Currently battling with Aaron Merriman to be the #1 Driver in the nation, Ronnie Wrenn Jr is a regular at The Meadows and Northfield Park. Harness racing is a family affair: his father, uncles and grandfather have all been involved in the sport and Ronnie wears his father’s colors now to honor his memory.
Long line of harness racing in your family, what does that mean to you?
It’s meant a lot. I come from a harness racing family. You know I grew up in a harness racing family. My grandpa, my dad, and my uncles, all have done it, so I think it means a lot for me to carry on the name and to do well in this business.
Did you ever think of doing something other than driving horses?
When I was younger I always wanted to be an athlete. Then I went to school and studied Criminal Law for a little bit but now that I have this in my blood, I’d always rather do this.
What was it that got this in your blood?
Probably the first time I ever sat behind a horse when I worked for my uncle. I just wanted it, the thrill, the adrenaline rush that you get when you sit behind a horse, it’s just pretty awesome.
Who have you looked up to the most?
My dad and my uncles for sure.
Tell us about changing your colors.
How did that feel the first time you put those colors on? Was it emotional for you?
A little bit. I remember the night I did for sure, I’ll probably remember it the rest of my life. But it’s just the meaning and after a while of wearing them I’m glad that I changed for my dad.
What’s something about yourself that might surprise people?
I don’t know. I’m a night owl. I really like going out and having fun.
I remember when I was younger I always used to imitate driving Rocket Jackie, it was one of my dad’s better horses. I would have the wheel barrow and the lines over it and pretend it was the horse. That right there kind of gave me the addiction to the sport, to be a driver. I will always remember that horse’s name.
What’s your daily routine?
I usually either go to The Meadows in the morning and race double headers between The Meadows and Northfield or I’ll go mess with a couple horses in the morning. Just hang out, maybe work out, get something to eat and then go race at Northfield.
Betterluvnexttime, she’s an open pacer at Scioto.
What is your favorite part of a horse race? When are you most in your element?
I’m pretty aggressive, so I think I’m pretty good leaving the great. My favorite is probably the finish, you know, hoping I’m the first to cross the wire.
Do you ever still get nervous racing?
Only in big races. Which I think is a good thing. I think if you don’t get nervous maybe you shouldn’t do it anymore. I’m kind of nervous just going in today (Jug Day) because I know it’s going to be a good day of racing.
Say hi to Ronnie at the track or on twitter @RonnieWrennJR & show your support!
This interview is part of our new weekly features of faces in the sport, from fans to owners, trainers to grooms.