Day At The Track

Driver Jason Brewer is still living his dream

01:22 PM 05 May 2011 NZST
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Jason Brewer
Jason Brewer - a much underrated reinsman.

When Jason Brewer left school earlier than he should have the Canadian-based harness racing driver knew the consequences that lay ahead. Even though his father Jeff was a trainer, Brewer knew that if he was to make it in the standardbred world he would initially have to do it on his own.

“I’ve been around horses since day one but when I left school at 16 ‘to live the dream’ I think it was a bit earlier than what my parents expected. That’s why I headed to Massachusetts to try and make a go of it on my own,” Brewer told Harnesslink.

Now 33, Brewer has worked largely as a free-lance catch driver since leaving school. He was born in Lebanon, Ohio and was educated in Massachusetts.

He initially worked in Massachusetts and Ohio before relocating to Maine, Michigan and numerous other tracks throughout the United States.

He drove his first winner at the age of 19 in Kentucky while working for Dr Luel Overstreet, and all the while he was away from home Brewer still maintained a lot of drives with his father Jeff.

“I’m still working hard but it doesn’t get any easier. But I guess that’s life you only get out of it what you put in,” Brewer said.

Married to Angela, Brewer has now been based in Canada for several seasons.

On August 19, he droved his 2,000th winner when Commemorative was successful at Woodstock. Now almost three years later his career tally sits at 2,401 wins from 16,928 drives. He’s also reined home 4,685 place-getters and won more than $20 million in career purses.

His best same was in 2007 when he won 505 races and just over $3.8 million in stake money. Since 2006 he has won at least $2m in stakes a year.

“I love the job – mind you it’s all I’ve ever done. I’ve won a few big races but that Breeders Crown or Little Brown Jug victory is still to come,” Brewer said.

Brewer has won 30 races so far in 2011 and $539,805 in purses. His last winner was behind the Paul Taylor trained Gypsy Artisan at Clinton Raceway on May 1.

That pacer is a black son of Real Artist who has won six races and $86,346.

For the record he’s also trained 165 winners but insists he’s primarily a driver.

“I think my last training win was in 2009 and I only had three starters to the races that year. When I was younger it didn’t matter what I did so long as it was connected with harness racing. These days it’s driving I love the most.”

His biggest win to date came behind Twin B Champ pacing mare St Lads Popcorn (1:52.2), who won the $300,000 Ontario Sire Stakes 2yo Super Final as favourite at Woodbine in November 2008. She raced 27 times for 13 wins and won $654,606 in purses.

Looking to this year Brewer made mention of two horses in thought might win some big races in 2011.

“The Rod Duford trained Camille and Kevin O’Reilly trained Before He Cheats might be worth following. They are a couple of nice horses. Camille is a 3-year-old with a bright future while Before He Cheats is a quality trotter when he’s not lame,” Puslinch (Ontario) based Brewer said.

Asked what his main goal in 2011 was, Brewer replied:

“To keep driving as many horses as I can, and to win better races.

“And yes I would one day love to drive Down Under,” he added.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

St Lads Popcorn and Jason Brewer winning the $300,000 Ontario Sire Stakes 2yo Super Final at Woodbine in November 2008:

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