Jock Talk with George Brennan


Originating from our Jimmy Johns of Lexington studios. This is jock talk presented by Tito's handmade vodka on the horse racing radio network and intimate in-depth discussion with the best jockey in thoroughbred racing. My five year old mareo Gutierrez who thug cutting one. One. Runner Spinoza Calvo in the in the right of Gary Stevens, three predescessors Brennan, Calvin around up the inside under Johnny Velazquez, take Jiang. Mommy and road in Brown coming up. That an Rushie barrage aboard crossing the field here written by how the Kosta Llano. Scintillating Sunday Rafael day, Harare. Now, here's Christina McMahon ago. Hello, again, everyone and welcome to John talk presented by Tito's handmade vodka right here on the horse racing radio network. I'm your host retired jockey Christina McMahon Akal and joining us tonight from our Jimmy Johns of Lexington Kentucky studio I'd like to thank everyone listening tonight on Sirius to nineteen XM to a one. And also to those of you tuning into our website at horse racing radio dot net. So a portion of the proceeds from this show go to the permanently disabled jockeys fund, the P D J F provides financial assistance through riders who have suffered devastating on track. Injuries. You are able to help please visit their website at WWW dot P. D J, F dot ORG. So we're doing something a little different this evening, something that has never been done on the show before we get to visit with a Harnish driver and not just any driver. But one of the best of all time. He just want his ten thousand career victory. And he's only be second driver in history to win the Hamble Tony Allen in the Hammel. Tony not in the same afternoon. He did that in two thousand eleven with broad bond and bold and fresh. He's won numerous awards in ranked seventh on the all time money earned list with over one hundred seventy one million dollars in earnings. It's a pleasure to introduce George Brennan, George welcome to the show. Thank you very much on the looking forward to it pleasure to have you hear George, and I can't wait to hear your story. I will be honest. I know relatively little about harness racing. But I very much appreciate the sport. And can't wait to hear your point of view. And how you grew up and got involved in the sport. And you are actually from New Jersey's that. Right. You grew up there. I guess. From Monticello, New York, New York. Yes. Resigning jersey now, but I'm actually from my month, or so the more there, I graduated high school they started racing there. So that's where I'm really. And did you grow up in a family involved in racing? My stepfather jewelry cO junior training drove horses at Monticello raceway. And that's how I got a young age. And doing my research for this show, George I read that you started out you're still in high school, and you're you're driving horses. In amateur racing amateur races gauche at New York's of sports years old. And when I drove my purse horse at Monticello, I still a junior in high school and in credit back in nineteen eighty four center young age, he knew what you wanted to do young. Yes. I good. I love. Good. I love. I want to go at an early age while before that did what I wanted. What were you like as a kid George growing up going to school? Did you work in a barn from young age as well every week on all I wanted to do was the around the horses and the bird, and I was always there started right on the bottom cleaning clean Stolz clean water buckets cream in the horses on eventually got the job in training them. Yes. So I was I was typical racetrack. What is you have any brothers or sisters by a brother today sent Kelly at his sister? Jessica. Yes. Did they follow your path into racing propagate a little bit Jason Jason Rico? He he raised a little bit. But he's no longer race than now. So George when you realize that this is what you want to do with your life as you mentioned from a very young age. What did your parents say? They they were four. Oh, yeah. They had no problem with you know, when I had no problem with it. Because they kinda do that's going to you know, whatever they said it didn't matter. You know? It's just going to do it. And yeah, it was never an issue. It was it was never an issue. What I'm gonna do? Or if I'm gonna go to college, or you know, work with are. Now, it wasn't an issue at all. They can do anything about it. Anyway. Basically. Did you play sports as a kid where you always pretty athletic? You know, no. But I played I played baseball a little bit. I played soccer. But you know, I just did. I wasn't really any good at it. But you find something you were good at and that was driving harness horses. Now, obviously, I'm a retired jockey and growing up in the back of my mind as a kid, I was always aware of what I ate because I couldn't get too big to ride races as jockey. But from a harness racing point of view. Did you do you have to worry about your way? Did you ever have to worry about your size? Do you know? Constantly watching my diet. All the time watch him when I eat. And I know what wait I like to be at and I try to beat there all the time. I mean, I don't have to register with my diet. And you did. But I do I do naturally watch. What eat all the time. And you know, what if I don't like what I weigh in the morning or something like that? I got no problem not eating for the day. You know, very little, you know, a little bit of fruit or something like that. And you know, then I'll get back down to where like the again. No, not