04/19/2016 11:43AM

Pompano: Kevin Wallis scores 10,000th driving win

Skip Smith/Pompano Park
Kevin Wallis got lifetime win number 10,000 back of Strong Profile in Pompano Park's finale on Monday night.

Kevin Wallis reached a plateau shared by only 10 other drivers in harness racing history when he won his 10,000th career race with Strong Profile in Pompano Park’s 11th race on Monday night, April 18.

The Ontario born Wallis, who bought part ownership in his first horse, Claybrook Copper, at the age of 12, has been driving winners since the late-1970’s with his peak years, in terms of wins, coming during the 1996 and 1997 seasons, when he won 652 and 629 races, respectively.

During his grand career, Wallis, while competing generally in overnight events, has driven some exceptionally talented horses, including Breeders Crown winner Burning Point, the game pacer Robitaille, Illiana, a winner of 27 races during the 1996 season, Royal Flush Hanover and the one he considers his “first good one,” Merrywood Tyrone.

Owners have benefitted to the tune of over $47,000,000 with the horses he has driven.

Upon achieving this lofty plateau, the soft spoken and articulate Wallis said, “To be in the same category with greats like Campbell, Lachance, David Miller, Manzi, Filion and Palone, just to name a few, is very humbling.

“I am blessed and thankful that I was able to achieve this milestone and that I have been able to stay healthy enough to compete at this level for this many years and at this stage of my career.

“There are a lot of young, talented drivers out there today along with us veterans and we are all thankful to be able to competitive in a safe manner.

Strong Profile, a 4-year-old gelded son of Jereme’s Jet owned by Stuart Lawrence along with trainer Bryan Lawrence, scored in 1:53 1/5, a new lifetime mark, as the 4-5 choice in the Pompano Park finale, a claiming event for pacers.

Wallis, needing two wins on the Monday night program to reach the coveted plateau, set up his historic win by earning victory number 9,999 with his own Sailer Eddie in the featured Open Trot, leading at every pole in scoring a 1:55 3/5 win.

-edited release (John Berry for Pompano Park)