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Jamieson Gunning For Canadian Record


Published: December 8, 2009 11:19 am ET

Last Comment: December 8, 2009 1:18 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

He may drive for a living, but there are few other drivers, on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit or elsewhere, who are as driven as Jody Jamieson.

The 33-year-old reinsman and third-generation horseman, whose father, Carl, is one of Canada’s most successful trainers, has made it clear that he aims to break Mark MacDonald’s single-season Canadian record of 739 wins (set in 2006). And with less than a month to go in 2009 and an accumulated 730 wins (as of December 7), he appears to be on target to make history.

To break the record, Jamieson has been taking on a staggering number of drives per week. Dividing his time between the WEG circuit, where he drives four nights a week, nearby Flamboro Downs, where he appears three times a week, and Barrie’s Georgian Downs, where he takes in another card (along with occasional visits to London’s Western Fair Raceway), the Cambridge, Ont.-based Jamieson has been piloting an average of 70 to 80 horses per week.

“I’ve been working hard and putting a lot of time in,” Jamieson acknowledged. “I want to be able to look back and say I did it when the chance was there.

“I figure there are about 30 days of racing left, with 40 race cards, give or take. At this point I think I’ve got a great shot of winning the O’Brien and breaking the record.”

Jamieson has already accomplished another major goal for 2009. He achieved the milestone of 5,000 wins, lifetime, this past weekend at Flamboro Downs, driving an eight-year-old pacing mare named Lucky In Lust.

With his nine wins in the U.S., he also leads all drivers in North America in overall victories with 739 this year. His closest rival, Jason Bartlett, who drives at Yonkers Raceway, has racked up 700 wins thus far.

“It’s been a dream of mine to be the best driver in the world since I was a kid, sitting trackside at Flamboro and slapping my whip on a concrete barrier,” Jamieson said. “In 2001 I won the World Driving Championships, representing Canada, and that was a dream come true. Now this is the second year in a row I’ve been the leading dash driver on the WEG circuit, which is the biggest circuit in the world.

“I’ve still got lots of goals to accomplish after this, as well. There are a ton of big races I want to win, including the Hambletonian.”

Trainer Jeff Gillis, who has partnered with Jamieson in the ownership of several horses, including last year’s O’Brien Award-winning two-year-old trotter, Federal Flex, said, “I’m happy for Jody. He has really applied himself this year. He lost a chunk of time earlier this year but he’s really going after (the record) now. He’s been averaging about 160 wins a month, and barring injury or some incredible drought, he should break it before the end of the year.”

Part of Jamieson’s motivation is a desire to show the world that Canada produces top driving talent. “I’d like to be the vehicle to show that. We have so many talented drivers coming up, and we need to publicize that better. I mean, the young guys like Doug McNair and Scott Zeron – the sky’s the limit for their future.”

Though Jamieson has been driving himself hard to achieve the record by year-end, he has some scheduled downtime to look forward to in January. “I’m going to take the month off,” he said. “I’m heading to the Dominican Republic for a friend’s wedding, then to Florida for a few weeks.”

As 2009 draws to a close and just nine wins separate Jamieson from the single-season Canadian record, he has no intention of taking his foot off the accelerator. With 10 drives lined up for Tuesday, December 8 at Georgian, another nine at Flamboro the following day, and 12 at Woodbine on Thursday night, he has his eyes fixed firmly on the prize.


December 8, 2009 - 1:18 pmGreat going Jody. Who ever

ken willcox SAID...

Great going Jody. Who ever thought when you drove at Paris Fair, you be the best in the world. Your old friend Don Allen also says hello Thanks S.C. ken willcox

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