03/14/2012 9:07PM

Sears and Tetrick to visit Yonkers Raceway

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The life of a catch-driver often requires many stops along the way. Sometimes you have to leave home to find greener pastures in locations you never dreamed of driving. Once you set up shop, often enough you will find yourself driving doubleheaders or shuttling between multiple tracks on different days to pick up top drives. It pays well on the top end of the spectrum, but no one could argue that the hours can be long and exhausting.

Arguably the top two drivers in the country over the last few years, Brian Sears and Tim Tetrick, have mostly made their home at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. During 2012, Tetrick has raced exclusively during the evening at the East Rutherford oval and recently added a day job at Harrah’s Chester (Pennsylvania) in early March. Sears has stuck with the Meadowlands from Thursday to Saturday while making Monday and Tuesday evening forays to Yonkers Raceway in New York.

Well, the schedule is about to change for both drivers. The four stakes finals on tap for this weekend at the Meadowlands basically wraps up the winter series action at the leading harness track in the country. While the Night Styles and Summer Survival series remain, the big money offerings are seven weeks down the road when the track begins their Championship Meet on May 4.

Coinciding with the lull in the Meadowlands’ schedule is the start of the rich Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial series at Yonkers. These series typically offer drivers four or five divisions of stakes quality racing going for $40,000 and $50,000 respectively each week for five consecutive weeks. The events culminate with two rich finals on Saturday April 28, a date the Meadowlands will be closed for live racing.

So, you say, “Get to the point. When are Sears and Tetrick coming to Yonkers?”

Sears confirmed in a recent phone conversation that he is “Leaning towards going to Yonkers on Fridays.” Sears has been driving top mare and Blue Chip Matchmaker eligible See You At Peelers in qualifiers, which certainly seems to give him ample reason to make the trek across the Hudson River. “There are a couple of nice horses to drive over there and they are going for good money,” said Sears, who would not fully commit on whether he would race on Saturdays at the Westchester oval.

Tetrick was more firm in his stance. “If Anndrovette goes, I’m going to make that step (to Yonkers) on Fridays. She is my top pacing mare and I’m going where she goes,” said Tetrick, who said he plans on sticking with the Meadowlands on Saturdays. “When I have three or four from (trainer) PJ Fraley to drive, it is hard for me to stay at the Meadowlands on Friday, but I’d hate to leave them on both nights.”

Combine the above Meadowlands vacations with the previously reported Saturday night absence of Yannick Gingras, who will be at Yonkers driving Pacer of the Year Foiled Again in the Levy, and you have to wonder who will be driving at the Meadowlands. At the very least it will create some interesting wagering opportunities.

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willmangton More than 1 year ago
Racing in general is dying. Doesn't matter if The Meadowlands gets slots or not. That area is saturated with slots now. I find it funny that Kesmodel was banned and this Pj so and so takes over the whole barn. talk about beards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So, Rick, you prefer Yonkers, where you can toss the outside half of the program due to the ridiculously short run to the first turn, and where trainers of questionable integrity are allowed to train, either directly or through beards? Once slot moneys decline at Yonkers, you may wish to reconsider your attitude.
Rick More than 1 year ago
The Meadowlands is finished. Anyone who bets that track is very foolish. Reminds me of old Dover back in the 70's Unbetable.I thought Gural weanted all the holes closed? lol..something is very wrong Sears and Tetrick are wise to drive elsewhere . i