Day At The Track

Tetrick at home at Hoosier Park

09:20 AM 26 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Trace Tetrick, harness racing
Trace Tetrick
Mark Hall USTA photo

Harness racing driver Trace Tetrick is off to the best start of his career and now gets to look forward to the home portion of his season.

The 34-year-old Tetrick leads all drivers in North America in purses and is second in wins as he prepares for Friday's opening night at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Tetrick lives five minutes from the Anderson, Ind., oval and has won seven consecutive driving titles there.

"It's exciting," said Tetrick, who has spent the first part of this year competing at Ohio's Miami Valley Raceway, a roundtrip four-hour journey. "It's great to be back close to home and racing. Hoosier is a great place to race and I'm glad to have that opportunity.

"The commute will be a lot nicer," he added with a laugh. "Four hours a day in the car kind of gets old after a while."

Tetrick has made the most of his travels, though, with $1.16 million in purses and 130 wins. He leads Miami Valley drivers in both categories.

"Everything has been very good over there," said Tetrick, whose win total is a career best for this point in the year. "I've been very fortunate."

Tetrick, who has won 5,883 races lifetime, kicks off his Hoosier Park season with drives in all 14 of Friday's races.

"I'm looking forward to it," Tetrick said. "I like the style of racing at Hoosier. You can race on the front or from off the pace, you have options. You're not committed to the speed in a sense because you're not as dependent on the draw. It's not great to have posts eight or nine at Hoosier but it's not as bad as some other places."

Last year, posts four and five produced the highest percentage of winners, at 15.7 and 15.3, respectively. Post eight was 7.7 percent and post nine was 6.9 percent.

"At some other tracks, you're more dependent on the pace or you have to go hard to get to where you need to be," Tetrick said. "When it comes to the post draw, Hoosier is a little more forgiving."

In additionto winning the past seven driving titles at Hoosier, Tetrick is looking for his 10th overall crown. He got his first in 2008 and his second in 2012.

"I hope (I can get No. 10) but it's a long way off," he said. "It's a long summer and a lot of things have to go right; a lot of pieces have to fall into place. Hopefully, they do, and that puzzle comes together, and everything looks good at the end."

Last year, Tetrick won an Indiana Sire Stakes championship with 2-year-old female trotter Swift Swanda and had second-place finishes with 2-year-old male pacer What's Your Beef, 3-year-old female trotter Rock Swan, and 3-year-old female pacer Mystical Carrie.

"I think (Swift Swanda) will be a good 3-year-old with the way she finished up," Tetrick said. "She just needed to mature a little bit. She's got a great way of going and she's got a great attitude. She just needed to learn and develop good habits.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the young horses this year and seeing what they're going to do, how good they're going to be," he added. "In the past, they've just come out like gangbusters, right off the bat. Horses are just more gifted."

For more about Hoosier Park's new season, click here. For Friday's complete entries, click here. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT).

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

 

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