not not a lot gets definitely different than your game. But, you know, not a lot, you know. I know what I feel comfortable way. This might be a stupid question. But do you have to weigh certain amount to drive racist? Do we have to know? All the cops drivers. Oh, okay. Most of our, you know, within I'd say one forty five seven once problems on the in that rings there. You find it's better to be. Shorter. And just slight in stature. Yes. I think. Yeah. Would no question. I mean, you don't see, you know, see top drivers in harness racing way, you know, two and a quarter to fifty so definitely. George brennan. Joining me tonight on junk talk presented by Tito's handmade vodka right here on the horse racing radio network. So you're still in high school and you're driving amateur races. And did you actually did you finish school? Then. I graduated nineteen eighty five and I already had or came home. Boom, boom little bit forceful from apple school and. And I was racing at that time. And once time had a provisional licence, or it was a holder, you know, rule Weber provisional drivers conjoined on weekends. And is only one. Warn. Provisional driver allowed in. Say choice act the race or triple rate so really made it hard for me to race. 'cause I didn't remember couple horses of over weekend worse, and I drive him. So we could really well, but it really kinda stumped, and I could drive. Isn't that provisional licence as you mentioned was that just because of because you're new to the sport as a professional work? Okay. You workout. Worked winger you have a qualifying license, then you're gonna need. To qualify horses. And then you got to meet that standard and end up visualizes I had to hold for a year. And then once I met that requirement. The amount of starts like a get in the judges. You were able to determine that I was competent than I was able to get my it's called angles and. I got my license. I was seventeen. Seventy baby. I think I think at that time behind the late teens and your. Somewhat similar to what we have in flat racing the apprenticeship, and you know, that runs for a year from the day you when you're fifth race. And so very very similar, and I always wondered how that worked in harness racing. So at a young age, you already had your a license and your complete professional at that point, and George let me ask you this. Now, do you have an agent. No. Nope. Freeland some. Week free, Lance and. Us for the best source. Like, I mean, if I'm not a couple of hours in a race, though are trainers show loyalty to who. I drive more for as opposed to like another John the most phone I try to pick the best ones. And you know when jockey. You're lucky enough to have aging. It doesn't always work that way. Either. But I would assume without an agent that would be you have to really hustle, obviously in the mornings to go out and get those better mounts before you're actually well known to everyone. So when you were starting out is that what you would do you go around walk. The Barnes introduce yourself. We didn't we don't really have to do that. But I mean, some trae or asked me. In a sense. We will because we qualify. So I would be a qualifiers that and. But it's you know, it's more. So they'd want me, you know, I can't sell myself. I mean, you can't. But it'd be like you training received say, hey, George, you wanna come over and trying the source of more all we qualify. This for me, and I'm gonna raise some next week. But he's eligible to this class. That's pretty much how it works. So for typical young drivers starting out. Once you had that a license how frequently or you driving races. Not as much as I wanted to. You know, because I'd be young wasn't proven at all. And you know, there's you know, monacell of the other metro drivers they're very well accomplished. And they were getting the bulk of the work where you know, I had to start at the bottom of the ladder and work my way up. You mentioned the over in a lot of opportunities for, you know, younger drivers back then. You mentioned the older seasoned riders Monticello, and I don't know how it is set up. But in flat racing we have Josh room. Now, what do you have you have a room, y'all? Get ready in. Yes, we go. Yep. Drivers room and. I'll go into night and Dan read I'll look at tonight's program. Go over that and about twenty minutes before they change into my suit my callers and ready to go. When you were starting out being surrounded by these older riders. Did you look up to anyone particular for advice? No question. You know, definitely looks up to my father and. A lot of those guys. And I do. Yeah. I I still I looked up to somebody young younger guys. Also. Well, you know, you know, you probably know jockey to you never stop learning and. You know, you never too good. I believe to stop learning and keep your mind. Don't now. Now, I love that. They say the day, you stop learning and reasoning is the day, you should quit because. No question. Yeah. Pretty impossible. George mentioned your stepfather several times dro-, Joe Rico junior give us a brief detail of of the success. He had. He was actually a nineteen seventy eight he was leaning driver longfellow and he had a good success fair. He went down to Yonkers and Roosevelt and race there for number of years. He did. Okay. But then, you know, he got out and now he's doing real estate, and he's very successful real estate. But he would not be that. You know, we still in harness racing then don't on horse right now, which is doing what's actually