Walter Case Jr. holds the record for being the youngest driver to 6,000 victories. Case was 32 when he accomplished the feat in 1993. Tetrick turned 29 in November.
“It’s been a great career so far and hopefully it just keeps rolling,” Tetrick said. “It’s been awesome. I’m very lucky.”
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Tim Tetrick is 26 wins away from 6,000 career victories.|
Tetrick, who won a single-year record 1,189 races in 2007, is coming off a season in which he won 720 times, good for second place among all drivers in North America, and earned $16.48 million. He led all drivers in purses for the fourth consecutive year and surpassed $90 million for his career.
Last year, Tetrick won his second million-dollar Meadowlands Pace (with One More Laugh), captured a second Hambletonian Oaks (with Bar Slide) and won two Breeders Crown events (with Put On A Show and Buck I St Pat).
“I thought it went very well,” Tetrick said. “I think Put On A Show’s year and Buck I St Pat’s year, those were pretty special. One More Laugh was good all year, he just got overshadowed by Rock N Roll Heaven.”
Tetrick’s milestone records could be in danger down the road. Young drivers like Doug McNair, who last month became the fastest to 1,000 wins, Scott Zeron and Matt Kakaley have shown the ability to win races in bunches.
“There’s a lot of young talent,” Tetrick said. “They’ve done extremely well and are getting great opportunities. I’m happy for them. You set records to be broken.”
As for this year, Tetrick has no specific goals.
“I just try to do the best I can and compete daily,” he said.
Tetrick is not alone in approaching milestones. Bruce Ranger entered Wednesday needing four wins to reach 8,000 and Andy Miller was 18 victories from 7,000.
“I take it race by race and don’t put too much thought into the milestones like that,” Miller said. “But that’s a lot of wins. It takes a lot of driving to win that many races.”
Miller, 42, won 391 races and $6.89 million last year. His top moment came when he won the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters with Manofmanymissions in world-record time. The colt is trained by Miller’s brother, Erv.
“I think it was a very good year,” Miller said. “It could have been better, but I was very happy with it. You’re always looking for more, but you’ve got to be satisfied with what you get. Winning the Breeders Crown with (Manofmanymissions) was pretty awesome, pretty special.”
Ranger, 51, won 273 races and $1.65 million in 2010. Ranger ranks No. 19 among all drivers in North American harness racing history for lifetime victories.
Also nearing milestones are Yves Filion (three wins from 4,000), Tony Hall (12 wins from 3,000) and Ricky Macomber Jr. (16 wins from 2,000).