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USHWA To Honour Tetrick, Silva

Published: December 11, 2008 11:37 am ET

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It would be hard to deny that Jerry Silva and Tim Tetrick have been big winners in 2008, so it’s no surprise that they have also won the United States Harness Writers Association’s Owner of the Year and Driver of the Year, respectively.

The 74-year-old Silva had his best season ever, which featured outstanding performances from his three-year-old colt trotter Deweycheatumnhowe, who won more than $2 million during 2008 and banked over $3 million for his career. The speedy trotter won the Kentucky Futurity in a memorable race-off, and also took the prize jewel of the sport, the Hambletonian.

Even better, Silva appears to have the early favourite for the 2009 Hambletonian, based on the 1:53.3 record performance by his two-year-old trotting colt Muscle Hill in the Breeders Crown in late November.

And, oh, by the way, Silva also campaigned the fastest trotter of all time. That would be the aged star Enough Talk, who trotted the Colonial Downs one and one-eighth mile oval in 1:49.3 to be the first trotter to shade 1:50 for the mile.

It wasn’t all a trotter attack for Silva, either. Tug River Princess was a model of consistency throughout her long campaign in the three-year-old pacing filly ranks, and the pacing mare Southwind Tempo again rang up a $400,000 season.

Tetrick, who last year broke the sport’s records for wins and money earned by a driver in a season, slowed down – barely – in 2008, rewriting again the standard for driving the winners of the most money in a year, and thus has been selected for the second straight year the Driver of the Year by USHWA.

Tetrick’s 2007, his first full year of campaigning in the uppermost classes on the East Coast, saw him win an amazing 1,188 races, good for earnings of $18,342,367. The cutback brought Tetrick to 'only' 902 wins this year, but he increased the quality of his drives so that horses he guided took down $19.7 million for the season.

That tantalizing $20 million goal, though, will have to wait for another year, as Tetrick had necessary hip replacement surgery on December 8, and will be out of action for the early part of 2009.

Tetrick is a tremendous fan favourite wherever he drives, because bettors know he will maximize their choices’ abilities and winning hopes within a race. Perhaps that’s why it was even more surprising when Kadealia won the Breeders Crown three-year-old filly trot at the Meadowlands, because she paid a whopping $152 to win – the biggest win price in Breeders Crown history.

Silva and Tetrick will receive their awards at the Night of Stars awards banquet on Wednesday, February 4, at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.


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