supposed to race last night doctors, but we canceled because of the extreme cold, so yeah, he's still very much. I spent spill oh cute on and we're very close. What's the biggest piece of advice? He gave you. He always just never get too high and never get too low and. Just kept that I you know, I never get to excited. I've ever, you know, when I have a bad night or things are going bad. Don't remind to get him. So he always said never I never get to. That can be tough to follow. There's a lot of downs in this. That is from general. Yeah, we know that while Georgian and talking about when you first started out, you you mentioned that was slow and so talking about the lows just there, but you were starting out at Monticello, and how quickly did you find success when did the winds really start piling up? Probably you know, like nineteen eighty seven eighty eight. I started you know, winning races and realize, you know, like, I'm so kidding. You know, I didn't think I was great at it by any means. But I you know, I I can do this. Okay. And then. Think maybe in. Nineteen eighty nine. I'm able on those I went over a hundred races. So. Yeah. So, you know, it's sorta pilot up pretty quickly. What was the first big race? You won the first big roof of long was a nineteen ninety five at the Meadowlands. Which would that time was the mecca are commerce race a race for two year olds Woodrow Wilson, one with a horse call the sub name so and that was the first big race. What? Carried on. I think it was like a five hundred fifty thousand dollar personal time which was well like on radio. A study named sue that name. What was that horse like the drive? He was a nice little horse. Yeah, nearby. I. Baby race qualified for the two year old. But I started researching the jersey sire stakes and was good right on the hill. And he wins. He went a couple of times makes a decisive final ready. One day Woodrow Wilson elimination on the final. Keyboard everything that year. So the breeders crown I think it was second of breeder screen late in the year state park. He he was a nice. Was he a front runner or what are you finished? Not I I wonder in. Woodrow Wilson final event for the lead up. Even even. Come up on a little. Maybe. George. You have a nickname the minister of speed, how did you earned that nickname? Back. I think a friend of mine actually, a friend of mine from Pittsburgh came up with it. I think he did. And. I think I was raised in Toronto that night and the nine hole is something that showed no speed or anything like that. And I just sent them right at a gay and. He went he wired the field and paid like fifty dollars. He didn't show any speed or anything like that. So. This guy came up with that name of the minister speed, and I think he made that touch with the announcer at the time at the Meadowlands, and it kind of China stop from there. So we've got a lot of fun. What it over the years spent a lot of fun. How do you do that Georgetti get horse has previously shown no speed and his career to you know? Pre bump they're just right at the start. Well, you scoring down different in scorned down. You get them on a bit. You get them ready. Did you try the triumph and trying to get them to leave? Like, I I don't know. So long ago that race. Maybe I didn't I looked at look look over and didn't see a lot of speed in the race and his lines that look good. So I said, you know, gotta try something different with them. So one on I tried getting into the race. So scored him down dot on the bit and. Left the gate, nobody else left, and I mean, he might have been on three or four lunch the entire time. And you know, just he won pretty handily at night. So I don't know. And sometimes you do it. And it doesn't work that, you know, sometimes sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't, you know, a lot of it's it's up to the horse. The feel like speed isn't advantage in have you seen that change over the years more speed and people put more speed into their horses? No question. They're all in our our game for sure where. You'll have to you have to be up close to the pace because growing so fast anymore. It's tough to make up ground into those fast quarters, we rates we raise four quarters, and it's tough to toughen up Graham when they're going so fast. When you mentioned racing on a half mile track in in those tight turns. And I can only imagine how that would be even more difficult to make up ground eating really is. And then sometimes handle tied. If you draw the six seven eight all a couple of guys leave underneath you. You know, there's not a lot of room for horses to leave on a half mile tracks. You just got your hands tied you take back and you're getting away some at the race and very rarely or you're circling afield from getting away seven three so post position plays a major factor on a half mile track. Notice that in harness racing in general, it seems like post position is is even more important in your game than in thoroughbred racing. Because again, those those tight turns. I'm sure you're always praying to get down there on the rail. Exactly. Yeah. You always wanna get down to rail. You know, you don't wanna be outside. Try to get a cover trip. If you can. But then again covers only go to it's moving dead cover. You don't wanna have to go wide early. So. A lot of a lot in our game. So much relies on the trip the trip the horse gets and. A lot of times if you don't get the good trip. That's not gonna work out. And other stupid question for you, George. Turning