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Wrenn, Burke win Hoosier titles

July 11, 2010

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Driver Peter Wrenn set the tone early at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino to earn his second straight Gregg Haston Leading Driver Award Sunday, July 11. Wrenn scored 184 wins during the 80-day race meet. The reinsman with more than 8,300 career wins polished off the meet 100 wins ahead of second place finisher Ricky Macomber, who earned 82.

“I know everyone says this but you really have to thank the trainers and owners that supported me this year,” said Wrenn. “There are a lot of times I have multiple horses in a race and have to take off someone’s horse, and I appreciate the fact that they still give me a chance down the road to drive again. It’s truly an honor to win this award.”

A native of Michigan, Wrenn and his wife, Melanie, relocated their family to Central Indiana last year. They now have a stable of six horses at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, including a pair of undefeated three-year-old trotters Msnaughtybynature and Earl’s Glider. Both Indiana-sired horses won their fifth win of the year Saturday, July 10 in the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Finals in their respective categories.

In addition to driving and training, Wrenn was added in to the popular Fab Five promotion at Hoosier Park this season, which puts a spotlight on a select group of drivers for promotions. Tagged as The Challenger to the Fab Five, Wrenn was involved in numerous events, including charitable work, public appearances, and on-track promotions. Wrenn chose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as his charity and raised more than $1,000 through various events. More than $9,800 was raised collectively for charities in 2010 through the Fab Five and Wrenn.

“I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience,” said Wrenn of the promotion. “We’ve all had a good time participating in the events and it’s a great way to meet the fans and give back to our charities.”

Wrenn was presented with his second consecutive trophy by General Manager of Racing Jeff Smith and Director of Racing Operations Brian Elmore. Wrenn will continue to display his driving skills on the Indiana circuit when the Standardbred season gets underway at Indiana Downs later this month.

In the training ranks, Ron Burke was honored with his first leading trainer title for 2010. After finishing second in the standings last year, Burke sent out 39 winners to secure the title over Trainer Grant Wilfong, who was close behind the entire meet with 35 wins.

Burke is currently the leading trainer in North America by wins for the second straight season. Although the stable is based out of the Pittsburgh area, Burke has horses racing all across the eastern portion of the United States as well as Canada. Horses from the powerful Burke Stable have earned more than 400 wins already in 2010.

Jamie Rucker, Burke’s assistant trainer, oversees all training operations in Indiana and was present in the winner’s circle to accept the award from Hoosier Park’s General Manager of Racing Jeff Smith. Rucker has prepared more than 20 horses for the races in Indiana this season, including Go On BB, who topped the $1 million mark in June to become the first Indiana-sired female to accomplish that feat. Rucker also oversaw the final stages of training for Royal Woods, winner of the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Finals for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings Saturday, July 10.

Thoroughbred racing will return to Hoosier Park Friday, July 30. The 63-day race meet will offer five days of racing per week Wednesday through Sunday. First post is set at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday while racing gets underway at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information on Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, log onto www.hoosierpark.com
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