06/05/2014 9:01AM

Scioto: Arch Madness is a sweet ride for Wrenn

Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. led North America with 714 driving wins in 2013.

Young and old could form a powerful team on Saturday night in the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial at Scioto Downs. Arch Madness, the 10-year-old grizzled veteran with over $4.1 million in career earnings, will team with 27-year-old up-and-coming driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.

The inaugural Charlie Hill lured not only Arch Madness, but likely favorite Market Share ($3.2 million earned) to Ohio for the first time in their careers. They join a field of 10 that also features last year’s Kentucky Futurity winner Creatine and the razor-sharp Modern Family.

Although Arch Madness has yet to find the winner’s circle in four starts in 2014, Wrenn is excited about the opportunity and actually chose the gelded son of Balanced Image over two others.

“I thought he was the best of the three and he had the rail,” said Wrenn, who led the nation in wins in 2013 with 714 victories. “The racing at Scioto has an aggressive style and having the inside usually helps. I don’t know if it will be a factor in a race like this, but it can’t hurt.”

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For Wrenn, who moved to Ohio a couple of years ago from his native Michigan, the opportunity to shine in a major race is something he has been waiting on. While he has competed in Sire Stakes finals and races like the Courageous Lady at Northfield Park, Saturday’s race gives him the chance to step into the national spotlight behind a top horse.

“I’ve driven a bunch of good pacers, but never a trotter of this caliber,” said Wrenn, who clearly has the desire to reach the limelight more regularly. “Hopefully, I can come through (on Saturday). I want to continue to grow and promote myself, and eventually drive more Grand Circuit horses. This is an opportunity for me.”

The Michigan import calls Ohio home right now, but has his eyes on the Garden State.

“Ohio could be a top state for Harness Racing now with the slots, but as much as I like it, everyone’s goal is to get to the Meadowlands. In the back of my mind, it is something I want to do,” said Wrenn.

“I had the opportunity to go for the driver series they (Meadowlands) had this year, but I decided it was best to drive back home at Hazel,” said Wrenn, who admits it has been a crazy year for him, between missing the start of the year due to a wrist surgery and the recent loss of his father to cancer.

While Wrenn takes the lines from trainer and usual driver Trond Smedhammer, another sub gets the call behind Market Share. Jeff Gregory, who hasn’t sat behind the former Hambletonian winner since the start prior to his Hambletonian elimination back on July 21, 2012, will get the chance to reunite with the horse he steered to six wins as a 2-year-old and early in his sophomore year.

“I actually see him every day and I go out with him once in a while when Linda (Toscano, trainer) is away,” said Gregory, who has a couple of horses in Toscano’s barn.

Though Gregory has won his share of big races, including the Hambletonian Oaks, like Wrenn, he is far from the everyday spotlight that surrounds the top horses and drivers in the sport.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch the best older trotters in the Charlie Hill Memorial and the full Scioto Saturday card on DRF!]

On Saturday, both drivers will have the chance to shine on the slot-revitalized Ohio stakes scene. Scioto began to reintroduce itself to the prime-time horses with the $125,000 Ewart Memorial last September and saw Pet Rock pace the fastest mile (1:47 2/5) ever on a five-eighths track. Now Ohio racing fans will have the chance to see two more millionaires in Arch Madness and Market Share.

“It’s always nice for a place that was on the ropes to have a resurgence,” said Gregory. “For me to have a small part in it is wonderful.”

The Charlie Hill Memorial is slated as race 10 on the 14-race card at Scioto. First race post time is 6:30 PM.