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)