Running Aces will conclude its 2021 harness racing season Saturday with its annual Night of Champions, a 12-race card offering $560,000 in purses. The season finale will showcase the top Minnesota-bred trotters and pacers at the Columbus track, including Alilthundadownunda, who will try to cap a stellar summer with a championship.
Trained and driven by Nick Roland, the gelding has won 14 of his past 16 starts. His 14 victories are the most by any 3-year-old harness horse in North America this year, and he set a Running Aces single-season record with $91,210 in earnings. Alilthundadownunda is the 2-5 morning-line favorite in the first race, a $45,000 championship pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
The 11th race, a $45,000 championship pace for older males, is expected to be one of the most hotly contested races of the night. Sb Bodacious tops the field with $67,801 in earnings this year. Stuckey Dote is seeking his fifth championship, and Giggle Monster is going for his 12th victory of the year.
Roland already has locked up the season titles as top trainer and top driver, earning his fourth Running Aces training championship and sixth driving crown. The $560,000 in total purses is the highest ever offered for a Minnesota harness racing card.
Racing begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free.