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Hoosier Caps 2018 Racing Season

Published: November 11, 2018 12:52 am ET

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Harrah’s Hoosier Park concluded the 25th silver-anniversary season of live harness racing with a 14-race card in front of a packed house on Saturday, Nov. 10. In addition to the racing action, the leading driver and trainer titles were awarded.

On the driving side Trace Tetrick secured his fifth-consecutive and seventh leading driver title at Hoosier Park. Tetrick, who led the standings from start to finish, was officially recognized as the 2018 leading driver with 309 victories while amassing over $3.7 million in purse earnings throughout the 160-day season. Sam Widger finished second with 259 victories with John DeLong in third with 248 trips to the winner’s circle.

The Southern Illinois native started driving in 2003 and has since surpassed the $50-million mark in purse earnings. As the all-time leading driver in Hoosier Park history, Tetrick recorded his best season to date in 2017 with over $6.8 million in purse earnings and 569 victories. Tetrick is also ranked among the top 10 drivers in the country with 469 victories and counting.

“I want to thank the owners, trainers, and grooms who put me in the position where I can do well every night,” Tetrick said in the winner’s circle. “Without them I wouldn’t be standing here today. I am going to take a few weeks off and enjoy this and then will most likely be racing in Ohio for a few nights a week during the off season.

“The support of my family and friends has been great. I really appreciate the opportunity to show up every night and do what I love.”

After tying with trainer Jamie Macomber for the leading trainer title last season, Jeff Cullipher took the next step and secured the 2018 leading trainer title outright.

Heading into the evening’s 14-race card just four wins separated the top pair. Cullipher secured the title after winning with Wings Up and Inverse Hanover in their respective races, ending the season with 119 victories with Jamie Macomber finishing second with 116 trips to the winner’s circle.

Raised by a family rich in harness racing tradition, Jeff Cullipher has quickly made a name for himself as a trainer at Hoosier Park. The 47-year-old Henderson, KY native is no new comer to the sport of harness racing. A driver since 1988 and trainer since 1991, Cullipher has over 30 years of harness racing experience to his credit.

After recording his first-million dollar season as a trainer in 2017 with his stable netting over $1.2 million in purse earnings and 102 victories, Cullipher is on track to record his best season to date in 2018 as his stable has already amassed over $1.5 million in purse earnings and 124 wins. Cullipher’s stable earned over $1.3 million in purse earnings at Hoosier Park this season.

“It really is a team effort,” Cullipher said. “It’s a lot of hard work but I’ve got a great team and some great owners who helped make this possible. Owners like Tom Pollack have been a dream come true for a guy like me—it’s an honor to have the caliber of horses I’ve been able to train all season.”

“We are going to take a little bit of time off. We will keep a stable here in Indiana for the winter and we are also looking to have a stable in New Jersey starting in December so next year will be exciting.”

The Saturday night program wrapped up an extremely successful season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino would like to thank all of the fans and horsemen who helped make the 2018 season at Hoosier Park an overwhelming success.

“I want to tip my hat to everyone at Harrah’s Hoosier Park who made this 25th season of harness racing so special and memorable,” said Harrah’s Hoosier Park Vice President and General Manager of Racing Rick Moore. “And to our partners, the horsemen, who night in and night out make racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park the best there is in North America. We couldn’t be more proud. We’ll catch our breath and then get back to the drawing board to make 2019 even better.”

(Hoosier Park)

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