for home? You're doing down the lane and honest drivers different obvious, obviously a different way in getting their horses to run and of a lot of had a lot of people ask me this question when I announced my friends, I was doing the show. Everyone's like, well, why are they why are the drivers almost Yang back on the reigns? Pulling on the horse's mouth while they're whipping the horse. I'm assuming that's to get the bit in the horse's mouth for draft. You still want to keep the bit in the horse's mouth and let the horse. No that you still you still have competence while you're just not throwing the lines the horse like that. And that's what I feel anyway, like, I feel if you just throw the lines at the horse, the horse feels they don't feel the connection anymore on the losing competent in the driver. So no question, you were always. You know, I know I am always trying to keep the the in horses. Now show him that I show show the horse that I still have the competent from that horse. On your driving a horse. That's especially your your your only connection to the horses through the rain. So and harness racing. We have a term in thoroughbred racing light hands. And you you you don't wanna be heavy in the horse's mouth at the same time. So is that similar harness racing? Do you wanna have light hands? But yet still remain in control of that bit. You you definitely want to have light. And you don't want to. You wanna be you wanna have soft heads? You don't you don't want to? You don't wanna be pulling a bit footer mouth either. You know, you you do wanna have sought softens. You don't wanna have as was saying our game. Let ends. Just you want your hand. So be off for sure. Yes, set. That's insane connection. George Brennan joining me tonight on drunk talk presented by Tito's handmade vodka right here on the horse racing radio network. So Georgia started out at Monticello and in nineteen eighty five you earned your license and couple years went by. And you're you're finding success pretty quickly as you mentioned in ninety five. He won the Woodrow Wilson with stunned named sue at the Meadowlands and. What was your traveling schedule? Like did you remain based at Monticello or did you move? Elsewhere. Fellow till like nineteen ninety one. And then I went to Maine I raised a couple of years in Maine. When I moved down to Massachusetts tracking Massachusetts and Foxborough right next to the patriots stadium. And then the. Latter part of nineteen ninety four when I moved down to New Jersey. And at that time, New Jersey was where was that? Like if you wanted to succeed in reysen you wanted to be at the Meadowlands and at that time when I came down the metal lines wasn't there. Meet wasn't open yet. So I was racing at Garden State park and freehold and the Meadowlands opened I think like the day after Christmas that year, and I started very sentimental lens. Then. Probably the only thing we have in common, George, I rode at the medal. And when they had thoroughbred racing there on the grass. And you mentioned before it's it was at one point really the up the place. She wanted to be the highlight of all the all the tracks around. So why was that? And what was the competition? Like when you first arrived. Well, it was that way because the money was so good. You know, no Meadowlands the best person the game and the competition was. It was the best. I mean there were you know, when I got there, you know, I wasn't a amongst leading drivers first how ever, but there were fifty excuse me. There were fifteen drivers that could be a leading driver anywhere in the country where they went and they probably already were leading drivers at tracks. They came from. So I mean, it was the competition. Was it was it was tough. And how quickly did you find success there? It probably. You know, that whole meet that ninety five I didn't really get a lot of drives there. I until I started driving stud named sue. And I was. Going back and forth from Yonkers racing. Tracks racing free whole Yonkers and the Meadowlands and then the medal shutdown I traveled traveled to grand circuit route which the name sue some and Dennis started racing Garden State park in the fall fulltime. And I'm in the Meadowlands opened in ninety six then I started from there fulltime. And then I actually, you know, it started taking off the Meadowlands where I may have been in the top five that first year ninety six so it took up relatively quick. George we need to take a quick commercial break, folks. Stay with us. You're listening to jock talk presented by Tito's handmade vodka right here on the horse racing radio network. Hi, I'm Tito beverage, founder and master distiller of Tito's handmade vodka America's original craft vodka. I believe in the Kraft process of stealing in batches using old fashioned pot stills, and that's the way we still make Dido's. Hey made vodka today. We even won the world spirits competition doubled unanimous judge's choice. Tito's him vodkas made from one hundred percent corn. So it's naturally. Gluten free recipes videos and more visit Tito's vodka dot com. Eddie Tito's vodka fits interaction, ain't distilled and bottled in Austin, Texas. Hi, I'm Don Velazquez and Julian Lupo every Jackie knows and exit the risk of us book. Everytime. They get a leg up, although catastrophic on track accidents are rare Wendy do happen lives or the jockeys under family changed forever. It's up to all of us in racing to suport this men and women. That's why it was report. Ten minutes table jockey fund since