07/01/2009 12:00AM

Spieth likes riding in just one place


After years of riding at Thistledown during the day and Mountaineer Racetrack in the evening, Scott Spieth is happy to be able to ride solely at Presque Isle Downs, where he is second in the standings.

"I live in Cleveland with my wife and five kids, and it is so important to be home every night with them," he said. "Riding at Presque Isle allows me that luxury."

Spieth, 42, grew up on the family farm in Litchfield, Mich., where his entire family was involved with horses.

"My mom and dad had Quarter Horses and my brother Tony decided to train," Spieth said. "I began galloping and working horses when I was 13 and started riding when I was 15."

Spieth first rode at Glendale Downs in Michigan. After several years he moved his tack to the now-defunct Detroit Race Course and scored 1,525 of his 3,510 lifetime victories.

"I had ridden mixed meets and even some Arabians, but Detroit was my first Thoroughbred-only meet," said Spieth.

When Detroit closed in 1998, Spieth moved his tack to Thistledown, where he won multiple riding titles, and also began riding at Mountaineer at night.

"It was grueling. It seemed like I was never home," he said.

The opening of Presque Isle, with its slots-fueled purses, allows Spieth to stay in one place. He enjoys riding over the Tapeta synthetic surface.

"The track is excellent and riders have to be more patient," he said. "You have to use your knowledge to win, and I think that gives me an edge."

Spieth has four children at home, stepson Austin Swan, daughters Tori and Valerie, and son Bruin. His oldest child, stepdaughter Kirsten Swan, is out on her own and following in Spieth's footsteps. The 19-year-old apprentice has been riding at Presque Isle since moving her tack from Thistledown.