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Roland N Rock Sweeps Clear At Aces

Published: July 17, 2017 12:13 am ET

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The Sunday night (July 16) harness racing program at Running Aces featured the $15,000 Dan Patch Preview as a prep race for the $35,000 (est.) Dan Patch Free For All Pace, sponsored by Watch and Wager, on Sunday, July 23.

The field of six for the preview was loaded with talent, and after the dust cleared, the two most impressive contenders came out on top and look poised to be the favorites going in to next week’s signature event.

Megatron (James Yoder) was making his first local appearance, shipping in from Ohio where he had faced the top Open races, and he fired to the early lead (:27.2) from post 4, but quickly yielded to SF Donttellonme (Joe Casagranda), who was fresh off a 1:52.1 lifetime mark in the top local pace last out. SF Donttellonme controlled the middle portions of the race (:55.3 and 1:24), but was unable to sustain tonight, as heavy favorite Roland N Rock (Steve Wiseman), coming in with a seven-race winning streak, made a huge sweeping move around the last turn to take the lead and draw away for his eighth consecutive win. He remains prefect at Running Aces this season with a three-for-three record.

The extremely popular five-year-old by Rocknroll Hanover stopped the clock in 1:51.3 tonight for a seasonal best time. He is owned by Duane and Connie Roland and trained by Duane Roland.

Firedrake was sent off as the 4-1 second choice from post one in the big preview race, and he was locked in tightly for most of the mile, but found room late to fire through the inside lane and pick up second money, 2-1/2 lengths behind Roland N Rock ($3.00). Firedrake (Nick Roland) came into tonight’s contest having crossed the wire first in each of his eight starts this season, but had suffered a disqualification early in the meet. This was his biggest test to date and he raced well to be clearly second best.

Barbosa posted another sharp gate-to-wire victory, earning his third in a row and his fifth local win of the season tonight as part of a driving triple for his trainer Luke Plano. Barbosa ($4.80), a six-year-old pacing gelding by General Aidid, stopped the timer tonight in 1:54.4 in a $7,000 claiming-conditioned event for owner Heather Mathews. Plano sent his pacer right to the lead from post six in the nine-horse affair, setting reasonable fractions of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.1 before posting a strong final quarter of :28.3 to seal the deal and register his 27th career win.

The $13,000 Minnesota-sired three-year-old filly trot went to Imapixieatmidnight, who earned her third win of the season. Trainer-driver Nick Roland guided her away into an early pocket position before sweeping to the lead down the and holding on gamely in the stretch for the 2:01.4 tally. The SOS Lunar Eclipse filly has earned $28,693 in nine starts this season for owners Set The Pace Racing LLC.

Driver Nick Roland picked up yet another impressive grand slam on the Sunday card, with Steve Wiseman and Luke Plano winning three races apiece.

The next card of live harness racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night (July 18) at 7:00 p.m. Central time, with a carryover in the 20-cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager of $11,895.51.

(Running Aces)

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