Newcomers and Old Favorites Meet for RUS Exhibition at Ocean Downs

Berlin, MD - Hyway Marcus leads a field of five trotters competing Sunday evening (August 25) at Ocean Downs as part of the Downs’ salute to ‘Women in Harness Racing’.  The trotters will be competing after the fourth race with an estimated post time of 8:10pm. The sixth race on the wagering card is the Powder Puff Trot where nine women drivers will be competing in a 1 1/16 mile contest.

Unlike previous RUS MidAtlantic events, Sunday night’s tilt will be an exhibition race which will allow newcomers to RUS, both human and equine, to compete.

"This race is different in the matter of we are bringing some new faces and horses into the race”, said RUS MidAtlantic President Stephanie Jacobs, “We are always excited to bring in fresh riders and mounts. This exhibition race is different than most. With no purse, riders and horses with the support of owners and trainers are coming down with no other intent other than to show their passion for the sport. It is a true testament of the support we have".

For riders Sofia Zingale and Molly Gara, the race provides a reunion of sorts, having both come from the show jumping world and the same college equestrian team.

When asked about the race, Zingale stated, “I’m really excited for this exhibition race.  I think it is fantastic Ocean Downs is supporting women in harness racing with both our RUS race and the powder puff drivers race on the same night.  I love the fact that we have new horses and riders in this race. Seabuddy is a full brother to my usual mount “Egosnattitudes” and Rebel Soul has gate speed like you can’t believe. It will be very interesting to see”.

On making her debut appearance, Gara claimed, “I’ve jumped horses my whole life and just recently got into harness racing.  Now I’m so excited to try RUS and I think it’s just the beginning”!  The other newcomer in the saddle, Nicky Ratledge stated, :

“[I] Can’t wait to try out RUS. it’s something I’ve always wanted to try with all the standardbreds that I have ridden over my years of working in harness racing! I’ll be conquering another goal!”.

 While it will take a top effort to defeat Hyway Marcus who is in the middle of a five-race win streak (sulky and under saddle), newcomer Pembroke Bada Bing may present a challenge as he has been racing well in sulky at Pocono Downs and Harrah’s Philadelphia; finishing a head behind Marcus after cutting the mile from post position seven.  

 “Marcus continually gives me some of the best moments of my life”, explains Sasha Moczulksi, “so hopefully by opening this race up to new riders and having them experience the thrill of getting behind the gate, we can expand our sport. Having a unique horse that can race both in harness and under saddle just helps make our profession all the more exciting.”

 The field for the exhibition race is

 1.            Hyway Marcus (Sasha Moczulski)

2.            Rebel Soul (Sofia Zingale)

3.            Pembroke Bada Bing (Stephanie Jacobs)

4.            Seabuddy (Nicole Ratlledge)

5.            Puddin N Pie (Molly Gara)


Hyway Marcus Victorious in Renee Eck Memorial RUS Trot

East Rutherford, NJ – The curtain rose on the 2019 RUS MidAtlantic season at the Meadowlands Friday evening, May 3, and it was a familiar face who earned opening night accolades.  Hyway Marcus, ridden by Sasha Moczulski, held off No Recess (Sietske Dijhkof) in a thrilling stretch run, hitting the wire in a lifetime mark of 1:58.4, a neck ahead of the second-place finisher.

 When the wings of the gate folded, it was French-bred Akhenaton (Hillary Hartnett) taking advantage of the rail position by leaving quickly. RCs Ready (Vanessa Karlewicz) was parked in second while the race winner was three-wide in third.  Egosnattitudes (Sofia Zingale) was fourth with No Recess parked fifth.  Tightly bunched, the quintet hit the quarter in :28.4, only three lengths separating the first and fifth place horses.

RUS Race Photo for PR.jpg

 By the time the field hit the half mile marker, Hyway Marcus brushed up to take the lead while No Recess moved into second, parked out a quarter of a length behind the eventual winner.  Akhenaton dropped back to third, four lengths off the top two.  The half was reached in :57.3.   

 Hyway Marcus and No Recess continued their spirited duel with No Recess only a head behind the leader as they passed the three-quarter maker in 1:27.3.  The duel continued down the stretch with the margin of victory stretched to a neck.

 The victory was the seventh lifetime RUS triumph out of twelve starts for the eight-year-old altered son of Gut Instinct – Highway Angel, taking top honors away from No Recess who won the last year’s RUS race at the Meadowlands.  Including his sulky starts, Hyway Marcus now has a three-race winning streak.  

 The 2019 RUS MidAtlantic series continues with stops at Ocean Downs, Rosecroft, and the Great Frederick Fair.

Renee Eck Memorial RUS Trot Kicks off 2019’s Trotting 4 Charity

East Rutherford, NJ - RUS Mid-Atlantic’s trotting series makes its 2019 debut at Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment on Friday, May 3, as a compact field of five will face the starter in the Renee Eck Memorial, a non-wagering event taking place after the first race on the evening’s program.  The $3,000 race kicks off this year’s Trotting 4 Charity event as three riders are participating in the charity event which will take place over a period of ten days.

The Renee Eck Memorial is named after “Renee from PA”, who was one of the world’s most beloved horse lovers who had several positions in the equine field.  Since Renee was an animal lover her family, since her passing in 2013, has supported animal and equine causes in her name.  Renee was a strong proponent of women in the equine industry so sponsoring the RUS Mid-Atlantic Trot at the Meadowlands was a perfect fit.  Through this race, RUS Mid-Atlantic honors the life of “Renee from PA”.

As part of the Trotting 4 Charity event, fans can win special jerseys worn by their favorite participating riders in the May 3 event.  Riders participating this week are Vanessa Karlewicz (American Cancer Society), Sofia Zingale (#PaisleeStrong), and Sietske Dijhkof (Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame).  Fans wishing the chance to own a rider’s specially designed T4C jersey worn in this race needs to make a $20 donation to the rider’s charity of choice and send a copy of the receipt to, specifying which rider’s jersey they are trying to win.  Drawings will be held May 13 and 14.  Fans can enter multiple times and/or for multiple rider’s jerseys by making additional donations.  For further information about Trotting 4 Charity, visit

Here are the horses and riders in the first leg of the RUS MidAtlantic Trotting Series:

1st Non-Wagering - $3,000 RUS Trot - Renee Eck Memorial (Post Time 7:25)

1  Akhenaton       Vanessa Karlewicz        Sofia Zingale

2  RCs Ready          Hillary Hartnett          Sofia Zingale

3  Hyway Marcus  Sasha Moczulski            Sasha Moczulski

4  Egosnattitudes  Sofia Zingale                  Sofia Zingale

5  No Recess           Sietske Dijhkof              Kyle Spagnola