season.
A special shout out goes to Aaron and the great folks at RA in letting us share in the updates throughout the 2022 season!
Running Aces set for opening of 2022 Race Season
By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack
May 12, 2022
Columbus, MN –
Running Aces Casino, Hotel and Racetrack in Minnesota is set for the start of its fifteenth season of Live Harness Racing, with an opening night card of eight races on Sunday, May 15.
The 2022 season will offer live action on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights with a new first post time of 7:00 pm. There will be a total of 56 nights of racing, culminating with special race programs on Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17 for the track’s traditional Championship weekend. There is also a special Wednesday race card on August 3rd.
The opening card offers 8 races with a $16,500 feature in race six on the program in the Open Handicap Trot, which has drawn a talented field of 8 contenders, including 3-1 morning line favorite Mandeville with Luke Plano driving for owner/trainer Gerald Longo and starting from post seven. Mandeville has won 7 of 10 outings this year. Mind Yown Business, who drew post eight, has been listed at 4-1 with Dean Magee driving for trainer Brady Jenson, and owners Dirk Simpson Stables and Larry Barnett. Race 8 on the program offers eight more talented trotters in the $13,000 Open II Handicap, where Silverhill Volo has been installed as the 3-1 choice for owner/trainer James Lackey, while Bordogna is listed at 7-2 with Rick Magee steering for trainer Justin Anfinson and owners Cathy Dessert and Ken Stauffer.
Racing Director Steve Carpenito shared the following thoughts about the new season at Running Aces: “We are very excited about the 2022 race meet at Running Aces … We are set to distribute record purse money this year and I expect full fields and exciting racing over our five-eighths mile oval, it should be one of the best meets ever in Minnesota.”
Horses will be competing for record purses of more than $6 million this season, an increase of $2 million or about 50 percent over last year’s total purse payout of $4.18 million. The big increases will favor both the regular overnight races as well as the weekly Minnesota-Sired events, and the special program on closing night in September will feature another record, with over $700,000 in purses for horses in the Minnesota Championship races.
Other major race events over the course of the summer include over $237,000 in Late Closer races- highlighted by the $35,000 Steve Wiseman Memorial FFA trot on Sunday, June 26, the $50,000 Dan Patch FFA pace on Sunday, July 24, and the $35,000 Ron Banks Memorial FFA Mares pace on Sunday, August 14th.
Trainers and horses have made their way to Running Aces from places as far away as Florida, New York, and New Jersey and will join the usual strong contingent of stables from California, as well as stables from Western Canada and Illinois who will compliment the “local” Minnesota stables and those from neighboring states like Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota.
Headlining the stable rosters are several returning champions from last season, including pacer Alilthundadownunda, (Set The Pace Racing/Nick Roland) who won 17 races while setting a new single-season Minnesota earnings record of over $124,000 last summer at age 3. Top Open pacer SB Bodacious is back to take on all challengers in his quest for his third straight aged male pacer of the year title for Rick Magee, while the top Open trotter from 2021, All American N is back on the grounds to take on the best trotters for the Hernandez/Alvarez barn. Other familiar names to watch out for include Minnesota-sired superstars Rush To The Bank (Dan Roland), Coatofmanycolors (Jenni King), and Park With Me Nancy (Justin Anfinson) to name just a few.
Last year’s leading driver/trainer Nick Roland is back to defend his title and try for his seventh local driving Championship. He will be challenged by familiar top drivers like Luke Plano and Minnesota Hall-of-famer Mooney Svendsen as well as Dean Magee, Rick Magee and Brady Jenson to name a few. Additions to the driver colony this year will include Rene Goulet (Alberta), Gary Rath (Illinois), Michael Campbell (Alberta) and Cordarius Stewart (Mississippi). The countdown will be on for one of Running Aces perennial top drivers, Dean Magee, who will start the season just 32 wins away from 5,000 career victories. Magee, 57, is a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin and has been a major force at Running Aces since the track opened. He has won the driving title here 3 times, in 2010, 2011 and 2019.
On the wagering side, Running Aces will continue to offer 10-cent Superfectas, 50-cent Trifectas, 50-cent Late Daily Double, 50-cent Pick-3 and 50-cent Pick-4 wagers. The Late Pick-4 will be guaranteed at $3,000 each racing night. The 20-cent “Place Pick All” wager is also back for 2022 and starts in race one, and the 20-cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager also returns and is offered on the last five races of the program, and the 50-cent Hi-5 wagers will once again be featured in the last two races of the night.
Running Aces also offers a full slate of racing promotions throughout the summer, including “Dollar Night” on Tuesdays, “Thirsty Thursdays”, and “Family Night” on Sundays. Each racing night offers specials on food and beverages as well as chances for guests to win prizes. Sundays offer many activities for kids of all ages and chances to win Jog Cart rides as well. Running Aces is also partnering with local charities for special event nights throughout the season that will offer giveaways and prizes to guests while also supporting worthy causes throughout the community. Visit the Running Aces website www.RunAces.com for the full schedule of events and promotions, as well as handicapping information, entries, results and so much more.