On the heels of breaking both the Canadian and North American harness racing records for number of wins in a single year, Jody Jamieson has been awarded the Driver of the Year Award from Harness Tracks of America (HTA).
Jamieson finished in a dead heat with Pennsylvania's Dave Palone for Harness Tracks of America's Driver of the Year award for 2009. Palone has won this award four times before, and shared it last year with Tim Tetrick. Jamieson is a first-time winner.
Although eight other Canadians have previously won HTA Driver of the Year honours since its inception in 1968, Jamieson is the first to do so while competing almost exclusively on this side of the border. He drove in 3322 purse races in 2009, 3247 of which were in Canada.
Both Jamieson and Palone scored 88 points in winning the honour, which is considered one of the toughest in harness racing to attain. To win, a driver must finish in the top 25 internationally in three categories: races won, money won and percentage standings. Only five drivers out of 4030 who drove in at least one pari-mutuel race last year in the U.S. and Canada, were able to accomplish that feat.
Jamieson's total of 796 wins allowed him to finish first in the win category. He was seventh continent-wide in both money won, with US$10,400,000 earned by his mounts and in-the-money percentages, with a .366 average. Palone accumulated his points by finishing fourth in races won with 697, sixth in purses with US$10.7 million earned by horses he drove, and fifth with a .382 in-the-money average in that category.
Jason Bartlett finished third with 86 points, Tim Tetrick was fourth with 78, and Jim Morrill Jr. finished fifth with 71.
Courtesy WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT