01/03/2018 10:16PM

Dover: Morgan notches win No. 16,000 on Wednesday

Tony Morgan is interviewed by Marv Bachrad after winning his 16,000th career race.

It was a BIG day for Tony Morgan. Needing two wins to reach 16,000, Morgan quickly responded by taking both ends of the Dover Downs daily double to attain his milestone on Wednesday, Jan. 3. Morgan, who won four races on the card, is only the second driver in North American harness racing history to drive 16,000 winners in a career.

Morgan started his momentous day driving owner-trainer Gilbert Mc Clements Jr's Pippy Longstocking to victory in 1:56 1/5 in the first race on the card. Then he guided Josh Parker and Nanticoke Racing’s Killean Finale home in 1:56 1/5 in the second race for his milestone victory.

In the $25,000 Mares Open, Morgan, driving Divas Image, escaped from racing fourth on the final turn to scoot up the passing lane for a 1:53 1/5 nose-long win over Newborn Sassy (Tim Tetrick) at the wire. Our Horse Cents, Stable 45 and J&T Silva own the Bettor's Delight-Rocknroll Diva 5-year-old trained by Jenn Bongiorno. The winner of the last Open, she has won three of her last five and four of her last six with a pair of thirds in between. Sweet Bobble (Art Stafford Jr.) held on for third.  

Tony Morgan finished the card with four wins. Tim Tetrick had three. Vic Kirby and Corey Callahan won two races each.

Tony Morgan, who trails all-time leader Dave Palone with more than 18,000 wins, began his career in his teens with his first drive coming at 13 at the Fairs. From racing in Kentucky and Midwestern tracks, he emerged as a top driver in the 1990s at Chicago-area racetracks.

Morgan has won the North American leading dash-win title five times, including three in consecutive seasons; 1995, 1996 and 1997. He also was the sport’s leading driver in 2006, with 1,004 wins, and in 2008, winning 961 races. He also was runner-up in 2002, 2005 and 2007, a year in which he won 880 races. Four times, in 1996, 1997, 2002 and 2006 seasons, Morgan won the prestigious Harness Tracks of America (HTA) Driver of the Year honor, a coveted award based on the number of wins, UDR percentage and purse money .

Morgan is now 59 and is enjoying another top season currently at Dover Downs where he is in the top three in wining drives this season.

-edited release (Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs)