Trace Tetrick heads into the last week of the 2008 Hoosier Park harness racing meet with a strong lead in the driver standings. A native of Geff, Ill., he has grown up around horse racing. Not only are his older brothers currently driving harness horses, but his father, Tom, is as well. Tetrick learned how to drive from his father, who is an active driver and trainer in Illinois.
At the age of 14, Tetrick began to drive competitively at county fairs in southern Illinois, and by 16, he earned his pari-mutuel license. Now 21, Tetrick entered his third harness season at Hoosier Park and has had a successful year. Besides competing at Hoosier Park, he also drives at Indiana Downs, Balmoral Park, Maywood Park, and Lexington’s Red Mile.
Tetrick’s parents, Tom and Maryalice, own a few horses and have 50 horses that the family is training. In addition to being a driver, Tetrick is an owner and a trainer. He owns four horses and trains 12 horses that are kept at Hoosier Park. His older brother, Tom “T,” assists with the family stable in southern Illinois while the middle son, Tim, is currently racing on the East Coast.
Tim topped all drivers in the nation last year with a new seasonal mark of 1,189 wins. He is currently in second place this year behind Tony Morgan with 328 wins. Trace is following in Tim’s footsteps, pulling in 198 wins to rank 25th in the nation in 2008.
“I was attracted to Hoosier Park because it was an up and coming facility, and it was an opportunity to become better and earn money,” Tetrick said. “The best part about being a driver is having an opportunity to drive for great people and having great horses to compete with.”
Tetrick currently has 104 wins and 247 top three finishes through the first 67 nights of racing. His top-three percentage is .376, and he has earned over $570,000 in purse money this year. In his career, Tetrick has pulled in 676 career wins with more than $3 million in earnings in only six seasons of racing.
Tetrick will become the youngest driver at the age of 21 to win the Gregg Haston Leading Driver award Saturday, July 12 to conclude the 2008 harness racing season at Hoosier Park. The award is named in honor of the late Gregg Haston, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1996. Haston was Hoosier Park’s inaugural race winner with BK Bentley and also won the first driver and trainer title in 1994.
The 2008 harness racing season comes to a close Saturday, July 12. The evening will feature Hogs 'N Dogs Night with Weiner Dog races and a motorcycle show in "The Yard" during the live racing program that begins at 6:45 p.m.
By Tom Reading