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Smolin Celebrates 1,000 Driving Wins

Published: June 7, 2015 1:38 am ET

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On an historic day for the sport of horse racing, Balmoral Park regular Bobby Smolin reached his own career milestone on Saturday, June 6, notching the 1,000th win of his driving career as he guided the four-year-old trotter Red Solo Cup to victory in Balmoral Park’s seventh race.

The 29-year-old resident of Bourbonnais, Illinois posted the 999th win of his career earlier in the evening steering Rocknroll Crystal to victory in the fourth race of the night. Both wins came behind Robert Phillips-trained horses, a major source of winning drives for Smolin over the past few seasons.

“It’s really a great thing that it happened with one of “R. Bob’s” (Phillips) horses because he’s stood by me so much ever since I’ve started my driving career,” said a very thankful Smolin. “There have been many others like Mike Schulfer, Ronnie Roberts, John Barnard and Alex Adam, just to name a few, and I’m very thankful to everyone that has allowed me to drive their horses.”

The south suburban born and raised reinsman, who began his driving career in earnest back in 2007, has posted more than 100 wins in each of the past six seasons. His best year to date came in 2012 when he piloted 168 winners while racking up his only seven-figure earnings season with $1,282,510 in purses that year.

When asked after the winner’s circle ceremony if the impending milestone had been weighing on his mind, a relieved Smolin seemed to be happy that he finally hit the magical number.

“I had been thinking about it the past few weeks, especially every time I would get snapped right at the wire,” he joked. “I really think it was supposed to happen tonight though since my wife, my daughter and my entire family were here to help celebrate the occasion.”

For his career, horses driven by Smolin have amassed nearly $6 million in purse earnings.

(Balmoral Park)

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