The elimination races for the 2019 Dan Patch FFA Pace will headline a blockbuster card of Harness Racing on Sunday, July 14 at.
There are two elimination races with a total of 14 pacers vying for the chance to line up behind the starting gate in the $50,000 Final on Sunday, July 21. Each elimination heat carries a purse of $15,000 – bringing the total purse for the 2019 Dan Patch to $80,000.
The top five horses in each elimination heat will advance to the final.
The first elimination field will see many of the top speedsters among this year's participants, with Fox Valley Gemini (Steve Wiseman) drawing the rail and morning-line favoritism at 6/5, while Rockin Speed (Travis Seekman) is the second choice on the morning line (7/5) from post two. The former arrives in Minnesota with a six race win streak at Chicago's Hawthorne Racecourse, and sports a brand new career mark of 1:50.1 last out. Three starts ago on June 7th, Fox Valley Gemini paced a final quarter in :25.1 to sweep the field and win handily.
The latter ships in to Running Aces from Indiana, where he just posted a career best win on 1:49.1 at Hoosier Park on June 21. During the month of May, Rockin Speed campaigned in Canada, finishing fourth in the $139,490 Confederation Cup, and second in the $116,180 Camluck Classic. He leads the Dan Patch contenders with $90,327 in earnings in 2019.
Local speedster Urgointohearmeroar (Lemoyne Svendsen) is the 3/1 third choice in elimination #1 (Race 9) and is currently riding a four race win streak at Running Aces, equalling the track's fastest mile ever (1:50.4) on June 29. The 4 year old Mystery Chase gelding has won 16 of 20 career races, and will start from post three.
The lone mare in this year's Dan Patch squad is Juslikeaqueen (Dean Magee), who has reigned supreme here since her arrival from Pennsylvania in late June. She has dominated the Mares Open Pace for three straight weeks, and posted a dazzling 1:51.1 mile on Tuesday (July 9) to just miss a track record by one-fifth of a second, despite an off track (good, -1). She has been installed at 4/1 on the morning line from post four.
The final three horses in the first elimination heat are: (in post position order) (5) Annihilator (Don Harmon) 10/1, (6) Major Legacy (Nick Roland) 20/1, and (7) Top Notch (Rick Magee) 8/1.
Elimination #2 (Race 10) includes the two horses that have previously won the Dan Patch FFA Pace, 2017 winner & 2018 runner-up Firedrake (Nick Roland) who is 9/2 on the morning line from post two, and sports two wins in his last four starts, and 2018 winner Nine Ways (Dean Magee), who is the even-money (1/1) favorite on the morning line, and looks to extend a three-race win streak in Sunday's elimination race. Nine Ways is the second highest money earner this season, with $85,360, and has dominated the Horses & Geldings Open ranks since arriving in Minnesota in late June. Nine Ways drew post position five.
Bettor's Promise (Lemoyne Svendsen) rounds out the top three favorites at 7/2 from post seven, and was the winner of the $20,000 North Metro Pace at Running Aces on June 16.
Completing the field for the second elimination are: (in post position order) (1) Better Watch Out (Don Harmon) 12/1, (3) Ideal Ace (Stephen White) 6/1, SF Donttellonme (Rick Magee) 10/1, and To The Limit (Steve Wiseman) 8/1.
Post time for Sunday's elimination night program is 6:00 pm (CDT).
By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack