Day At The Track

Wrenn and Loney repeat at Northfield Park

06:58 AM 01 Jan 2014 NZDT
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Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., harness racing Harla Renae Loney, harness racing
Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.
Harla “Renae” Loney (center) is Northfield's leading trainer again

Ronnie Wrenn Jr. topped the Northfield Park 2013 leading harness racing drivers, winning 388 races over the Flying Turns. His nearest competitor, Aaron Merriman, drove 234 winners. Keith Kash Jr. (213), Jason Thompson (196) and Chris Page (193) completed the top five reinsmen.

Wrenn, 27, resides in Northfield, Ohio and now has two driving titles under his belt. Ronnie was the leading driver earlier this year when Northville Downs concluded their 2013 meet.

This year Ronnie Wrenn Jr. split his time among several different places. Throughout 2013 Wrenn has been a regular at Northfield Park, Northville Downs, Raceway Park and Scioto Downs. He also drove at Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Colonial Downs, Monticello Raceway and several county fairs.

Ronnie's 2013 total victory tally is 714, which ranks him as the winninest driver in North America. David Palone (645), Bruce Aldrich Jr. (639), Corey Callahan (619) and Tim Tetrick (582) complete the top five drivers (by wins) in the continent.

Wrenn began driving in 2008 and has won 1,325 races and purses of $4,563,573. Wrenn remembers his first win as being aboard a trotting gelding named Artfull Power at fair in Holland, Michigan. Although there are over 1,300 to choose from, Wrenn says that he has no favorite victory. "It doesn't really matter to me if the race is a $150 per start or an Open," explained Wrenn. "I like the feeling of winning races,"

Wrenn's richest win ever came in a $42,786 Michigan Sires Stake at Hazel Park. His fastest win was aboard Rockin Finish in 1:50.0.

Northfield Park trainer Harla "Renae" Loney won more races than any other Northfield trainer for the second consecutive year. She garnered 122 local victories in 2013. Calvin Hollar finished second with 78 wins. Virgil Morgan Jr. (73), Keith Kash (72) and Nichole Gagnon (69) complete the top five Northfield Park conditioners for 2013.

Renae is originally from Martin, Kentucky and has recently relocated to Northfield, Ohio. She has three children: 13 year-old son Gannun, 9 year-old son Payton and 4 year-old daughter Polly.

Loney, 38, said horses are in her blood: "My grandpa and dad both had horses and I guess I was just brought up in it." However, before becoming a trainer in 2002, Loney had started another career. Renae is a graduate of Morehead State University, competing in their equestrian program, and became a teacher. She taught elementary school in Floyd County, Kentucky for two years before pursuing her passion of horse racing.

Loney has 390 career victories and purse earnings of $790,661. Her favorite horse she has ever cared for is pacing gelding named Bomb Squad.

Loney emphasized that she loves horses and loves working with them. Her favorite part of the sport is "getting to the winner's circle."

by Ayers Ratliff for Northfield Park

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