by Frank Carulli
March 5, 2018
TRACE TETRICK EARNS RISING STAR AWARD
Trace Tetrick has some big footsteps to follow, but his imprint as one of North America's top harness drivers is becoming more and more recognizable.
His older brother, Tim, is one of the sport's most accomplished drivers ever, having already won more than 10,000 races and four Driver of the Year honors.
But Trace Tetrick, 31, earned the Dan Patch Rising Star Award for 2017 on his own merits. He ranked fourth nationally with a career-high 569 wins and his $6.8 million in purses placed was good for 11th -- behind nine former Rising Star winners. The U.S. Harness Writers' Association awards the Rising Star to a driver under 35.
Tetrick drove sire stakes champions in three states -- Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio -- but the highlight of the year was winning two Breeders Crown finals at his home base at Hoosier Park. He guided Blazin Britches ($12.20) to victory in the Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Filly Pace and Fiftydallarbill ($17.40) to an upset in the Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Colt Trot
Tetrick began the new year by winning the North America Driving Championship, an eight-race competition at Miami Valley in Ohio.
DOWNBYTHESEASIDE GOES OUT A BIG WINNER
Downbytheseaside was retired to stud duty at the end of his 3-year-old harness racing season. But he went out with a bang, winning his final four starts of 2017 and leading all North America Standardbreds with $1.6 million in earnings for the year.
He won four stakes worth at least $300,000 -- the Art Rooney Pace and Messenger at Yonkers, the Progress Pace at Dover Downs and the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park.-- to become the runaway Dan Patch Award winner as Pacer of the Year. He also won the $201,900 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs to surpass $2 million in lifetime earnings.
Brian Brown, the 2017 Trainer of the Year, handled Downbytheseaside for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Adam Bowden.