Greg Grismore eternally grateful to his Dad

04:13 PM 29 Jun 2011 NZST
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Greg Grismore's son Grant Greg and Kimberley Grismore Greg Grismore Greg Grismore and son Grant driving Greg Grismore (left) and Jason Bartlett Greg Grismore Greg Grismore Greg Grismore Maltese Artist and Greg Grismore Greg Grismore with sons Curtis and Grant
Greg Grismore's son Grant
Greg and Kimberley Grismore - Relocated to western Pennsylvania and in 2010
Greg Grismore
Greg Grismore and son Grant driving
Greg Grismore (left) and Jason Bartlett
Mike Lizzi photo
Greg Grismore
Photo by Joe Lewandowski
Greg Grismore - celebrates 5000 career wins at Yonkers
Photo by Joe Lewandowski - Frank Drucker and Greg Grismore at Yonkers Raceway
Greg Grismore - With Won The West
Maltese Artist and Greg Grismore - An impressive win in the $205,000 American National Stake
Greg Grismore with sons Curtis and Grant
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Greg Grismore was no slouch at football and could have taken up College offers to play gridiron when he left high school but now more than two decades later the 41-year-old is glad he took on a harness racing career that was bestowed upon him by his late father, Mark.

“Dad was the biggest influence on my career. If it wasn’t for him I probably would be doing something else by now. Dad bought his first horse when he was 20 and I’ve pretty much been around horses all my life.

“Everything I learnt in harness racing, I learnt from my father. He was my inspiration and we had a close relationship,” Grismore told Harnesslink.

Sadly Mark Grismore was killed in a farming accident in Ohio five years ago. He went to his grave having driven 838 winners ($1,294,742) and trained a further 436 ($1,031,922) more.

“He was renowned for claiming horses, especially those that had gone lame or people had given up on. We had a swimming pool and Dad rehabilitated the animals so well they would return to the racetrack completely different horses.

“I’ll never forget one such claimer called Mister Valiant. Dad got him for $2,500 and turned him to an invitational pacer,” Wind Gap (Pennsylvania) based Grismore said.

Greg Grismore was born in Bluffton, Ohio and jogged a standardbred solo for the first time when he was seven.

He began his career at Toledo’s Raceway Park – about an hour from his Dad’s farm.

Grismore drove his first winner (True Breton) at Toledo in 1987.

He also drove at Northville, Scioto Downs and Northfield during those early years but found it tough to get catch drives because of his commitment to his father’s stable, so he moved to Toledo full-time in 1995 and set up a small stable of his own.

That’s when his catch drives increased.

In 1997 Toledo horsemen went on strike and Grismore ended up at Northfield Park and for four straight years - 2003-2006, Grismore won that track’s driving title.

Cambest Prince was the horse that helped Grismore make his mark. He drove the two-times Northfield Park Horse-of-the Year to a world record mile in 2002 and then won the Bert Beckwith Memorial with him at Plainridge later that year.

He also won Harrington’s Governor’s Cup with ‘The Prince’ in 2003 and 2004.

“’Prince’ helped get me recognized and got me a lot more opportunities,” Grismore said.

Toward the end of 2006 Grismore left Ohio bound for New York State where he has banked more than $4.5 million in each of his three campaigns, after his move east.

On May 26, 2008 Grismore notched up his 5,000th career win behind Real Nasty Miss at Pocono Downs.

Then on March 13, 2009 he also made a name for himself driving seven winners on the Yonkers Raceway program. Last year Grismore, his wife Kimberly and son Grant (3) relocated to western Pennsylvania and in 2010 he finished among the leading drivers at The Meadows and Scioto Downs racetracks.

His career statistics (as at June 27, 2011) currently sit at:

Driving - 5,709 wins and $35,848,316 since first getting in the sulky as a 17-year-old.

Training – 259 wins and $895,303 since 1994.

His best years in the sulky were 2004 and 2007 when he won 448 races and $5,835,622 respectively.

This year he has won 91 races and $941,495 from 1,040 drives.

Asked if he had any drives to look forward to in 2011 Grismore replied:

“Nothing has popped out of the woodwork yet but it’s still early in the stakes season and I’m getting plenty of drives, so fingers crossed.”

Grismore said he hadn’t really trained since 2003, preferring to concentrate on his catch driving career.

His career highlights (big wins) listed below speak for themselves.

THINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT GREG: (courtesy of fanguide.ustrotting.com):

Birthday: May 1, 1970.

Colors: White, red and black.

Favorite Food: Pizza.

First Car: A 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlas.

Favorite Movie: Anchorman.

Favorite Football Team: Cincinnati Bengals.

Pet: A mixed-breed dog named Kirby.

Enjoys: Football, boating, golf and waterskiing…

Music: Classic rock especially AC/DC.

Children: Curtis (16) and Grant (3).

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS (biggest wins):

AMERICAN-NATIONAL

(2007) Maltese Artist

(2007) Won The West

(2008) Won The West

DAN PATCH INVITATIONAL

(2008) Won The West

JUGETTE

(2008) Good News Lady

LEVY MEMORIAL

(2007) Maltese Artist

TATTERSALLS PACE

(2007) Won The West

By Duane Ranger (editor)

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(1) Inside Harness Racing – May 18, 2011 (includes Greg Grismore interview):

(2) Greg Grismore and Won The West winning the 2008 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park:

(3) Greg Grismore and Maltese Artist winning the 2007 George Morton levy Memorial at Yonkers Raceway.

(4) Greg Grismore and Good News Lady winning the 2008 Jugette Final at Delaware, Ohio:

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