These questions come in from Mary Birkhold
Q: Are you ever going to come to Pompano Park for some warm winter driving? (Even if for a few days).
A: Yes I’d love to but it’s hard to leave accounts behind. I’d like to do it before my little girl starts school, which means pretty soon.
Q: Who did or do you admire as a driver?
A: My dad, Tony Morgan and Dave Magee are guys that have really been influential in my career.
Q: Do you have any prospects for this year's Jug?
A: I’m not sure yet, still to soon. I don’t think Wakisashi is eligible.
Q: How much do you consider information from a trainer in your drives?
A: Information from trainers is important. I only get the horse for two minutes. It helps to know if a horse has been off his feed, sore, had vet work, ect. Especially the first time sitting behind one, it helps.
Q: What do you want to hear about a horse from the trainer?
A: All we ask for is the truth!
Mary, thank your for submitting your questions. Wishing you all the best! – TT
This question comes in from Tim Clark
Q: Which is your favorite track and which track have you won the most at.
A: That’s a hard question because I’ve been to so many at very different parts in my career… DuQuoin, Illinois is probably my all time favorite track and I’m not really sure I can answer where I’ve won the most. Just a lucky guess would be Dover Downs.
Tim, I appreciate your question and wish you the best. ~ TT
This installment of “Ask Tim 5 Questions” comes from Besim Odza from New Jersey.
1.) Which size track do you prefer driving on 1/2 mile 5/8ths mile 7/8ths mile or a mile? Why?
For sure 5/8ths is the best, you can win from anywhere. 1/2 mile tracks are to post dependent, and 1 mile tracks need a lot of horsepower.
2.)How do you drive a horse that's on the bit and is hard to control?
I try to stay as calm and relaxed as I can, sometimes this helps. If it doesn’t, I try to help the trainers change things to help. Sometimes horses are only hot and tough on the track so trainers may not feel what we feel.
3.) As many know harness racing isn't as strong as it was before, What do you think we as in Horseman and Harness Racing Community should do to bring more fans to the tracks and more people involved?
We have to learn how to promote ourselves on a national level. The Big M does a great job of having talented and well spoken guys do a great pre and post show, with informative winner circle interviews. I wish all the tracks would take the time to do this. Recently Tetrick Racing launched a new website and interactive social media project through Facebook to try to bring fans a little closer to what I do as a driver. It is for sure not the answer to Harness racing’s troubles but I hope it’s a good step in the right direction.
4.) Out of every track in the USA Which track has the best track surface and which one in your opinion needs a little help?
The Poconos and Red mile have the best surface. Something about red clay helps horses carry their speed.
5.) Do you ever plan on training horses in the future or do you just want to retire? Why?
Right now my goal is to drive top horses and to remain as competitive as possible, for as long as possible. When that passes I never see myself outside of the business, I’m just not sure where I’ll fit in yet.
This installment of “Ask Tim 5 Questions” comes from Chris Przespo from Buffalo, N.Y.
1. Since the Captain just retired...is there one race or memory that sticks out the most out of all his accomplishments?
The Woodrow Wilson really impressed me; he set the track record for 2 Yo colts at the Big M. It was then I realized he was the real deal. The Meadowlands Pace and North American cup were terrific efforts. It takes a special horse to go those miles, but honestly I was never more proud of him the day he got beat at the Poconos. It was the most effort I’d seen him put out. Regardless of him getting beat he raced the most impressive 4 quarters of his career.
2. Out of all the races you have won, which is the most memorable?
The Hambletonian for sure!
3. Is there a race or racetrack that you haven't raced at but would like to?
I’m dying to win The Jug, and I’m looking forward to going to Australia.
4. What made you decide on driving horses as a career?
It’s the only thing I’ve wanted to do my whole life.
5. Who is one horse that you never got a chance to drive but would love to get to drive for just one race?
Growing up I always wanted to drive Riyadh. Today it would be Muscle Hill and Somebeachsomewhere.
This installment of “Ask Tim 5 Questions” comes from Jennifer Jenna Michaela Hills of ‘t Zand, Netherlands.
1. What do like more, pacers or standardbred racing?
I love driving pacers because they are are tough, but now with the opportunities I have to drive such great horses I enjoy them both. My favorite is when you can drive a trotter like a pacer. That doesn’t happen very often.
2. What is the best horse you ever drove in your whole career?
Tough one.. Buck I St Pat, The Captain, Anndrovette, Put On A Show, there are just so many that’s an unfair question.
3. Do you have a special favorite horse?
McSauna was owned by my family and she was good to us. She holds a special place, Jb Towbe and OakieaRideWithMe.
4. How on earth do you combine this work with your private (family) life. You are always on your way to the races?
It’s tough, I get home late and leave early and I know it’s hard on my wife especially now that we have a big farm. She’s my rock and she makes it all worth it.
5. Do you like the European harness racing industry (longer distances, other way of racing, like big fields and driving in the second and third lanes)?
I’m having a hard time answering that because I never really had to actually race like that. I think it’s interesting, but sometimes unfair for the best horse in the race, but I like racing whether it’s turtles, snails or horses, I like it all.
This installment of “Ask Tim 5 Questions” comes from Marley MacPhee of ON/Canada!
1. What is your most embarrassing moment?
Probably when Check Me Out made a break in the Hambo Oaks!! It was devastating and everyone had a million questions and I had no answers.
2. How do you like driving at Canadian tracks versus American tracks? Are there any rules or driving styles you would like to see at Canadian tracks?
For the most part it is the same, just a few rule changes..in Canada you have to be conscience of the whip rules. It’s a hard rule to follow when day in and day out you don’t have to think about it!
3. Do certain race bikes really make that much of a difference in the race?
Yes, the UFO really suits my style right now.
4. If you weren't a harness driver, what career path would you have taken?
I’d probably train horses and have a stable. I like to shoe as well, so if it weren’t for my hips I would be interested in specialty blacksmith work.
5. If there is one thing you could tell all trainers before you get into the race bike to make your job as a driver easier what would it be?
Be honest with me, if they had a bad week it’s ok! Just tell me the truth.