12/27/2012 1:18PM

Harness Racing: Tim Tetrick is the Driver of the Year

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Tim Tetrick led the nation in earnings for the sixth straight year in 2012.

He was the regular driver behind the top five horses in harness racing’s year-end Top 10 performers.

He drove Chapter Seven, the Horse of the Year (also Trotter of the Year), conditioned by Trainer of the Year Linda Toscano, and Captaintreacherous, the Pacer of the Year; in fact he drove the top three finishers in the Trotter of the Year contest voting, and the 1-3 vote-getters on the pacing side. Seven of the 12 divisional award winners gained from his sulky savvy.

He handled four winners on the Breeders Crown championship card and was no worse than fourth in 11 Crown drives, with his horses bankrolling $1,544,850. (And he lost with three highly-regarded charges in Market Share, Captaintreacherous, and Check Me Out; if they had won, his night’s equine guidance would have totaled over $2 million.)

He is the leading money winning driver in North America for the sixth straight year, at $18.46 million. He is No. 2 in wins, with 666 entering Thursday, and trails leader Dave Palone by nine victories.

Yes, Tim Tetrick had a pretty good year in the sulky in 2012 – which is why he was an easy 97-33 winner in voting for Driver of the Year in balloting conducted by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. With this nod, Tetrick becomes the first driver to ever earn the accolade three times.

Tetrick was born to a noted harness racing family – at one point this year, three “T. Tetricks” were in the leading drivers’ column at Lexington’s famed Red Mile, with Tim joining father Tom and brother Trace. Tim first made his mark in the Chicago area, then shifted his focus to the East Coast, quickly earning leading driver honors at Dover Downs, Harrah’s Philadelphia, and The Meadowlands. He then made the logical move to being a regular, then regular first call, behind the top caliber stock in the U.S. and Canada.

Tetrick holds the record for most victories in one season, racking up an amazing 1,189 visits to Victory Lane in 2007. He also claims the single-season mark for driver earnings, with $19,734,781 in 2008 (his “mere” $18.46 million in 2012 gives him his second-best campaign in the money column).

And he just turned 31 last month.

There is absolutely no horizon, no imagining the limits of what Tim Tetrick will achieve in harness racing.

Tim Tetrick will be honored on Sunday, March 3, at the Dan Patch Awards Banquet, the climatic event of Harness Congress VI weekend, to be held at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale FL. Further information about the banquet, the Congress, and related events is available at www.ushwa.org.