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Twaddle: HOF Honour "Full Circle"

Published: November 17, 2017 1:12 pm ET

Last Comment: November 21, 2017 2:52 pm ET | 8 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

“It’s all full circle.” Meadows-based trainer Tim Twaddle, who enjoyed a lengthy driving career in Pennsylvania and California, will return to his native Ontario this Thursday (November 23) to be inducted into the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame.

Twaddle, a 55-year-old native of St. Catharines, scored his first driving win at Greenwood Raceway in 1982 and enjoyed success in the sulky at the Meadows and Cal-Expo in the 1990s and 2000s, was bit by the racing bug as a young boy.

“When I was a little kid, my mom would always wrap me in a blanket and we’d watch the first two races at Garden City Raceway, and that was my bedtime story,” Twaddle told Trot Insider. “I knew from then I wanted to be a driver. Where I was, I had the luxury of a racetrack in my hometown. It was always a treat.”

After shattering his hip in a racing accident at Flamboro Downs in 1984 and learning of a leaking aortic valve which ultimately needed to be replaced a decade later, Twaddle shifted his tack to the Meadows in the summer of 1995 after months of recovery from the replaced valve.

Tim Twaddle driving Hardie Hanover to victory in the 1994 Glen Garnsey Memorial

“My name was pretty good at the Meadows from driving in Ontario,” Twaddle continued. “So, I talked to Roger Huston and he said, ‘If you come down, I’ll promote the heck out of you.’ So, I came down, and had a pretty good run. Then, I went out to California in the winter of 1995-96 and had a good few seasons there. When I went out, that’s when I met my wife. When our kids got old enough to start preschool, we decided we didn’t want to stay in California, so we came back in 2006. The slots happened later that year, so it was a touchdown.”

Twaddle hung up his colours in 2010, but has remained active on the Meadows backstretch as a trainer, maintaining a small stable. To date, he has accumulated 677 training wins in addition to his 1,946 victories and $13.2 million in purses earned as a driver.

“It must mean I’m getting old!” Twaddle quipped of his Hall of Fame induction, a recognition he will share with hockey players Hank Ciesla and Dave Gorman, basketball and softball player Diane Hilko, and swimmer Mark Johnston. “Obviously, it’s a huge honour. I don’t do this for the trophies, but I’d like to be successful at it and I’m happy to have driven some nice horses in my career. It’s a wonderful business; when you’re up, everyone supports you, and when you’re down, everyone’s there to bail you out.”

Twaddle is quick to credit his family, friends, and medical support system in playing a major part in his long-lasting career as a horseman. “I’ve always had good people around me; a great support system.

“It’s all full circle. I did my rehab from my broken hip and broken knee at Niagara Rehab Centre and the Brock University sports medicine complex in St. Catharines, and they did a great job getting me back onto the track. There are a lot of people with a hand in my success, my rehab, my support. I certainly couldn’t have done it alone. It’s humbling to be recognized for something that I love doing anyway.”

November 21, 2017 - 2:52 pmCongratulations Tim.

Garth Gordon SAID...

Congratulations Tim.

November 21, 2017 - 1:19 amCongratulations Tim. Lots of

Ralph Sucee SAID...

Congratulations Tim.

Lots of trials and tribulations, unexpected victories and inevitable losses, tears of pain and loss, and tears of joy and victories. Sweet victories with a loyal and loving wife and your warm and loving family. Longtime owners... and friends everywhere you've traveled.

The last place to recognize a lifetime of achievements is often ones hometown. So congratulations on your Hall of Fame induction. {Please let me know the date of your retirement party} hahaha

November 20, 2017 - 10:12 amHey Tim! So pumped to hear

Helen Smith SAID...

Hey Tim! So pumped to hear the news! A long time coming and well deserved. "Poppa Lloydy" aka Lloyd Smith would be so proud, and I just know he is smiling down on you. Kudos & love.

November 18, 2017 - 4:03 pmCongrats on the honour Tim.

Norm Brunet SAID...

Congrats on the honour Tim. Much deserved.

November 18, 2017 - 8:27 amA classy guy deserving of

A classy guy deserving of such recognition. Congrats from one of the old Greenwood backstretch gang!

November 17, 2017 - 8:35 pmCongratulations, Tim!

Congratulations, Tim!

November 17, 2017 - 6:13 pmGood on you Tim. One of the

Gord Brown SAID...

Good on you Tim. One of the good guys. All the best.

November 17, 2017 - 2:48 pmI remember Tim when he

Joe Riga SAID...

I remember Tim when he started driving at Greenwood. I was young then and used to go to the races pretty often. Often times I'd be there early and be hanging out on the rail watching the horses come by and I eventually struck a bit of a friendship with Tim (or Timmy T as I used to call him back then). He was, and I'm sure still is, a super nice guy and every time we would cross paths at the track he would stop and we'd chat for a bit. He even allowed me to join him in the winners circle a couple of times after a race he'd won. I still have the picture somewhere, standing in a blizzard after he had just won a FFA race at Greenwood. I sure do miss that track. I remember him driving Talldarkandhandsome which I used to bet on quite often. He's obviously had some good success with the likes of Hardie Hanover and Towners Image to name a few and I'm happy for him to see him receive this honour. Congrats and well done Timmy T.

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