Opening Leg of the RUS MidAtlantic Features Competitive Field
by RUS MidAtlantic
(Berlin, Maryland) - The 2017 RUS MidAtlantic Monte Trotting Series kicks off this Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Ocean Downs Racetrack and a select field of six trotters will be competing for a purse of $5,000 in this non-wagering event. The race is scheduled to be contested between the fifth and sixth races on the regular program. First race for the evening has a scheduled 7:05 post.
For the initial leg of the series, the field of six trotters appear to present an interesting puzzle with several of the horses meriting serious consideration for top honors. Following this leg of the series, the series moves on to the Meadowlands on Saturday, September 9 for the second leg with the series final being contested at Rosecroft Raceway on Sunday, October 8. In post position order:
One True Friend (post 1, Hillary Hartnett) has compiled a record of 5-2-2-0 this year with a lifetime mark of 2:03.3 set at Tioga Downs with seasonal earnings of $1,695. Since One True Friend’s victory at Tioga, she has two second place finishes at Upstate New York fairs. With a return to the raceways, Hartnett is looking for the Wesley Miller trainee to return to her winning ways.
2016 RUS New York Fair Series Champion Admirable Hanover (post 2, Vanessa Karlewicz) comes into the race off a victory at the Oswego County Fair to account for his lone win thus far in three starts for 2017. The ten year old altered son of Cantab Hall has thus far this year a 3-1-2-0 record with $1,533 in earnings. His lifetime mark of 2:03.4 was set last year in the Fair Final held at Batavia Downs. Finishing second to One True Friend at Tioga Downs, Owner/Trainer/Rider Vanessa Karlewicz is hoping to turn the tables on his opponent.
Making his seasonal debut this year is Hyway Marcus (post 3, Sasha Moczulski), a winner of three races out of five RUS starts lifetime. With a lifetime mark of 1:59.1 set in 2016, Marcus comes into this race off a qualifying effort at Monticello Raceway but benefits from returning to one of his favorite tracks, winning here in 2015 and finishing second in 2016. In last year’s RUS America series, the talented son of Gut Instinct won at Rosecroft Raceway in addition to the previously mentioned second place finish at the Ocean. Trained by Josh Green, Sasha Moczulski gets the call on Hyway Marcus for the first time.
While the first three horses figure to be prominent in the race, post positions four and five feature two horses making their RUS debuts. Making his first lifetime start under saddle for trainer John Calabrese is Keenan (post 4, Maria Buchanan). Keenan qualified at Ocean Downs last Friday (August 10), in 2:06.1 and hopes to build upon the qualifier. In sulky, Keenan has lifetime earnings of nearly $560,000. If any of that talent passes over to the saddle, Kennan will be a formidable foe. Another horse making their debut is Pine Tab (post 5, Helene Gregory). A Nick Surick trainee, Pine Tab was victorious in his only morning trial, winning his qualifier at Gaitway Farms back in June in a crisp 2:00.1. Helene Gregory returns to ride the son of Cantab Hall.
Drawing the outside post six and making his first RUS start in two years is Catalyst (post 6, Stephanie Jacobs). In 2015, Catalyst compiled a 2-0-1-1 record and a 1:59Q mark set at Gaitway Farms. In his comeback qualifier, Catalyst was victorious in 2:01. Jody Dunning has the training duties while RUS MidAtlantic President Stephanie Jacobs gets the call on the eight year old gelding.
In addition to the race, RUS Riders will be available trackside for a Meet and Greet. Fans and individuals interested in more information on racing under saddle are invited to attend.