Palone and Jamieson share HTA Award

08:12 PM 04 Jan 2010 NZDT
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Jody Jamieson Dave Palone
Jody Jamieson
Iron Horse Photo
Dave Palone
Photo by Chris Gooden

Repeat harness racing champion Dave Palone and first-time winner Jody Jamieson on Monday were named co-recipients of Harness Tracks of America's 2009 Driver of the Year Award.

The award is based on points received for a driver's rank in three categories - wins, earnings and in-the-money performances.

Palone shared last year's award with two-time champ Tim Tetrick. Palone, the longtime leading driver at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania, has won or shared the HTA honor five times in his career.

In 2009, Palone ranked fourth in races won (697) while finishing sixth in earnings ($10.7 million) and fifth in driver's rating (.382).

Jamieson, who competed primarily in Ontario, led North America in wins (796) while finishing seventh in both money ($10.4 million) and driver's rating (.366). He becomes the first Canadian-based driver to win the HTA award, which was established in 1968.

Jason Bartlett finished third in the 2009 HTA standings while Tetrick, who led North America with $16.2 million in purses, was fourth and Jim Morrill Jr., who was tops in driver's rating at .430, was fifth.

Since the inception of the award, there were three previous ties. In addition to Palone and Tetrick in 2008, Tony Morgan and Luc Ouellette shared the honor in 1996 as did Carmine Abbatiello and Herve Filion in 1978. Filion won the award a record 10 times.

Ken WEINGARTNER

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