First RUS race ever in Maryland on July 13

06:06 AM 09 Jul 2014 NZST
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Motown Dreamgirl, harness racing
Jennifer Lowrey aboard Motown Dreamgirl
Photo by Vickie Wright

July 7, 2014, Berlin, MD – With a heightened interest in Racing Under Saddle (RUS racing) growing across the United States, Friends of Maryland Standardbreds in conjunction with Ocean Downs is excited to bring this sport to the state of Maryland for the first time.

The race is scheduled at Ocean Downs for Sunday, July 13th. Purse money will be between $6,000 - $6,500, depending on the number of entries, thanks to several wonderful sponsors, including Chick’s Western Saddlerey, Pin Oak Lane Farm & Equine Clinic, Bowman’s Feed & Pet, Delmarva Printing, and Fashion & Farm Country along with the Maryland Horse Industry Board. They are hoping for 5-6 entries or more, and anyone interested can find additional information on the official conditions sheet for Ocean Downs.

Located in Berlin, Maryland, Ocean Downs is the perfect place for a summer getaway and a night at the races. With post times on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday at 7:20 PM, the track and casino is local to tourist favorites such as Assateague Island and Ocean City’s famous boardwalk.

Also known as Monté racing internationally, RUS is a hybrid of harness and thoroughbred racing. Standardbreds that generally race pulling sulkies are ridden.

The sport has picked up popularity in recent years in the Northeast, with past races held at Yonkers, Pocono Downs, Freehold, Monticello, and many more locations. In 2014, RUS New York was able to organize a Fair Series that kicked off on Thursday, July 3rd, and RUS America organized the second year of the Meadowlands RUS Series that kicks off next week on July 18th.

Ocean Downs is the first track in Maryland to hold a race, with the hope of many more to come both there and at other tracks in the region. At this time, RUS is an exhibition sport in the United States, but RUS America is working towards allowing betting on these races, to follow in the footsteps of RUS Ontario in Canada where wagering is now allowed on RUS races.

Anyone wishing to enter the Ocean Downs race should call in to the race office on Wednesday, July 9th starting at 9:00 AM to submit their information. The race office can be reached at 410.641.0600 ext 3211/ 3212.

by C J Millar for RUS

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