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Ed Tracey Passes

Published: May 2, 2019 8:50 pm ET

Last Comment: May 5, 2019 1:39 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Trot Insider has learned long-time horseman Ed Tracey passed away late last month.

“Eddy” is often described as a legend in Alberta Standardbred Harness racing, but the places where he raced and was known reach far beyond the province of Alberta.

Eddy was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan on April 11, 1943. He was born into a family of Standardbred owners, trainers and drivers. Working with horses came naturally to him, and he was never alone doing what he loved, in a family with five siblings, Ann, Pat, Edna, Donald and Tressa were all involved with the horses. Growing up in a Standardbred racing family, with his father Hugh and mother Katherine, it’s no surprise that Ed received his license to drive in the races at the young age of fifteen. Caring and racing horses were a huge part of Ed’s life, but so was his family.

On October 12th, 1968 Ed married the love of his life, Aldona. Their wedding announcement was featured on the Sports Page of the Edmonton Journal and titled the “Meeting of the Breeds”, as Aldona was from a Thoroughbred racing family. Ed and Aldona spent the next few years travelling around Canada and the United States racing horses. In June of 1970, daughter, Betty arrived on the scene. Now there were three of them to travel and care for the horses, and make no mistake, Betty was not going to be left in the house, trailer, or tack room. She was right in there, part of it all.

Traveling and racing horses can be very exciting, and when you have a farm as well, there is lots to do. Aldona often stayed home to care for the horses on the farm, looking after the breeding operation, bookkeeping, and caring for Betty. Ed said, “there’s a reason our girls are 13 years apart, I was never home”. And in March of 1983, Barbara was born.

Over the next several years, while taking care of all of the racing and breeding Standardbreds they had, “the girls” as Ed often referred to them, also started working with Morgan horses. Their love for horses continued on to this new breed for the family, and Ed was not only supportive, but helped out when he was home. This “show world” was a different kind of style to get used to for this Saskatchewan farm boy, but he was himself no matter where he went, or what horse was on the track or in the show ring. He was extremely proud of “the girls” and often commented on how busy they were, and how they didn’t get much time for themselves, but that horses were their life, and they took great care of them.

There are many many stories that can be told by the family and people in the industry about the family who like many others travelled together, worked together, and spent almost every waking moment caring for the animals they love. But not only animals, the people in the industry, as well. Though as people in the horse racing industry will tell you, we can all be a little competitive and a little superstitious, (don’t wash the lucky dirt off of Eddy’s helmet) the Tracey family, with Ed at the head, were known to go out of their way, over and over to help others.

Whether it be someone needing a place to rest their head, or a meal, help with a horse, equipment or just a shoulder to lean on, Ed and his family have always taken the time out of their busy schedules to be a true friend to many. Stop what you are doing to go help with a horse, pick you up on the side of the road because your rig broke down, offer to haul horses because you just didn’t have the rig to do it, and the list goes on. Many times, Moore Horse Transport a company that Ed and his brother Pat own and operate, would ship horses up and down the highway for a nominal or no fee when a horseman was in need. Ed has often put his own needs aside to help others.

When you Google “Ed Tracey, Standardbred Racing” there’s a lot that you get to see. When you start looking deeper and doing some research, it really gives you some insight to who this legendary Standardbred trainer, driver, and owner was. But there is so much more to Ed’s story and his family, than just the statistics. Sure, statistics show over nineteen thousand starts, and over three thousand wins and more than 7.5 million dollars in earnings driving horses.

They show great numbers as a trainer, as well, but one wonders what that all meant to the man. As a very successful driver, he was invited to many events and racetracks over the years. One of his fondest invitational driving memories would be winning the Ottawa Ice Racing on the Rideau Canal where he was invited to represent Alberta, and then the following year when he returned as defending champion.

One of his favourite driving memories was when he captured the $167,550, John W. Miller Memorial at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland, with Quille Lauxmont (pronounced Key Lamont) on May 2nd, 1987. Many handicappers were surprised by her ability to defeat Yankee Knight and overwhelming favourite Ingrid Lobell, who finished second and third, respectively. During the race, Ingrid Lobell showed little effort almost the entire mile, while driver Edward Tracey took Quille Lauxmont to the lead from the extreme outside No. 8 post just after the quarter pole and rolled on to victory in 1:58.4, beating Yankee Knight by a head.

