The card of racing was fantastic, overflowing with exciting and well matched contests and impressive performances. The big event on the card was the North Metro Pace sporting a $20,000 purse that drew a very talented field of Open level pacers.
SF Donttellonme (Joe Casagranda) was the talk of the toteboard (8-5) and the top pick of track handicappers, making his Running Aces return after a two-year hiatus from the Columbus five-eighths-mile track where he posted a strong campaign in 2017 and took a 1:51.1 mark. Annihilator (Dean Magee) and Holdingallthecards (Tim Maier) were both well supported at just over 3-1 and King Of The Crop (Steve Wiseman) was the only other horse sent off at odds in the single digits (6-1).
The gate sped away with Holdingallthecards in hot pursuit from post eight for the lead and Bettor’s Promise (Mooney Svendsen) flooring it from post four to secure the garden seat position. Prodigal (Tony Succarotte) was also away fast from post three and settled third and just off the early leaders. The quarter was a fast :26.3 and Tim Maier quickly throttled the leader down for a second quarter breather of :29.2 while War Daddy (Williams Hernandez) got the ball rolling on the outside, creating an outer flow that included race favorite SF Donttellonme (second-over) and Annihilator in the third-over spot.
Holdingallthecards responded to the pressure with a :27.3 panel that brought the field around the far turn, and turned back the closest outside pursuers. Bettor’s Promise had enjoyed the perfect trip throughout and was poised to strike as they turned for home, but getting by the leader was no easy task.
A furious charge to the wire ensued and Annihilator joined the fray on the far outside to bolster a nail-biting finish. When the dust cleared at the wire Bettor’s Promise had gotten home first, a neck ahead of Annihilator and a further neck back to Holdingallthecards in a 1:52.4 mile. The top seven finishers were beaten less than three lengths and the entire field was covered in under five lengths.
Bettor’s Promise ($35.60) took the top prize in a thrilling inaugural edition of the North Metro Pace. The 8-year-old gelding by Bettor’s Delight is owned by Richard Morita and David Yamada and trained by Jessie Pacheco. Bettor’s Promise now has three wins in 12 starts this year and 27 lifetime wins, with a career bankroll of $183,695 after Sunday’s big win.
Winning driver Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen dedicated his wins on Father’s Day weekend to the memory of his father Lorenz Svendsen. Both father and son are members of the Minnesota Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Svendsen had two wins on the Father’s Day program.
Driver Steve Wiseman is the two-time defending champion at Running Aces and he turned in a huge night on Sunday, celebrating his Father’s Day in style with five wins on the card. He is the first driver to win more than three on any card this season.
Live racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday night (June 18) with first post at 7 p.m. (CDT) and a couple of nice carryovers: $9,662.11 for the Pick-5 Jackpot and $5,371.39 for the Hi-5.