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Joe Pavia Jr. retires from driving; will be honored at Pocono
Monday, October 10, 2016 - from the Downs at Miohegan Sun Pocono

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Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Joe Pavia Jr. recently announced his official retirement from driving to concentrate on training full time. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will honor his nearly 40-year career with a special winner’s circle presentation on Tuesday (Oct. 11). Horsemen and fans are welcome in the photo, after the fifth race.

USTA photo
Joe Pavia Jr. has announced his retirement from driving.

In his career spanning four decades, the maroon and gold colors of Pavia were spotted behind the horses who won 5,478 races, putting him right on the bubble of the top 100 winningest drivers of all-time, and who brought back $37,688,704 in earnings to his owners.

Pavia won the two biggest stakes races for 3-year-old pacers at Pocono, the James Lynch with the filly Natural Ingredient and the Max Hempt (then the Banks) with the colt Artistic Freedom.

He won an elimination for the Little Brown Jug with Easy Goer, and a Meadowlands Pace consolation with Lookout Man. Pavia won three Matron Stakes and three Kindergarten Series finals, two championships in the Pennsylvania and Florida stakes programs, and one in New York.

In 2009 horses guided by Pavia earned $3,197,713, his best seasonal total, and he had three other $2 million years and a total of 15 with earnings of $1 million-plus. He compiled 331 victories in 2006 for his highest seasonal total, and he had 28 years in which he gained 100 or more victories, eight times topping 200 wins. The 2006 season also saw him post a UDR of .374, which placed him 14th among all drivers in North America with 500 or more starts -- and it was the best of his 12 campaigns that saw Pavia post a UDR better than .300.

Along the way, he picked up several driving titles at the two tracks he focused on in his recent career: at The Downs, and at Pompano Park in Florida.

Pavia is a horseman who, while never harnessing 500 horses in any season, does have 860 training victories to his credit since 1992, when the USTA began keeping such numbers. During that time, he has posted three seasons with the barn earning more than $1 million and nine years where he achieved a UTR of .300 or more.

Upon doctor’s orders, Pavia hangs up his driving colors and will concentrate on training. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono says “Thanks for the memories Joe.”

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