In 2012, Ed gave an interview to Yorkton This Week and that interview gives us some insight into the man Ed was. The reporter states that Ed is one of the most successful drivers to ever come out of Saskatchewan. Ed himself reflects on racing being “in his blood”. “I’ve driven from California to Florida, and in St. Louis, and Kentucky, I’ve seen a lot of the world driving horses” he says. At the time, he had driven in six Canadian provinces, at all types and sizes of racetracks. No matter where he went, no matter who he raced with or against and no matter what calibre of horses were there, Ed treated everyone the same, horses and people alike.

And while he was travelling around North America racing, he always had the confidence that the horses and farm, the home in Leduc, were being well taken care of by “the girls” (Aldona, Betty and Barb). Like many horsemen, Ed knew the sport could be dangerous, and often commented that the danger was part of the business, but he was fortunate to be doing what he loved and had the support of his family. On August 21st, 2016 Ed realized another momentous and amazing event in his live when daughter Barb gave birth to a son, Morgan. It wasn’t hard to see the pride and joy in Ed’s eyes when he was with or talked about Morgan. And he wasn’t even two years old, May 2018, when he showed his first Morgan horse at a local horse show. The love of horses and all animals certainly lives on in this next generation.

Some of Ed’s favourite horses were Herbert Dundee, who no one thought would ever even make it to the races, but after perseverance “you never want to give up on them”, and finally qualifying at the age of five, Herbert went on to win over 170 thousand dollars and had 63 wins in 101 starts. Wanetta was the first horse Ed every owned on his own. She was a Chief Mohawk out of a Jimmie Grattan Worth mare called Southcote.

Though her total earnings may not mean much to some at just over $17 thousand dollars, with a mark of 2:08 as a five-year-old, she meant a lot to Ed and that’s what mattered. Ed would often comment that if you don’t treat your “cheaper” horses the same and as well as your “good” ones, how will the cheaper ones ever get to be good ones? Two of Ed’s biggest purchases, and well-known horses in the early days were Brass Mint and Henderson Hassle, both of which he purchased for $20,000.00.

Another well known horse Ed raced in Alberta would be Open Road. In more recent years, he would comment on a horse that “the girls” named, Skittles N Beer, and who Barbara helped get ready to race. When asked about breaking horses and driving horses who liked to “run away”, Ed would often comment “I can ride as fast as they can run”, and that’s a sentiment that is echoed by many horsemen.

Many friends, partners, relatives and loved ones can sit for hours and reminisce about this legendary man. Talking about how they would hear over the racetrack PA system “E.T. call home”, as the person on the PA made reference to the line from the 1982 movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”. Well E.T. you have been called home, your pain is gone, and it’s clear driving and open road from here on. Though we will miss you, we send you on with all of our love, and fondly remember all of the great times we have shared. Drive on old friend and enjoy your time beyond the finish line.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, May 6th, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Leduc Fellowship Church (4401 Rollyview Rd. Leduc, AB.)

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Equine Foundation of Canada.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Ed Tracey.

(ASHA)

May 5, 2019 - 1:39 pmIf anyone has any pictures of

The Hainings SAID...

If anyone has any pictures of Ed Tracey that they would like to share with the family, we would appreciate it greatly. We know there are many out there, and it would be great to see them. Please contact or send pictures to [email protected] Thank you

May 5, 2019 - 2:08 amI grew up in Fort Sask

Craig Conley SAID...

I grew up in Fort Sask Alberta. Went to Northlands Park when I was about 10 yrs old. Mr Tracey was the top guy at the track! Still have a picture I took of him and Open Road, on the day Troublemaker beat On the Road Again in the Breeders Crown. My condolences to the Tracey family.

May 3, 2019 - 5:33 pmA true legend in Standardbred

Ross Sharp SAID...

A true legend in Standardbred Racing.....the toughest horseman (fearless) I ever knew. Condolences to his family and many friends.

May 3, 2019 - 4:22 pmEd wad a great driver and a

Ed wad a great driver and a great guy could put any pulling horse in a hole and drive them well. One of the best in his day.


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