Day At The Track

Wayne Chrebet visits Tioga Downs

03:18 PM 19 Jul 2013 NZST
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NICHOLS, NY - He was a star receiver during his 11 years in the NFL with the New York Jets and now Wayne Chrebet is hoping to find the same success as the owner of standardbred racehorses.

Chrebet was at Tioga Downs in Upstate New York on Thursday night, watching his 2-year-old trotting colt, Lukas Hall, race in the Tompkins Memorial Stakes.

"Nothing replaces the rush of playing or running out of the tunnel," said Chrebet, who retired in 2005 as the second-leading receiver in Jets franchise history, "but it's a minute and 51 second rush. When they're turning for home and you're second-over or you're on the lead, your chest gets pounding and that's part of the reason I'm in it."

Lukas Hall would finish third, following a fifth-place finish and third-place finish in his two previous starts. Chrebet owns the horse in partnership with Jeffrey Gural, the owner of Tioga Downs.

Chrebet said he has been involved as an owner for 10 years, at one point owning as many as 15 horses. Now, he owns a trio of two-year-old horses.

"I moved down to Colts Neck in New Jersey which is horse country," said Chrebet. I went to Freehold Raceway one day and I decided to get a horse. Then I found Kevin McDermott, he's my trainer now and my best friend. We had some success early, then bought some younger horses and we're still going."

Not only has Chrebet been bitten by the racing bug, his family is along for the ride too. Chrebet was joined at Tioga Downs by his family, including son Lukas, who serves as the racehorse's namesake.

"It's a family thing for me," said Chrebet. "The reason I bought a New York horse is so we can go to all the New York tracks together, we like to travel like that."

After a football career that saw Chrebet go from undrafted out of Hofstra University to having his jersey retired by the Jets, the 39-year-old sums up his racing goals very simply.

"Hopefully, we have some luck together."

Note: A video replay of tonight's race is available by following this link: http://youtu.be/Lzo0chUKQsM

Justin Horowitz
 

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