he's found in two thousand six the verge over a million dollars to seventy five Pamela, disable dockets over ninety cents out of. Every dollar donated goes directly to these brave men and women they use that monthly stipend to pay bills, hire caretakers and many other things that make living with a disability just be easier. This is Mike Penner of H R N. Did you know that the PD J F has no permanent, guaranteed funding mechanism and relies entirely on donations from people like you, please. Visit the PD J F website at P D J F dot org to learn how you can help. Hi, I'm Ron Turk. I supported the beauty jam I'll hold rude world through an eye tank. You. You're listening to jock talk on the horse racing. Radio network presented by Tito's handmade vodka three-quarters one twenty three and four twenty seven four in that third quarter. It is brought von go all the way broadband with each track. Steve racing Rome. Manaf any missions on the outside keep off fried benef- any off ride it appeared, it affects that whiskey tax the wire that leaves at all. The minister of speed and he's on on on the phone whiskey tax, then opening night and chapter seven point fifty three broad von wins, the Hamble Tony. Welcome back to jock talk presented by Tito's handmade vodka. I'm your host Christina McMahon. A goal, and I am joined tonight, George Brennan, George. We just heard the replay of your Hamble toning victory in two thousand eleven with broad Bonn in a wire to wire victory. And I watched the replay everyone could hear the replaying. Yeah. Thrilling finish. And a believe you were what six to one. The one I believe. Yeah. Going into that race. What was your playing? And what was that stretch run like for you? Well, my plan was to cut the mile. We won our elimination race. So I was allowed to. Pick my post. So I picked the number one. And would that pick and the one my intentions were going? Just a cut the mile, and that's why I went such a fast first quarter because a couple a couple of drivers they left from the outside. And I look I left hard like just to let them know. Like, I was gonna cut this mile. So I may have been on top two or three going to the quarter pole, and then I was able to write my second quarter. And then and then you have about the stretch run. I mean, the three quarter poll was like, I just said to myself. I said, you know, it's over on you know, for that tonight. I mean, we didn't get home that fast only like twenty nine to I think, but I just do. But that was a great twenty nine seconds side tired because I know I know I just want broadband just one the handle Tony. And it was a great feeling. Brad von was trained by Noel daily. And I watched an interview with him after the race. Obviously he was very very excited. What's your connection to know daily? You for him frequently. Yeah. Yeah. Quite a bit over the years. I drove form he they sent smooth. He went back home till a stray, and he's training Santa bridge in Australia. Now, he just left maybe two months ago. So really, he's back home in Australia. So he's he's a lot of fun to be around. Yeah. Well that same day. You also won the Hamble Tony oaks with bold and fresh and that horse was actually twenty four to one at a late rally on the outside. That was even more of an exciting finish. If you ask me watching the replay. That was just so thrilling to watch. And I'm gonna ask you the same question. What was your plane with that horse? And how did that turn out? I didn't have any plan going in. I never driven before. And I got in buying the gate, and she's going on she wants she wanted to go through the gate. She was you know, grabbing on new if I had if I took her off the gate, I'd be wrestler, and she wasn't gonna like that. So I left winter got in. And I was able to sit up close and you saw the replay slide out in the last one and wide and she won. And she just hang on. She wasn't the founder source in the world. And she was kind of hopping at the wire like half running. But she got it done. She was awful game that day. Yeah. You could tell watching she had a big heart. She wanted that victory has much as you did. And of course, you that day became only the second driver to win both of those races in the same day. Brian Sears, the only other driver to accomplish that feats, and do, you know, Brian pretty well, really? Well. Really? Well. In fact, we're pretty good friends. Yeah. Awesome. To share that with all throughout the year quite a bit and really good fronts. And so what is the atmosphere like in the room? Surrounded obviously by your competitors. And you're friends with Brian on your friends with several of the other drivers. It's it's real friendly. You know, we're in their climate around all night and. Yeah. It's like, everyone drivers go, you know. We we have we have a lot of fun. Yeah. You've been in several other rooms before the break you were talking about your rigorous schedule. When you first started out the Meadowlands riding freehold Yonkers and the medal lanes. And I can't imagine. How busy you must have been when you were going through that time. What was your schedule? Like, I. I'd say spree hold in the afternoon and then the medal aids at night. So the days that I'd be racing twenty horses a day and. It was. And then there were days we've had to qualify also days. I'd be qualifying in the morning. It's a medal and then willing to three hole and then run back up the turnpike to the medal. And so yeah, it was very tough schedule. But I didn't you know at that time. I didn't know any