Racing fans at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino got very familiar with Peter Wrenn’s new role as The Challenger Friday, March 26. Wrenn pulled in six wins on the 11-race program to catapult himself into the early lead among all drivers. Tagged as The Challenger to the popular Fab Five promotion from 2009, Peter “The Wolf” Wrenn now has 9 wins in only two nights of racing.
Wrenn will be ready to drive again Saturday, March 27, as he’s named on horses in 10 of 11 races on the card. Besides overseeing operations for his stable based at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Wrenn has a full day planned prior to his driving commitments.
“My wife, Melanie, signed both of us up for a marathon tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” said Wrenn. “It’s for a good cause for our kids’ sports teams in our neighborhood. We both enjoy running in them so I’m looking forward to competing. They had an 18 mile run, but I told her that would be a little much for me tomorrow. I’ll stick with the 10K.”
A native of Michigan, the Wrenns recently relocated to the Indianapolis area to compete on the Indiana circuit full time. They have 25 horses in training for the upcoming season, including Indiana’s 2009 Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year Msnaughtybynature.
Wrenn began his evening on Friday with a victory behind Townline Rosanna in the evening opener. Trained by Jeff Brewer, Townline Rosanna drove off to a five-plus length lead at the wire in a time of 1:57.1 in Mini Series action.
Wrenn was back in the winner’s circle during race four, guiding Dragon of Mystery to a more challenging finish, defeating Baby MC and Brooke Nickells by only one-half length. Trained by Charlie Stewart, Dragon of Mystery earned his first career win in his first career start in a time of 1:56.4.
The familiar sounds of Wrenn’s signature music, “The Lone Wolf” by Hank Williams Jr. greeted him again for the fifth race as he entered the winner’s circle with a horse from his own stable, Amarillo Sky. The impressive daughter of Modern Art was an easy winner in a time of 1:54.3 by open lengths. Trained by Wrenn and owned by his wife, Melanie, Amarillo Sky looks to be returning to her dominant nature from last season where she won five of six starts. The four-year-old is now two for three in 2010.
Wrenn was back to his catch-driving duties in the eighth race, guiding Odds On Teal to a win for trainer Mike Lee. The veteran driver with more than 8,000 career wins was right back in the same spot with Rollonsally in the ninth race for trainer Alvin Miller in Mini Series action.
The final win of the night was the highest payoff for Wrenn as he guided Northern Lei Ann under the wire first in the featured $23,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace. Starting from the inside post two, Wrenn allowed EJ’s Copperstone and driver Rick Farrington to set the pace at the quarter mile marker in a time of :28.2 before moving around and taking over the tempo for the rest of the mile.
A winner by one and one-quarter lengths over EJ’s Copperstone, Northern Lei Ann picked up her second win in six starts for 2010 in a time of 1:54.4. High Speed Life and Ricky Macomber Jr. finished third. The six-year-old daughter of Lease On Life is owned by Northern Lane Farm of Grabill, Ind. and trained by Ron Otto.
“I really didn’t expect a night like this tonight,” said Wrenn. “I had a lot of live mounts. That usually goes a long way, although I’ve been in that position before and been to the back of the bus, so I never take anything for granted. It always makes you feel good to have a night like this, though.” (Hoosier Park)