12/15/2011 4:39PM

Tim Tetrick not worthy?


Each December my ballot arrives for the U.S. Harness Writers Association Dan Patch Awards. While voting in the horses’ categories are open to all competitors, the human nominees are narrowed down and selected by individual Chapters of the organization.

Six finalists made it on the ballot in the Driver of the Year category. Deserving nominees like George Brennan, Ron Pierce, Dan Noble, and perhaps Dave Palone and Dave Miller top the list, which also includes the laughable nomination of Kevin Switzer Jr., who has dominated against inferior competition on the New England circuit.

Where is Tim Tetrick?

You know, the guy who leads North America in earnings with $15,528,867 (as of 12/14), over $1 million ahead of Brennan in second. The same driver who ranks third in the country in wins (726), just 19 and 11 behind Noble and Brennan, respectively. How is possible that you could lead in earnings and be third in wins but 11 Chapters shun you from an award that you should obviously have an opportunity to win?

Truth in advertising, I voted with my chapter for Brennan. Tetrick would have been my second choice. With Noble leading the nation in wins, I would certainly have placed him third. After those top three, I just don’t see how a strong case can be made for the rest.

I have no problem with each Chapter selecting nominees, but clearly a final committee is needed to add in those that were unfairly left out in the cold. Tim, you were robbed. You have my apologies.

Pacer of the Year

The most interesting battle on this year’s horse ballot is clearly Pacer of the Year. There are top older rivals We Will See and Foiled Again, rookie standouts Sweet Lou and Economy Terror, and Meadowlands Pace winner Roll With Joe.

After serious deliberation I determined that it should come down to We Will See or Foiled Again. Why? Sweet Lou would have needed to win the Governor’s Cup to get my consideration. He hung his saddle pad up one start too early. Economy Terror was awesome late but could not handle American Jewel when she was healthy. I can’t give her the top title when she may have been the second best in her division. Roll With Joe was the best 3-year-old, but his 6 for 14 record doesn’t scream Pacer of the Year in my book.

Now down to two candidates I am still left with a conundrum. I simply can’t separate We Will See and Foiled Again. The former has more impressive wins (Canadian Pacing Derby, Ben Franklin) in terms of quality, while the latter won more money ($1,405,747 to $1,242,745) and sports three more wins.

So, my vote is up for grabs. Should 2011’s Pacer of the Year be We Will See or Foiled Again?

I’m open for your thoughts.