better. That's just what we did. It was a way of life. And then when the Meadowlands shut down in August. Then I go on the road, you know, down in Lexington September and raise the red mile and from the red mile. We'd go to the Little Brown jug and Ohio, Delaware, Ohio. So. Yeah. Quite quite a few trips up the Canada. So we were always on the road. Canada, which are headed. I haven't gone that sometime now just just been they set Yonkers raceway Yonkers. As a week any any? How was that a decision you made just to have a slower schedule? Yes. Yes. Indeed. Yeah. And you know, Yonkers not have. Slop, assumes up there. So now, they offer the best arses in the country. So and they raise two hundred forty times a year. So there's a lot of opportunity. Well, you have to come back to Lexington sometime. George to see us here for sure I love the red mile been there, many many times, and I read an article where there was a conversation between you and Brian talking about that change where everyone was riding the Meadowlands and the money went to Yonkers and so a lot of people switch tack over to Yonkers, and and so is there still good money. At the Meadowlands is still good opportunity, or as that, basically just entirely moved to younger written on the money's good, Christina. But they the middle age only races. I think they have like eighty one or eighty two days and the only two days a week. So. You know, I did the race the five days a week, even though it's a little farther from my house. I gotta deal with the George Washington Bridge every night. Thanks, you know, but that's just what I wanted to do. Would you say there are bigger races at the medal answer? Is it pretty even? You know, they still they still had to handle Tony, and they still had the ham, Tony oaks and. But Yonkers Yonkers is a good deal of good Rice's. Also. George bernard. Joining me tonight on jock talk presented by Tito's handmade vodka right here on the horse racing radio network. Georgia wanna talk about a few of your other big mounts glide master. Glide master was a pretty nice force and tell us how you got how you got the mount and the success you had together. I got that now because John Campbell is driving in and he was in an accident and. So naturally, he couldn't drive them anymore and the trainer of glide Massa, call me to race them in Yonkers trot. And he won the straw that night. Yeah. And that that is a great that great honor. Because we got there's a lot of history there. And at the time to set a track record doing it that night. So that is really special night did that. And then I think I read from the breeders crown Woodbine, and he was second by nine. So yeah, he he he was special. Didn't that Yonkers trot? Didn't that wrap up the triple crown? Yes, it did. Yeah. Look the last leg. Triple crown. I watched that replay as well and early on several horses broke stride. And so basically turned into a four horse field in my opinion. But the stretch run was exhilarating dueled it out with Algiers hall on the inside and you were on the outside. And I mean at any point in the race. I couldn't have called the winner. And so I I can't imagine what you were thinking in that moment while especially because out your whole over the half so slow down like fifty nine seconds which really slow caliber horses. So I knew I had to raise some down the back side, you know, take some steam at a hint where in fact, you know, I was doing to my also, but I did go my horse could handle it. I thought I had a better horse, and which I did have the better horse because proved down the lane 'cause we didn't elect sixteenth of mile. He you know, he just tried it away from him. So he did go. Good race that night. Talking about the earlier in that race several horses broke stride. How does that happen? How do you make sure that doesn't happen as driver? Again, we go goes back to soft hand, you gotta. You know, you got to keep, you know, keep a firm grip on 'em. But not not real tight. And then and then Christine times, you're noth- nothing. You can do they'll go off stride. And you're like. You know, there's times I come in transit. Why why do you make a break off stride? And like, I couldn't tell you know, you know, no reason at all. George when that happens, you are supposed to pull to the outside until you get back in stride. And then you can still participate in the race. But I mean does that ever do you ever really win when you break stride, not too often? Yeah. Not off your. Usually out of it after that. Some of a difficult task and something yet, you stiffly don't want to. You don't want that to happen now? George talking about another horse artists view. I heard that was one of your favorite races. He was forty two to one in the two thousand seven breeders crown at the Meadowlands and won that race wire-to-wire fashion and tell us why that horses special to you know, we didn't go wire-to-wire fashion because they had to ten hall. So I got away back, and there was a wicked speed Bill up top like they went to like fifty three seconds. And it was chilly out that night, and he came from out of the clouds and one, and and it was a special win for me because my friend and Solti who's actually from from Lexington Kentucky. He he trained them owned a piece of and so it was real special win for me and buzzy in fact that was. It was a lot of fun. You said it was chilly that evening. I if you're currently driving at Yonkers at night right now. I can't imagine. How cold you must be at night. But how do you do with that? How do you stay warm? Well, we dress for we have with different suits and. Put toe warmers in you know, I don't wear hand warmers, but in between races, I use you know, grip in my hand warmers in between races and just go out. And you know, you just gotta tough it out. It is what it is. Horses. Don't mind they love the cold. But the the drivers that's different story. George another horse loved watching the replay on this horse. He had a huge stride and actually set the world record Holborn Hanover. And the two thousand six US pacing championship at Meadowlands, and I think I've ever seen a horse for the bigger stride. And took the lead early on the backside actually made made a bit of an early move. And then just the brace was pretty much over from there. He did. He was flawless skated did have a very very big strides them and you're right. I did I late at the half and fifty three three which is a good half. And I think he got down callers one twenty four which has fast, and he set the world record a day and came home and twenty six seconds flab, which is unheard of. And I think that was in two thousand six and that that that that will record held up for maybe till just to like a year or two ago. So and that was what the old race bikes we had. So it was it was quite a feat for what he did at that time, you know, now now horses doing doing quite quite quite regularity. They're going that time, but. He was able to do it. And it was you know, it was an amazing amazing mile that kind of hurt he was five years old at the time. Yes, he was. Yeah. I would assume that's an extraordinary feat for an older horse, especially. Yeah. It wasn't come back in the he had a good three year old campaign didn't come back as a four year old. And then as a five year old, you know, he came back like really good, you know, and. I don't think he ever put in a band race. Nice to drive those kinds, isn't it? Push-button exactly. And you mentioned you would shit up to Canada and drive up there and did you ever go anywhere else? Internationally, a no they, of course, trains now in Australia. I know Australia loves harness racing down there of you, ever traveled. Elsewhere. No. I went to Ireland a couple years ago, and I raised over there. And that would be it. Yeah. That that was present. I. I've never been to New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Sweden or anything like that not all of. How is it different in Ireland? Was a lot slower. The horses. They're not. You're not like our horses. It was a half mile track. It was interesting. But it's you know, it's just like a little fair track. I raised on. So it was certainly. The people ever create a lot of fun. Of the tracks. You've been at here in the state, which do you consider your favorite? When I was raising the metal Meadowlands pole time the medal aunts. No question. My favorite track. What was it about that drag? Like, you said you raise for the Meadowlands like the whole syllabi drivers room. I it's just it's just a beautiful place. Now have Lou Gress on the other side of the threat, but they don't use the grandstand or the drive room that we had at the Meadowlands. So it's a lot different. Now. You know, they upgraded the branch fan a lot smaller costs, which it's very nice grants. Back back on the Meadowlands was definitely my truck. Georgia earlier in the show. You said your stepfather told you not to get too high or too low. So we've talked about the highs. Now, we're gonna take a second and talk about the lows you've had a few injuries. Actually, the first time I talked to you a couple of days later, you went you went down into spill. But fortunately, you weren't injured. I was I was concerned. Obviously a watching that. And for me watching spill in harness racing looks especially traumatic because you're not just dealing with the horse and the rider, but you're also dealing with the bike and all of that quit going on. So I'm assuming what typically happens is is what we call horse. Thoroughbred racing clipping heels, but you'll actually clip tires. I guess we walked yet needed drive enough wheeled. I just got tipped out and it happens. And then sometimes I mean, I was in a race the night and. Guy in front of me. I was following. But I was going wide around him, but he got interfere with and he came out, and I hope to wheels with them. But we were able to get on hooked quick. And not. So, you know, a lot of times you get on hook. But that night at the Meadowlands. I wasn't able to get on hooked, and I got left out. Yeah. So it happens. I know I watched spill you are involved with it Poconos in two thousand eight and that was that was especially ugly looking in. And so have you broken, very, many bones? Yeah. Yeah. Like broken bones in my back, and that that won at Pocono. I had a compound fracture on my wrist, which lead me up for four and a half months. So. And the funny thing is the horse. What's not funny at all? But the horse. I was following that day, actually, grabbed a shoe his hind his hind leg. Grab this front front shoe, and he tumbled and when he tumbled I was right behind him. And I got drilled from behind and landed on my wrist and pretty much shattered my wrist, but that that was my worst injury today. Broken collarbone at freehold one year. So that lead me up for about six weeks. But for the most part, I've been I I've been lucky. What's the average? Career span for a driver. How long do people usually drive in for Dr? I they drive into the early sixties like John Campbell the tired of sixty