For photos from the Meadowlands contact Lisaphoto@playmeadowlands.com

Thursday, July 5, 2012

All Hail King Palone

North America has a new all-time dash winning driver and his name is Dave Palone. This afternoon, the Hall of Famer passed the legendary Herve Filion's 15,180 dash wins by driving the 2yo Herculotte Hanover to victory at the Meadows, his home track for his entire career since 1982, to put him over the top with 15,181 career victories.

Update: Palone won an additional three races (a total of five on the day) on the card, giving him 15,184 career victories.

Dave Palone (USTA Photo/Ed Keys)
Some will argue Palone's not racing at the Meadowlands diminishes his accomplishment, but they would be mistaken Would it have taken Dave Palone longer to get to this point? Likely yes, but to minimize his efforts by racing at The Meadows would be doing a huge disservice to Palone and The Meadows community. After all, many a top driver has raced on the Meadows circuit at one time or another before they headed east, plus it takes a lot of hard work and resilience to accomplish what Palone has done in these 30 years. Not everyone thrives on the top stage and it often is not a question of wanting to be the king of the pond at a smaller track instead of being a minnow at the big track. For some, it is quality of life which matters; money is not the deciding factor to them, it's family. Besides, when you win roughly $105 million in purses over your career, no one needs to take up a collection for you.

To give you a perspective on how good Dave Palone is as a driver, John Campbell, the ambassador of harness racing has won roughly 300 starts per a year over his 35 years career, while Palone has averaged approximately 506 wins per year, basically 200 more victories each year.

Congrtulations to the new King of North American harness racing as he continues to add wins to his record breaking total and takes aim at the world record holder German driver Heinz Wewering, who is credited with 16,000+ wins (the exact number is not readily available).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave Palone is one of the greats in harness racing history to just about everyone except The Meadowlands snobs.

True, the NJ group was the finest collection of drivers for many years, but that doesn't mean they were the only outstanding drivers. Palone made a choice years ago to make a living where he could also have time with family and be home before and after work most days of the year. That shouldn't be criticized. Applaud it.

Pacingguy said...

Anon,

I agree with what you are saying. In addition to Palone, Luc Ouellette and Greg Wasiluk are two other drivers who quickly come to my mind who either went back from where they came from or never left due to their sense of responsibility to their families. You are absolutely right with regards to doing right by your family first and worry about career second.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me you did NOT just put Greg Wasiluk in the same sentence with Dave Palone and Luc Ouellette! Was it meant to be a joke?

Pacingguy said...

Anon,

I sure did put them in the same sentence, because they are horsemen who have made decisions where to race for the benefit of their families, not because their driving careers may be considered equal.