Day At The Track

Jonathan Drury focused despite closures

06:00 AM 14 Mar 2013 NZDT
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Jonathan Drury Jonathan Drury (left) with Casie Coleman Jonathan Drury with Amy O'Toole Jonathan Drury Jonathan Drury
Jonathan Drury - Winning behind Vegas Vacation
Jonathan Drury (left) with Casie Coleman - Scott Zeron and Boyd Wilson (rear)
Jonathan Drury with Amy O'Toole
Jonathan Drury - Competing at Grand River Raceway's Industry day
Jonathan Drury
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The closure of several harness racing tracks in Ontario will not stop the rise of promising young Canadian reinsman, Jonathan Drury. The Burlington native said he drove more than 100 winners at Kawartha Downs last year and was saddened by its closure.

“I loved driving there and finished second on the driver’s list at that track last year. Sure I love driving at big tracks like Woodbine and Mohawk, but if I had a full book of drives at a B-track I would much rather drive there than say driving two or three a night at the big tracks.

“It’s all very sad and I just hope something can be done here to stop tracks closing,” Drury told Harnesslink.

Nonetheless Drury said he was still keen to keep improving his driving skills.

Last year he reined home a personal best 206 winners and won just over $1.4 million in purses. So far in 2013 he’s won 40 races and $329,850.

“I’m not going to let track closures get in the way from me achieving my goals. I think I can topple the $1 million mark again and all going well I think I can get past 206 wins as well,” He said.

The 23-year-old Rockwood based horseman said he had no intention of leaving the province despite the upheaval in Ontario harness racing.

“I just hope things change. I really enjoyed racing on five eighths of a mile tracks and now that Kawartha, Windsor and Hiawatha have gone it only leaves Georgian Downs – and who knows if that track is going to open again.

“All I can do is keep driving at the tracks that are operating and keep putting my name out there. It’s a real shame what is happening to the industry, but I can’t get too down about it. I just have to keep earning a living and do what I’m good at,” Drury said.

Drury learnt his trade from his father Barry, who has trained 246 winners ($3.1m) and driven a further 377 ($4m) more.

“I always helped dad out before and after school and during the holidays. I also worked for Casie Coleman for a summer which gave me a lot of exposure.

“That was a big break for me because there aren’t many more better trainers in North America than Casie.

“People now know who I am and I just want to keep on winning. When you are winning people notice you,” said Drury, who was about to drive at Flamboro Downs soon after this interview.

Drury’s last winner came behind the Patrick Shepherd trained Rashabec at Woodbine on Monday (March 11) – see video.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

(1) Jonathan Drury and Rashabec winning at Mohawk this week (Monday March 11):

(2) Jonathan Drury and 13-1 chance St Lads Kingpin winning at Mohawk last Thursday (Monday March 7):

(3) Jonathan Drury competing at Industry Day 2011 at Grand River Raceway:

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