Wide Open Field Meets in RUS MidAtlantic at Meadowlands

(East Rutherford, NJ) – A field of eight trotters will be competing in the $3,000 RUS MidAtlantic Trot at Meadowlands Gaming & Entertainment Saturday night, October 20, 2018.  Post time for the non-wagering racing under saddle event will be 7:00pm, prior to the first wagering event on the card.  Four of the eight horses figure to be competing for the major spoils in this miler with a fifth horse providing a little foreign intrigue.

Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran; post position six) comes into the race with a 5-2-3-0 record for the season for owner/trainer/rider Engerran.  The nine-year-old altered son of Classic Photo was the winner of the RUS New York Fair Final at Monticello Raceway in early September, crossing the line in a 2:02.4 romp.    Most recently, Funny Photo has a pair of second place finishes at Batavia and Saratoga. 

A year off from RUS must have been what the doctor ordered for No Recess (Sietske Dijhkof; post seven) as the nine-year-old son of Rich Boy has scored two speedy victories over the upstate New York half mile ovals.  At the end of September, No Recess scored a 2:02.1 victory at Batavia while this past weekend, the gelding made an early break yet went on to win by four lengths at Saratoga in 2:02.2.  The question is will No Recess be able to take advantage of the mile oval to set a new lifetime mark in victory?  Kyle Spagnola is the trainer.

Normally, Hyway Marcus (Sasha Moczulski, post eight) would be the automatic selection on the RUS MidAtlantic circuit but he is meeting some speedy types here[AS1] , so the outcome is far from certain.  The seven-year-old Gut Instinct gelding suffered a rare miscue at Saratoga in his last start getting caught in close quarters.  Marcus was able to recover and get within a length of the leader at the three-quarter pole but being parked out after the break took its toll and resulted in his tiring to finish third.  Despite post position eight, he figures to be in the thick of things for his owner/trainer/driver.

One True Friend (Hillary Hartnett, post five) comes into the race with a question mark but can step up and be a factor.  The lone mare in the race shows a couple of breaks of late and in her last start, Hartnett lost her irons at the start of the race requiring the horse to pull up before the finish.  Despite this, the mare stayed flat before being pulled up.  An early season qualifier of 2:02.1 over a sloppy Vernon Downs oval shows ‘Trudy’ belongs in the race and can be competitive should she manage to stay out of trouble.  Wesley Miller trains OTF for owner/rider Hartnett.

A French-bred horse making his American debut under saddle?  This is the case with Atout De Fontaine (Sofia Zingale; post position four), an eight-year-old gelding by Oxford Du Rib – Mistina De Traqui by Quebir De Chenu.  ADF came to the United States to take part in the France-America series at Yonkers but he made it abundantly clear he didn’t care for the American game.  However, a 2:05.2 victory in a Rosecroft qualifier for trainer/rider Zingale would suggest a return to the saddle is what is needed for Fontaine who has a 1:56 mile rate mark in monté racing in Europe.  He is a wild card in this event.   

Other starters in the race (from post one out) are Keenan (Maria Buchanan) who is making his first start under saddle in 2018 and Credit Blues (Stephanie Jacobs) who is making his first lifetime start off a 2:06.3 qualifying effort at Ocean Downs in early August.  Another first timer is Puddin N Pie (Vanessa Karlewicz) who makes his debut off a second-place finish in a Rosecroft qualifier.

Hyway Marcus Picks Up Where He Left Off

(Berlin, MD) – A new season, same result as Hyway Marcus continues his win streak in RUS racing with a win in the opening leg of the RUS MidAtlantic Trotting Series at Ocean Downs.    Owner/trainer Sasha Moczulski rode the 7 year old trotter to a comfortable 2:04.2 victory over his opposition, reduced by one due to an injury to One True Friend, necessitating a late scratch.

While the result may have been the same, there was a moment of concern.  Traverse Seelster, ridden by Ashley Eldred, left fastest of all, with Hyway Marcus challenging for the lead.  On the first turn, Hyway Marcus went wide, racing in the middle of the track.  This error allowed Flowing James (Vanessa Karlewicz) to come out of the first turn in second with Hyway Marcus finding himself third and last in the field.  Once straightened out, Hyway Marcus launched his attack but it was Traverse Seelster which led the trio to the first quarter in :29.2. 

After the first quarter, Moczulski took the lead, never to relinquish the front for the rest of the race.  At the half, Hyway Marcus led Traverse Seelster by 2 lengths in :59.2, then opening up a five length lead at the three quarter mark in 1:30.2.  At this point, the winner finished the race on cruise control winning with a :34 final quarter to stop the teletimer in 2:04.2, six lengths ahead of Traverse Seelster who was second with Flowing James third, two lengths further back.   

In addition to the race, the Post Time Show, was at Ocean Downs to cover the race and interviewed RUS MidAtlantic President Stephanie Jacobs and Vice-President Maria Buchanan who were on hand lend their support to the race.

The RUS MidAtlantic series takes a break, returning on Sunday, September 16 at Rosecroft.

 Sasha Moczulski with Hyway Marcus prior to their victory in the RUS MidAtlantic race at Ocean Downs on July 15, 2018.  (Photo Credit - Clarissa Coughlin)

Sasha Moczulski with Hyway Marcus prior to their victory in the RUS MidAtlantic race at Ocean Downs on July 15, 2018.  (Photo Credit - Clarissa Coughlin)

Hyway Marcus Leads Quartet in 2018 RUS MidAtlantic Opener

Berlin, MD – Hyway Marcus leads a quartet of trotters in the $4,000 season opener of RUS MidAtlantic’s 2018 Trotting Series at Ocean Downs on Sunday, July 15, one of several events taking place as part of Ocean Down’s celebration of National I Love Horses Day.  This will be the fifth year RUS makes a stop at the resort track and has been well-received by race fans. 

Marcus, the 7 year old son of Gut Instinct has found a second life under saddle, sweeping the RUS MidAtlantic series last year, ridden by owner/trainer Sasha Moczulski who will be in the saddle Sunday.  Last year the RUS specialist took the Ocean Downs leg in 2:02.1 and draws post four for this year’s edition.

Were this to be a wagering race, there’s no doubt Hyway Marcus would be the overwhelming favorite, but the race needs to be run before the purse money is paid out as the possibility of an upset exists

Rider Hillary Harnett hopes to avenge One True Friend’s defeat to Hyway Marcus last year at Rosecroft.  The 11 year old mare by Dream Vacation is co-owned by Harnett and trainer Wesley Miller and is making her second purse start of the season, going off-stride at Historic Track on July 1.  If the mare stays on-stride she will be a factor in this race.  One True Friend drew post position 2 in Sunday’s race.

Starting from the rail, 10 year old Traverse Seelster (pp 1) comes into the race after a win last year in the Miller Memorial at Monticello Raceway, his only purse start in RUS events thus far.  His last start on July 8, was in sulky at Saratoga Raceway where he finished third timed in 1:57.4 in a mid-level conditioned race.  If he can flash some of his speed under saddle, Traverse Seelster may be a threat at the wire.  Owner/Trainer Ashley Eldred rides the altered son of Angus Hall.

Flowing James (pp 3) is well prepped for this race, competing at Historic track racing in three matinee races and one purse start where he finished second to Armbro Hall.  The 13 year old gelding by Ilooklikemymother completed his preparations for the RUS MidAtlantic race with a victory at the fair track in Afton, New York.  The last time Traverse Seelster raced at Ocean Downs was in 2015 when he finished second to Hyway Marcus.  Flowing James is being ridden by his lessee/trainer Vanessa Karlewicz.

Previous winners of RUS races at Ocean Downs are: 2014 – Truth In Action, ridden by Karen Isbell; 2015 – Hyway Marcus, Maria Buchanan; 2016 – Mr Protab, Stephanie Jacobs; 2017 – Hyway Marcus, Sasha Moczulski.  Should Hyway Marcus be victorious, it will be a hat-trick in RUS racing at Ocean Downs.

The non-wagering RUS event is scheduled for 8:55 PM, immediately after the sixth race on the wagering card.  First race on Sunday is scheduled for 7:05 PM.   There will be a meet and greet before and after the race.

RUS MidAtlantic Schedule Revised

The RUS event at the Meadowlands has been moved to October 20, 2018.  As a result, here is the revised schedule as of May 7, 2018:

Sunday, July 15, 2018 - Ocean Downs

Sunday, September 16, 2018 - Rosecroft 

Sunday, October 14, 2018 - Shenandoah Downs

Saturday, October 20, 2018 - Meadowlands Racing and Gaming

All races will have an estimated purse of $5,000.


RUS MidAtlantic Announces 2018 Trotting Series Schedule

 A field of trotters heading to the Rosecroft starting line in the 2017 edition of the RUS MidAtlantic Trotting Series.  Photo courtesy of Best Bet Photos.

A field of trotters heading to the Rosecroft starting line in the 2017 edition of the RUS MidAtlantic Trotting Series.  Photo courtesy of Best Bet Photos.

 (Upper Marlboro, MD) – RUS MidAtlantic is pleased to release the schedule for 2018.  The RUS MidAtlantic Trotting Series consists of four races this year.  The schedule, subject to change, is as follows:  Saturday, June 23 – Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment; Sunday, July 15 – Ocean Downs; Sunday, September 16 – Rosecroft; Sunday, October 14 – Shenandoah Downs.  All races will be non-wagering events with an estimated purse of $5,000 per leg.  Race conditions and qualifying standards are yet to be finalized; they will be posted on the RUS MidAtlantic website (https://www.rus-midatlantic.org ) and will be released in a future press release. 

With July 15 being National Horse Day, the RUS contest will be the centerpiece of Ocean Downs’ special events to commemorate the day.  Other activities planned are face painting, sketch artist, pony rides, and giving away stuffed horses.  Along with Ocean Downs’ racing program, the day promises to be a great time for fans of all ages.

The October 14 race at Shenandoah Downs marks RUS MidAtlantic’s first foray into Virginia.  The race will be contested on the same day as the Virginia Breeder’s Fund Finals are contested.  The entire day’s races will be non-wagering.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2018 RUS MidAtlantic Trotting Series are available at various levels.  All sponsorship fees are used to fund purses.  If interested in becoming a sponsor, you may reach out to RUS MidAtlantic President Stephanie Jacobs at stephaniej@rus-midatlantic.org or at fundraising@rus-midatlantic.org.   

RUS MidAtlantic is a 501(c)6 business organization dedicated to the promotion and presenting of racing under saddle events  the Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia region.  As a business organization, contributions or gifts to RUS MidAtlantic are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes, they may be tax deductible under other provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.