Day At The Track

Todd Trites one away from 2,000th victory

12:44 AM 30 May 2014 NZST
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Todd Trites, harness racing
Todd Trites is one win away from his 2,000th career victory
In harness racing, milestones come and go in a drivers career and all are special in their own way.
This Saturday, popular harness racing driver Todd Trites is one win shy of winning his 2,000th career win and has a chance to accomplish the feat on his home turf in Fredericton.
Trites started his driving career back in 1991 which he scored his first win that season with pacer Angels Class. Since that season, he has amassed 1999-wins, over $ 3-million in purse earnings, and a superb driving average of .329 in his career.
When asked about who his role model has been in racing, he points out that rather than a specific one person, he cites some very well know names.
"I would have to say my brother Stephen has been the biggest influence. I learned a lot from fellow drivers Gilles Barrieau and Steve Mahar early on in my career".
His career year was back in 2008 where he ended the season with 206-wins and over $ 340,000 in purse money. He drove over eight-hundred times that season but has slightly decreased his busy schedule.
Working full-time at N.B Power, he works hard to find the right balance between family life and driving. " I drive depending on the quantity and quality that is available to me. My kids are getting older and I treasure the time I spend with them and Paula. I have a great support system in place."
Living in close proximity to Fredericton and calling the track his home base, he is quick to point out the meaning of getting this milestone on his home turf.
" In this era of racing 2000 (wins ) is big at any track but doing it at home would be something really special for me and my family and fans".
He has driven so many quality horses over the years it must be hard to pick a favorite but Todd was quick to point to one in particular." P H Breakaway gave me a lot of thrilling wins and was a great horse with super connections."
He also has a fondness with Woodmere Topcat, a former track record holder at Exhibition Park Raceway. His resume in racing has been bolstered by his friendship and connection with Jim and Trevin Shive who are well known developers of young horses.
One of the horses that they developed was P H Super Dave who Todd says when he drove him, " I just sat there and was just along for the drive".
Being one of the most recognized names in the sport, Trites is quick to point out it is important that everyone does their part to promote the industry. " If there is going to be a sustained future in New Brunswick, we need everyone involved and to look at the big picture. There is no "I" in team and everyone needs to pull together."
Off the racetrack Trites is busy cheering on his Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs and also is a huge New England Patriot supporter with his wife Paula. He also says he is a big supporter of local and Canadian golf and curling and World Junior hockey is a big part of his holiday season every year.
He will also be front and center for the final leg of the Triple Crown where California Chrome has a chance at making history at Belmont next weekend. " He faces a tough field with several contenders sitting out the last race and are lying in wait. But, he is the best until they beat him".
With a full slate of drives on Saturday in Fredericton, Todd Trites will be looking to write his name in the history books as well with that one win needed to reach his 2,000th win and add another line to his already impressive resume.
by Scott Waddell, for HRNB
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