Day At The Track

Tim Tetrick looks for a big night in Dayton

12:12 AM 28 Sep 2018 NZST
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Tim Tetrick, harness racing
Tim Tetrick heading towards $10 million in purse earnings
USTA photo

Tim Tetrick is on the verge of extending his harness racing record for consecutive $10-million seasons to 12 -- he needs $251,403 to accomplish the feat --- and is grateful to drive a group of workmanlike horses that have helped get him there.

"I'm enjoying my run," said the 36-year-old Tetrick, who sits atop this year's driver standings for purses with $9.74 million and ranks fourth in North American harness racing history with $198.5 million. "A lot of nice horses have come through for me. I've got some nice horses that show up every time. They carry their lunch pail with them and take it home when they're done."

Tetrick will drive two of those horses Friday at Hollywood Dayton Raceway: Will Take Charge in the $150,000 Dayton Trotting Derby and Donttellmeagain in the $150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby. Will Take Charge is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in his race while Donttellmeagain is the 3-1 second choice in his.

Will Take Charge, trained by Jeff Gillis, has won nine of 19 races this year and earned $409,965. His victories include the Crawford Farms Open Trot and Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational and he was second in the John Cashman Memorial as well as the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, with Tetrick in the bike for all four of those races. Tetrick has driven the 5-year-old gelding on nine occasions this season.

"He's been good just about every start," Tetrick said about Will Take Charge, who has hit the board a total of 15 times this year. "He's great gaited, he's good to drive, and he's fast. He's got all the attributes."

Will Take Charge, owned by Mac Nichol, finished eighth in the Maple Leaf Trot on Sept. 1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but rebounded with a 1:53.2 triumph at Yonkers Raceway on Sept. 15 with Mark MacDonald in the sulky. The winning time was one-fifth of a second off the fastest trotting mile in history at Yonkers.

"I used him hard getting back to the lead (in the Maple Leaf) and he just came up short," Tetrick said. "I think he's better chasing. The bigger miles he's gone for me have been chasing, having somebody to look at."

Will Take Charge has raced on a five-eighths-mile track, such as Dayton, four times this year. He won three times.

"I think the five-eighths is kind of his cup of tea," Tetrick said. "I think he's sitting on a big race."

Homicide Hunter, who won the Great Northeast Open Series championship on Sept. 2 and finished third in the Caesars Trotting Classic last weekend, is the 3-1 second choice in the Dayton Trotting Derby. Ariana G, the only mare in the race, is the 7-2 third choice.

Donttellmeagain, trained by Jim King Jr., has won four of 12 races this season and earned $293,851 for owner Paton Racing Stables. His wins include the Graduate Series championship and he heads to the Dayton Pacing Derby off a third-place finish behind New Zealand-bred star Lazarus and North American standout McWicked in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. He was beaten by a half-length and paced his final quarter-mile in :25 seconds.

"Honestly, another four steps and I think he would have tracked those horses down," Tetrick said. "I really do. I just ran out of real estate. I had a pretty good trip, third over following McWicked, but (Lazarus) got a real easy middle half and that was the difference in the race."

Tetrick has driven Donttellmeagain in all but five of his 32 career races. The 4-year-old gelding has won 17 times and hit the board a total of 29 while earning $514,911.

"I've gotten to stay with him all along and he's a pretty special little horse," Tetrick said. "I really don't think he's ever gone a bad race. He doesn't always win, but he's always right there.

"He's just a good little horse. He shows up to work and he's fast, he's tough, he's strong. You can race him on the lead, off the pace; I can call an audible any time I want. He's not the biggest horse out there, but whoever he's following, he's trying to beat. He's got that I-will-beat-you attitude. He drives like a car. He just does a lot of things right."

McWicked, a former Dan Patch Award-winner who has won seven of 13 races this year and earned $946,364, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the Dayton Pacing Derby.

Racing begins at 6:15 p.m. (EDT). The Dayton Trotting Derby is race No. 10 on the card and the Dayton Pacing Derby is race No. 12. Following are the fields for those two races.

Dayton Trotting Derby
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1-Moonshiner Hanover-Aaron Merriman-Chris Beaver-8/1
2-Ariana G-Brian Sears-Jimmy Takter-7/2
3-I Know My Chip-Kayne Kauffman-Walter Haynes Jr.-10/1
4-Homicide Hunter-Scott Zeron-Chris Oakes-3/1
5-Guardian Angel As-Matt Kakaley-Anette Lorentzon-6/1
6-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-5/2
7-Warrawee Roo-Dan Dube-Luc Blais-15/1
8-JL Cruze-Brett Miller-Eric Ell-9/2
9-Bridge To Jesse's-Josh Sutton-Roger Welch-12/1

Dayton Pacing Derby
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1-All Bets Off-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-12/1
2-Beckhams Z Tam-Aaron Merriman-Jamie Macomber-10/1
3-Donttellmeagain-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-3/1
4-Western Fame-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-4/1
5-Missile J-Kayne Kauffman-Walter Haynes Jr.-15/1
6-Rockin Ron-Chris Page-Ron Burke-6/1
7-Bit Of A Legend N-Jordan Stratton-Peter Tritton-8/1
8-McWicked-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-2/1
9-Split The House-Scott Zeron-Chris Oakes-5/1

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 


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