two who's are all time leading driver in the game. Michael chance he might be second or third all time. And he I think he he was sixty two Ron peer stroll till he was sixty. He's not driving anymore. Yeah. So so you can dry David Miller. He might he might David Miller might be our second lien driver in the game now and he's like fifty four now and he's still doing well. The very fact so I mean, you drive drive Wellington that these, you know, with that being said, you gotta keep your body in good shape. And. Shelter work. How old are you George? I'm fifty one I'll be fifty to April. And do you ever think about many many many years from now when you do retire? Do you think about what you might plan on doing? No, I don't yet. No, I don't. Farro far away from now, you won't have to worry about that for one not not, you know, time flies though. So it's not that far away. George real quick. I wanna go over all of the can't mention all of them might take up the rest of the hour. We have left, but you are honored by the United States harness Writers Association, the ninety six rising star award two thousand ten and two thousand eleven driver of the year award. And that's just name a few harness tracks of America's driver of the year. That's one of the most difficult awards in sport of harness racing to win. You win those awards in two thousand twelve and two thousand thirteen one of the most respected drivers in the sports. And if I were a young driver coming up to you, what's the one piece of advice? You would give to me. Work hard work hard. And you gotta show up and like my father always don't get too high and don't get too low. And but the whole thing is you just gotta you gotta work hard and show up. You gotta do your job. George if you could go back in time at any point in your career. Would you change anything? No, I I don't think. So no, no. They're very satisfied with everything that's happened in my career and. No, I'm going to change anything. No. Well, we only have a few men minutes left here on the show the hour has flown by George. I heard you had to you have a daughter. Are you have a daughter? Yeah. Yeah. And is she interested at all in following your footsteps? No, nothing at all. He's a nursing school now in Mississippi. And she one four years Mississippi State and now she's in a nursing program and Columbus, Mississippi, which is like twenty minutes, south starkville, Mississippi where she went to school. So no, she's not interested sounds like she's still has a bright future in front of her. Yes. What do you do for fun in your in your free time? If you have any any free time. Oh, no. I have I operate time. But this time of year is kind of tough to play golf, but I play a lot of golf when I get. Very good. No. But, but you know, I I don't really get any better. But I have fun. I'm not terrible terrible. I know how to play the game I play fast. So I don't hold anybody up, and you know, competitive with the guys I play with. Eleven George already accomplished so much. I think everyone knows that after listening to the time we spent together, but any other goals, you still hope to accomplish in your career. I I've never won the little little jog. If I could ever win the Little Brown jug. That would be great. I've been second in it three times a couple thirds in it, and I've never gotten that win. So the the Little Brown jug would be awesome. It's a great great week down there. It's fun. And yeah, I'd like I would like that. That'd be that. I'd like to win that. What have you seen change in the sport of harness racing? Other than the speed. We mentioned earlier what else have you seen change throughout the years? The equipment equipments gotten better, which is. Made for you know, the speed made make them faster make them faster. There's a lot more drivers. That are a lot more younger drivers younger drivers a lot more opportunities today than like guys like we my age when we started out, but you know, it's still horse racing. You know, you gotta go around trying to get I. Try try to win every race. So not much change in that respect still a horse race. And. The goal is to win the race. Any changes, you would like to see Abbott in the sport. No, not not not problem. I head. No not right now. No, it's going pretty good sport. Really? It's in the good frame of mine right now. Love george. What's your schedule? This winter. You're riding at Yonkers and how many days a week? Do you ride five like all like I'll go out a little later run. A couple Eric's come back. I'll take a nap, and I leave around four fifteen to go to Yonkers and then usually get done. We get them run eleven cleanup and drug on that's pretty much my routine. Georgia wanna give a quick shout out to dear friend of mine. Denver boil she's your biggest fan she bets on every single race. And she's the one who gave me idea to have you here on the show today. So. Util with high place. I would definitely do that George spend such a pa- ledger having you here on the show. And wishing you all the best. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you, very much enjoyed this interview very much. Thank you, folks. You can check out this show and replays of all of our other shows on the website at horse racing radio dot net's. Now be sure to join me next Tuesday at six o'clock eastern time with another addition of jock talk presented by Tito's handmade. Vodka producer Lee dela Pena. I'm Christina McMahon. Google and thanks for listening.

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