Troy (Ohio) harness racing native Tony Morgan is traveling back to the Buckeye State in hopes of reaching the 14,000-career win milestone at Northfield Park.
Word of Morgan’s appearance quickly spread through the backstretch, and he was named to drive in all 13 of Northfield’s races on Friday, February 17.
The 53 year-old Morgan will be the fourth driver in history to reach 14,000 wins. Herve Filion, 15,180 career wins, Dave Palone 14,929, and Catello Manzi 14,365, are the only members in the prestigious 14,000 win club. Tony ’s current win tally is 13,998. He is scheduled to drive Thursday at Dover Downs.
Morgan can count the Jugette, Woodrow Wilson and American National as the biggest races he’s won. His career purse earnings stand at $107,977,462. Morgan has driven horses such as Quick Pulse Mindale, Sannabelle Island, Artistic Vision and Magic Shopper.
He remembers his first win as being aboard a gelding named Peachakona at Ohio’s Mercer County Fair. Although there are nearly 14,000 to choose from, Morgan proclaims that his favorite win “… always the most recent one.”
Morgan appreciates that he has had a long and successful career and says there is nothing left that he really wants to accomplish. “I’ve cut down a lot and I don’t have many more aspirations,” commented Tony. “I like driving everyday and I really enjoy the daily grind.”
“It will be nice to come to Northfield for this win,” explained Morgan. “As far as I know, my mom, dad and nephew are all coming to watch me and there could possibly be some other members of my family present, too.” “I look forward to seeing them and also Flash (Dennis Cheesebrew). He helped a lot in arranging my visit to Northfield,” said Morgan. Morgan will be leaving Dover after the races on Thursday and driving to Cleveland so he can haul his race bike himself. “I like to ride my own bike,” he said. “I don’t have any other way to get it to Cleveland, so I am taking it myself.”
Friday will be the second time that Morgan has journeyed to northeast Ohio to reach a career milestone. In December 2006, he came to Northfield to capture his 1,000th win. He reached that mark on December 29, 2006 aboard the trotting mare Eden Rock and became only the second driver ever to win 1,000 in a year. The first was Walter Case, Jr. Since 2006, Tim Tetrick has been the only other driver to record this achievement.
by Ayers RATLIFF-Northfield Park