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Tony Morgan wins 16,000th Wednesday at Dover Downs
Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - by Marv Bachrad, publicity director, Dover Downs

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Dover, DE --- It didn’t take Tony Morgan long on Wednesday (Jan. 3) at Dover Downs to become only the second driver in North American harness history to drive 16,000 winners in a career.

The 59-year-old Morgan drove Pippy Longstocking to victory in 1:56.1 to win the first race on the card. Then he guided Killean Finale home in 1:56.1 in the second race for the memorable 16,000th.

Fotowon photo
Tony Morgan drove his 16,000th winner on Wednesday at Dover Downs.

Morgan, who trails only Dave Palone in career wins among North American drivers, was born in Ohio, rose to prominence in Chicago and now calls the Delaware circuit home. The son of driver/trainer Eddie Morgan Jr., himself the winner of 4,724 races, Morgan got his first win one month shy of turning 15 in 1973.

In 1995, Morgan led all drivers in North America in wins, and captured the title again in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2008. From 1995 through 2009, he was never out of the top 10 and racked up 10,695 wins during that span.

Morgan was Harness Tracks of America’s Driver of the Year in 1996, 1997, 2002 and 2006. He is one of only four drivers to win more than 1,000 races in a year, totaling 1,004 in 2006.

Horses driven by Morgan have earned nearly $128 million in purses, which puts Morgan 13th on the sport’s all-time list.

Morgan has previously discussed enjoying “the daily grind” of racing and keeping active and competitive.

“I’m a day-to-day guy; I’m not a long-term goal-setter,” Morgan said. “I just try to have a good day every day and turn the page if I have a bad day. I’m still working and I still enjoy the work. If I didn’t enjoy it I doubt I would be very successful at it. You have to be pretty dedicated.”

Even though he doesn’t make a point of chasing numbers, Morgan has said it is rewarding to reach these milestones.

“I’ve been really fortunate,” Morgan said. “I’ve had some really good people in the business support me over the years and give me good horses to race. It’s not hard to do good when you get to that point.

“Other people are a lot more conscious of (the milestones) than I am, but it’s nice when you hit them. And it’s always nice to be recognized by your peers. When people you’re around all the time and have raced with your whole life recognize you as doing something good, it means a lot.”

In the $25,000 female feature on Wednesday, Morgan, driving Divas Image, escaped from racing fourth on the final turn to come on and take the passing lane to get up in 1:53.1, nosing out Newborn Sassy (Tim Tetrick) at the wire. Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and J&T Silva Stables 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 Bobbie (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.

Weather permitting, another outstanding Thursday program is headed by a $25,000 Open Handicap Pace featuring Major Uptrend, Cajon Lightning and newcomers Missile J and Macon Georgia A.

-- Ken Weingartner also contributed to this story

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