Running Aces kicked off its 2023 racing season Sunday, May 14 in Minnesota with an Indiana sired winner on the card. Sunny and Eighty set the tone for the meet as a winner in conditioned pacing action on the day.
Starting from post four under the direction of driver Brady Jenson, Sunny and Eighty got away in mid-pack as Prince McArdle N, who is owned by Indiana residents Jeff Fought Racing and Brian Carsey, took the lead early for driver Rick Magee. Fractions of :28.2 and :57.2 were placed on the board before the action started heating up. Heading to the three-quarter mile marker, horses began to gear up for the stretch drive. Sunny and Eighty was part of that mix, following cover up to the final turn before traveling three-wide to get into better position.
In the stretch, Sunny and Eighty started battling with Prince McArdle N for the lead. Both horses dug in gamely with Sunny and Eighty getting the edge by a neck at the wire in 1:54.2. P H Kenny and Dean Magee finished third.
Sunny and Eighty paid $6.60 for the win. The four-year-old son of Always a Virgin is owned by Piece of the Action LLC of California and trained by Quentin Schneider. Peter Karras, William Tortoriello and Thomas Spathies, all of Illinois bred the gelding. The win was a double for both Jenson and Schneider.
It was the first win of the year for Sunny and Eighty, who won four of his seven starts as a two-year-old. Overall, he has nine wins and more than $45,000 on his card. His career best was taken as a three-year-old at Hawthorne in 1:52.0. His current connections have owned him since last summer.
Sunny and Eighty is the son of the mare Molly Go Lightly, who took a mark of 1:53.0 and made more than $140,000 during her career. She was a standout in stakes action in Illinois during her racing career. As a broodmare, she is now two for two. In addition to Sunny and Eighty, she has produced Mudville, who has a mark of 1:51.4 and more than $110,000 in earnings. The Rockin Image gelding is currently racing at Pocono Downs. The family also has a two-year-old colt named Joy in Mudville by Rockin Image that will be racing soon for his connections.