For Ryan Anderson winning Maywood Park overall driver’s title in 2007 was a first. For Dave McCaffrey taking the top spot in our trainer standings is beginning to be a regular occurrence. The 2007 crown was McCaffrey’s second in a row and his fourth in the last six years.
Anderson and McCaffrey each were awarded a trophy for their 2007 achievements during a winner’s circle ceremony Friday night. Anderson finished with 162 driving wins at Maywood, 40 more than runner-up Mike Oosting. McCaffrey sent out 87 winners, 37 more than the second place trainer Ken Rucker.
Usually our drivers and trainer awards are presented on the final racing night of the year or soon thereafter, however 2007 didn’t finish in the usual manner for Anderson. Ryan spent the end of the year at home after undergoing four hours of surgery where doctors inserted a steel rod in his leg from the hip to the knee area to repair a broken femur when Ryan was run over by a horse in a nasty spill at Balmoral on Sunday, December 23.
“I’ve been working hard to get back,” said Anderson. “I go to rehab three times a week for two hours and I’m pushing myself. I’m now putting weight on my leg that had the surgery and starting to build up my leg muscle. After the surgery they told me it would be up to six months before I’d be back driving but I believe I’ll be returning a lot sooner. I’m shooting for late March or early April. .
“Winning last year’s overall title at Maywood means a lot to me,” said Anderson. “It’s my first ever overall title in Chicago and one personal goal that I have now achieved.
“The accident at Balmoral happen so quickly none of us in the wreck had much of a chance to react. But I realize that I compete in a sport where these types of accidents do happen,” continued Ryan.
“I was looking at some driver statistics in a magazine and I read that I had the eighth most drives in all of North American. It was over 3,000 and that’s a lot of drives. I thought back of how many close calls I was involved in and each time I got away with nothing happening. Then suddenly one night in a split second there’s a wreck and you’re down on the track unable to get up. As it turned out I was lucky though, because it could have been a lot worse.”
“I’m young, I’m healing well and my leg is going to 100 per cent. I’m getting antsy watching the races on TV but I’ll make sure I’m 100 per cent before I return,” said the 27-year-old driver who set personal bests in wins (497) and money earned ($3,692,762) before his 2007 season came up abrupt end two nights before Christmas.
McCaffrey trains 35 horses, split here at Maywood Park and at Odds On Acres in Crete, IL. The 40-year-old Iowa native is in his 18th year as a trainer. Going into this week Dave had 1,238 career winners with over $9.5 million in purse earnings.
McCaffrey also is an IHHA director—his 11th year on the board—and has served as that horsemen’s organization vice president for seven of those years.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity