Merryland Farm in Hydes, Maryland, is a full-service breaking and training center. Encompassing 180 acres with numerous pastures and round pens, plus a 5/8th-mile training track, and located 20 miles south of Fair Hill and an hour north of Laurel, Merryland is the perfect place to send your yearling to be broken or your racehorse to get legged-up.

Our track features a sand-based surface, and workout times can be reported to Equibase™ (where they appear as “MRY”). We have a six-stall starting gate where we school our trainees regularly. The exercise riders at Merryland are all licensed and typically spend their mornings riding at Laurel or one of the other local race tracks (training at Merryland occurs between 12:30 and 3:00 p.m. each day rather than first thing in the morning).

Merryland trainer Sonja Aleksic and the rest of the Merryland staff are experienced and knowledgeable. They are willing to work with you to customize a plan designed to most effectively and successfully get your horse to the racetrack. We encourage owners and trainers to come out and watch their horses train. You can read all about Sonja and the rest of the Merryland staff on our “Team” page.

Please Contact Us for more information or to set up a time to come tour our facilities.

Training Photo Gallery
Merryland Training Team
Sonja Aleksic

Sonja, who received her Trainer’s License in 2010, was born in Serbia and started going to the race track there when she was 10-years-old. After coming to the United States in 2005, she graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor’s’ Degree in Biology. She worked at Laurel for 11 years as Assistant Trainer for Ann Merryman and Catherine Robinson, as well as exercising young racehorses at Merryland Farm. She is also a Certified Equine Massage Therapist, with a client list including trainers Mike Trombetta, Hamilton Smith, and Ann Merryman. Sonja is married to longtime Merryland rider Milan Milosevic.

Milan Milosevic

Milan Milosevic has been galloping race horses since 1991, and has been an exercise rider at Merryland since 2006. Among the trainers for whom he has galloped are Maryland stalwarts Michael Trombetta, Tim Tullock, the Capuanos, Mary Eppler, Ann Merryman, Robin Graham, and Dane Kobiskie. Also a licensed trainer (as is his wife, Sonja), Milan spent 6 years as an assistant to the late, great Dickie Small.

Zack Stoorza

Zack Stoorza started riding regularly at age 18, and had early experience helping break young horses on his parents’ farm. He prepped 2-year-old sale prospects, and began exercising horses for trainer Franny Campitelli at Pimlico in 2006. He’s ridden for other trainers like Cole Norman and Hugh McMahon, and was aboard Sagamore Farm’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Shared Account during her early training. He’s been riding for us at Merryland since 2011. A Wisconsin native, Zack spends his free time bull-riding.