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Trace Tetrick is enjoying his 'winter vacation'
Friday, January 31, 2014 - by Charlene Sharpe, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Charlene Sharpe
Dover, DE --- Spending the frigid winter months driving horses seven nights a week -- that’s what Trace Tetrick calls a vacation.

Tetrick, a regular on the Indiana racing circuit, has relocated to the East Coast for the winter to join the Dover Downs driver colony for the 2013-2014 season. The move means it’s his first winter without a barn full of horses to train.

“That’s a vacation,” he said.

Trace Tetrick has won 2,509 races in his career with his mounts banking $23 million.

Tetrick, 27, headed east when Dover opened in October. He said with racing in Indiana shut down for the winter, he was looking for somewhere to drive.

“I was looking for a new adventure,” he said.

Having already spent a season driving in Canada, Tetrick opted for Dover. He said he was drawn to the track because it offered five nights of racing a week as well as a five-eighths-mile oval -- something he doesn’t see much of in the Midwest.

“I like the five-eighths style,” he said. “You can have front end speed but horses can still trip out.”

Tetrick says that while getting enough drives is always a concern, he simply made the move and hoped for the best. He picked up some mounts right off the bat and has been building on them from there. Just a month into the new year, he’s already had 230 starts, driving the winners of more than $185,000. He’s currently driving for trainers such as Jim King, Jr., Dylan Davis and Ed Gannon, Jr.

As far as horses, Tetrick says standouts have included Lindwood Player p,4,1:51.1f ($196,299) and Jersey Boy 4,1:54.3f ($126,896).

Staying with his older brother -- fellow driver Tim Tetrick -- in New Jersey, he’s been able to race in Delaware as well as Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey with ease.

Charlene Sharpe photos
Trace Tetrick and Peek A Bue Kid heading for the track this past Tuesday. They went on to win the $7,500 claimer in 2:00.3.

It’s been his first taste of East Coast racing. While the horses and the purses might be comparable to what he’s used to, the tracks themselves have been all new to the Illinois native. So just what does he think of some of the region’s finest harness racing facilities?

Harrah’s Philadelphia is “Amazing. The paddock is a great set-up. The view is extraordinary.”

As for the Meadowlands, “It’s a great place. Everyone wants to race there at least one time. It’s lived up to that expectation.”

Tetrick is currently driving at Dover Downs Sunday through Thursday and is spending his Friday and Saturday nights at the Meadowlands. He plans to keep that up through March, when he’ll return to the Midwest.

He says he’d love to make the trip east again next winter.

“I’d like to come back,” he said. “Everybody’s been real friendly.”

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