Corey Callahan getting some "respect" on Sunday

04:56 AM 17 Feb 2014 NZDT
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Corey Callahan, harness racing
Corey Callahan

Third in a series of Harnesslink stories about 2013's leading harness racing drivers, the vehicles they drive in pursuit of victory, and other current relevant facts.

It's official - this coming Sunday evening, the "I Don't Get No Respect" trophy will go back to Rodney Dangerfield!

Corey Callahan has been in contention for this award for a while, but when Corey gets the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Rising Star Award at the end of this week in front of the "hometown folks" in Dover DE, Mr. Dangerfield will somewhere be tugging on his red tie, but with the knowledge that he has regained his undisputed title.

Callahan, 35, in his last year of Rising Star eligibility, has been regarded among the most promising horsemen for several years now - at the end of 2013, he stood 55th on the all-time list for money won by a harness driver. But 2013 was his "breakout year," finally making himself a major factor on the Grand Circuit trail by winning stakes worth $150,000 or more with Golden Receiver, D'Orsay, Drop The Ball, Ma Chere Hall, and Allstar Partner (his richest win, in a $260,000 PA Sire Stakes Championship), and simultaneously posting career highs for money (naturally) at $9.7 million and wins (615) - and it put him in the discussion when conversations turn to North America's absolute best sulky pilots.

Corey is also ahead so far in the continental 2014 dash category with 98 visits to Victory Lane at press time - in fact, he's 26% ahead of two Hall of Famers, Dave Palone and Ron Pierce, who are even in second at 73. But even though Dover Downs, where he has been many-time leading driver, is racing this Sunday, he will be at the other end of the plant, where the Dan Patch Awards dinner is being held.

Callahan is one of only two of last year's Top Ten drivers (the other was Pierce) to win 100 or more races at three different tracks - Dover (255), Philadelphia (179), and Meadowlands (115). That means a lot of time on the road, and nowadays Callahan has traded in his truck for a more comfortable ride in pursuit of triumphs.

"I used to drive a truck back and forth," Corey explained. "But the cost of diesel fuel just got to be too much. So now I have an Infiniti, and I guess I've put about 240,000 miles on it in the three years I've had the car." (But don't worry, folks, because 5% of the $22.6 million Corey's drives have bankrolled in the last three years gives him a good cushion should he need to roll up and down Route 13, visiting the many car dealerships near Dover.)

And bettors, lest you be discouraged that "the word" on the talents of Corey Callahan is "getting out" and he might not paid the nice mutuels you "sharpies" had been getting on him - feel a little better knowing that since The Meadowlands has returned from the Super Bowl break, there has been only one horse there to pay more than $50 to win - Marion Monaco, $51.00, on February 7 ...

... driven by Corey Callahan.

Driver                             Total Wins    Tracks                    Track Wins

Corey Callahan

619

Dover*

255

   

Philadelphia*

179

   

Meadowlands*

115

   

Lexington*

16

   

Harrington

15

   

Pocono*

11

   

Ocean

10

   

Meadows

8

   

Delaware

4

   

Vernon*

3

   

Maywood

1

   

Yonkers

1

   

Tioga

1

       

* - won $100,000 race at this track

 

by Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com

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