Trace Tetrick became part of Hoosier Park history Saturday, July 12 when he earned his first leading driver title at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. The 21-year-old reinsman from Geff, Ill. became the youngest driver or jockey to ever win a title in the 15-year history of the Anderson, Ind. racetrack.
Rick Moore, general manager of racing, and Scott Peine, director of Standardbred racing, made the presentation.
Born into a horse racing family, Tetrick grew up around horses and began his career on the southern Illinois county fair circuit.
After graduation from Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Ill., Tetrick set out to become a catch-driver, looking to earn his living driving harness horses for other people.
His plans quickly took off. With the backing of a stable from the family operation, Tetrick soon began picking up business from outside trainers during his first full year of action in 2005.
The youngest of three brothers, Tetrick concentrated his business first in Chicago and later at Blue Grass Downs. Following the summer at the county fairs in Illinois, Tetrick landed at Colonial Downs in Virginia.
Tetrick followed the same path that his older brother, Tim, had taken beginning in 2006.
He ventured into Indiana, competing at Hoosier Park and later Indiana Downs before stepping back onto the Chicago circuit. He won 26 races at Hoosier Park to rank 12th in the driver standings. Tetrick returned last season, pulling in a fourth place finish with 65 wins over the 61-day meet.
Tetrick ended the 2008 racing season with four wins on the closing night card, including both $23,000 Invitationals on the trot and pace and a new two-year-old colt pacing track record with Suprizemeagain in a time of 1:52.1.
He completed the meet with 116 wins, 26 ahead of second place finisher, Ricky Macomber Jr., who won the title in 2007.
In only six years of driving, Tetrick has earned nearly 700 career wins and posted purse earnings in excess of $3.5 million in his career. He is ranked 22nd in the nation with 212 wins this year.
"This title is a great honor," said Tetrick. "I've been fortunate to drive a lot of good horses and get them across the wire first. I've had good luck, and I'm grateful for that."
In addition to driving, Tetrick oversees the Indiana-based portion of the family operation, training 12 horses.
His father, Tom D., and his mother, Maryalice, are still based at the family farm in Geff. His oldest brother, Tom T., drives in Illinois and Kentucky while the middle brother, Tim, is currently racing on the East Coast.
Tim set a new seasonal record in 2007 for most wins posted by any driver in one year, winning 1,189 races. Tim is currently in second place nationally in 2008 with 535 wins.
As for the youngest Tetrick, he will head to Indiana Downs to continue his driving skills on the Indiana circuit and try to defend his title from the 2007 season.
At the age of 21, his best years are ahead of him in life and in harness racing.
Tammy Knox, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino