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Tetrick Ready To Smash Another Record


Published: July 8, 2009 7:05 pm ET

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If milestone wins seem like an annual occurrence for driver Tim Tetrick, it is because they are.

Entering Wednesday, Tetrick needed 11 wins to reach 5,000 for his career. Only 27 years old, Tetrick will become the youngest driver in harness racing history to reach that level. Walter Case Jr. holds the record as youngest driver to reach 5,000 lifetime wins. Case was 30 when he reached the mark in 1992. Sixty-seven drivers in history have reached 5,000 career wins.

Making this type of history is nothing new for Tetrick. In 2006, he became the youngest driver to reach 2,000 wins. In 2007, he was the youngest to get to 3,000 victories. In 2008, he was the youngest to reach 4,000.

“I definitely appreciate it because of the hard work and effort that’s put into it,” Tetrick said. “When I was a kid, I wished that in my whole life I could win a thousand. I’ve done that in a year.”

In 2007, Tetrick won a record 1,189 times and earned a then-record $18.3 million. Last season, the Illinois native shattered the earnings mark by banking $19.7 million while winning 900 races (which was No. 2 in North America, behind Tony Morgan’s 961). The U.S. Harness Writers Association named Tetrick its Driver of the Year after both campaigns.

So far this season, Tetrick, who missed nearly three weeks of action in January while recovering from hip replacement surgery, is again atop the North American money list, with $6.5 million. He is third in wins with 372.

“It’s been good,” Tetrick said of his season. “I missed [time] and I’m still the leading guy in money, so that’s got to say something. That’s the name of the game now. It’s a money game.”

Tetrick’s workload has taken a dip this season, along with the workloads of many East Coast drivers, because several tracks (most notably Harrah’s Chester and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs) changed from afternoon to evening racing. Therefore, Tetrick has fewer opportunities to race at multiple tracks in a single day.

At this time last year, Tetrick had 146 victories at Chester and 101 at Pocono Downs while on his way to leading both tracks in wins and earnings. This season, Tetrick, who lives in southern New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia, has 117 wins at Chester and 46 at Pocono Downs. Overall, he had 532 wins at this point in 2008.

But Tetrick’s not complaining.

“I’m really glad the doubleheaders are gone, but on the other hand, I’m not,” Tetrick said. “I would definitely be doing the Chester-Meadowlands doubleheader if [Chester] still raced in the afternoon. But it’s hard. I’m glad I don’t have to work so hard.”

Other records for Tetrick include being the first driver to earn $1 million in purses in a season before turning 20, which he accomplished in 2001, and becoming the youngest driver to win a million-dollar race, which he did with Southwind Lynx in the 2007 Art Rooney Pace. Tetrick and Southwind Lynx added the million-dollar Meadowlands Pace that same year.

Some of Tetrick’s other stakes victories include two Breeders Crowns, the Hambletonian Oaks and the Nat Ray.

(Harness Racing Communications)

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