Ronnie Wrenn Jr. drives 3,000th winner
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Ronnie Wrenn Jr. made his 3,000th trip to the winner's circle after winning with Say It Again Sam in Northfield Park's fifteenth race on Wednesday.
Wrenn led at every call with Say It Again Sam, eventually besting his competition by 4 1/4 lengths. The 1:58.1 clocking was the 13th career score for the 6-year-old pacer, who returned $2.60 to win. The 29-year-old Wrenn began driving in 2008. His 3,000 wins have helped him garner almost $14 million in purse earnings. He won the 2013 and 2014 national dash driving titles and finished second in 2015.
Wrenn is a 2005 graduate of Hartland High School in Hartland, Mich. He played center field for and graduated from Mott Community College in Flint.
Although Wrenn comes from a racing family, he did not take an interest and become involved with horses at an early age.
"I was 19 or 20 when I jogged my first horse. I was always really busy with sports and stuff," said Wrenn. "I didn't really have time for it."
However, after weighing his options and slowly becoming more interested with the family business, Ronnie decided on a career in racing.
"I was just sitting at the table working on stuff from school on my computer one night and looked up and told my dad I wanted to be a driver. He looked at me like I was crazy. But I was old enough that he really didn't have a lot of say, and so far it has all worked out pretty well."
Wrenn has found success and has been a regular to the winner's circle since his very first time behind the starting gate. He won his first race, aboard Artful Power in a $1,400 Billings race at a Michigan fair.
"It was hard breaking in at first. I guess I got lucky to be put on some good horses and things just took off," offered Wrenn. "My parents and grandparents really helped me a lot as well as countless other people."
Wrenn's fasted and richest win ever came in last year's $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs with Doo Wop Hanover in 1:49.2. He rates the best horses he has ever driven as Arch Madness, Betterluvnexttime, Doo Wop Hanover, Luck Be Withyou, Night Pro and Victory Is Coming.
Ronnie's favorite horse to drive is Victory Is Coming. Her 1:53.3 world record performance on July 3, 2015 at Northfield Park stands as Wrenn's favorite of his 3,000 victories. He was most impressed with her effort in that race because she won despite being parked the entire mile.
Ronnie credits several people as having large influences on his life and career. Along with his father and uncles, "My mom is my biggest fan and has been more supportive than anyone could even imagine. I am also very lucky to have Briana (his girlfriend) and my two sisters, Sandy and Katie."
Wrenn says his ultimate dream race to win would be the Little Brown Jug, "But I would take the feature races at Northfield too. I am a big fan of the Battle of Lake Erie and the Milstein Memorial," said Wrenn.
"There are many owners and trainers that have given me opportunities and I will be forever grateful to them," offered Wrenn. "To win races, a driver has to drive fast horses for talented trainers with good owners."
Although this milestone victory came in a $4,600 condition race, Wrenn was happy to win a milestone victory with a horse conditioned by Virgil Morgan Jr. "Virgil was one of the very first trainers in Ohio to use me and give me a chance with nice horses. He really helped jump start the success I have had." (Northfield)