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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

The Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has agreed to move Thoroughbred and mixed-breed racing next year to Detroit-area harness tracks Hazel Park Harness Raceway and Northville Downs, making them both permanent Thoroughbred racing sites, pending state approval. The five-year agreement was reached on Dec. 1, a deadline set by the Michigan Gaming Control Board after the tracks earlier this year proposed amendments to their live dates applications to include Thoroughbred and mixed-breed licenses. The contracts have been sent to the board’s office and await approval. The Michigan HBPA has been in talks with both tracks, as well as Flint-area harness venue Sports Creek Raceway, to host Thoroughbred racing since the closure of Pinnacle Race Course in southern Detroit at the end of 2010. Since Pinnacle’s closure, the state’s Thoroughbred meet has been conducted at Mount Pleasant Meadows, a mixed-breed track in rural central Michigan. To read the rest of this story click here.

Ronnie Wrenn Jr never really wanted to follow his family into harness racing. In fact the 26-year-old studied criminal law for three years and it was only in his late teens the Michigan native decided to shadow his Grandfather, Father and Uncles into our great sport.

Harness racing driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. had a monster night on Friday (Feb. 22) at Northville Downs as he made 10 trips to the winner's circle on the 14-race card.

A bill aimed at boosting Michigan's horse racing industry will not be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, who considers the plan likely to be unconstitutional without the approval of voters at statewide and local levels.

There are several bills passed by the Michigan legislature that are still sitting on the governor's desk. One of them may hold the fate of Michigan's horse racing industry.

Michigan's horse racing industry is betting that it can get a boost with a bet on its past. Legislation in Lansing would allow horse track managers to introduce additional and innovative horse race betting games, like wagering on past races. The proposal has passed the House, and is in a Senate committee.

As many of you know, it's been a busy couple of weeks in Lansing and tremendous progress has been made in the fight to save harness racing in Michigan. On Wednesday (April 25), the House Agriculture Committee, chaired by Rep. Kevin Daley, passed HB5546 out of committee and on Thursday (April 26), the Senate Agriculture Committee, chaired by Sen. Joe Hune, passed SB1075 out of committee.

This video depicts a typical early spring night of harness racing at Northville Downs. 'The Downs' has been a fixture in Northville at Seven Mile and Centre Street for decades.

A lot of water has passed under the harness racing bridge since the 1920s when John Boring used to race his fellow milk vendors on their milk routes in Indianapolis in Indiana. Boring used to deliver his milk with a horse and trailer. His horses gradually got faster as he tried to out-deliver his mates. In fact when his standardbreds got so fast he decided to race them.

Michigan harness racing trainer Travis Alexander was all set to follow his late father, Mark's footsteps and become a veterinarian. He even undertook a pre-vet course at College - but at the age of 18 he received news that would change his life forever - doctors had diagnosed him with leukemia.

Each Friday and Saturday night at Northville Downs, one lucky harness racing patron is selected to play one of two exciting games where the contestants can win up to $100,000 in cash. Friday nights are Royal Flush Fridays where contestants choose five cards from a game board and try to match a royal flush for $100,000 or four of a kind worth $25,000, or a full house worth $1,000.

Eric Carlson got a late start to driving racehorses on a regular basis, but he has quickly risen to the top of the sport's standings. Last year, the Detroit resident won 603 races and ranked No. 6 among all harness racing drivers in North America. This season, Carlson sits in the top spot with 205 victories, holding a 12-win edge over second-place Scott Zeron.

The drought has ended. In November, 2010, the then 12 year-old gelding, Tattler's Jet, visited the harness racing winner's circle at Windsor Raceway after winning for the 99th time in his career.

Eric Carlson wowed Northville Downs harness racing fans on Saturday night (March 5), winning 8 of the night's 15 races. Challenging track conditions, including blinding snow at times, didn't faze Carlson who won the fifth (Vt`s Gold Key), sixth (Armbro Billow), 7th (Abes Little Blacky), 8th (Suit Yourself), 10th (Dr Major), 11th (Starry Lady), 13th (Fully Loaded Gun), and 14th (Irish Toddy).

The Michigan Gaming Control Board is seeking witnesses to what it alleges is a conspiracy among 30 drivers, trainers, owners and gamblers to fix races at the state's three pari-mutuel harness racing tracks.

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