Horse trainer's Father' Day arrives early

Rob Longley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:10 AM ET

Father’s Day arrived exactly two hours and 15 minutes early for harness racing’s Jamieson clan and who knows when the party might end.

With driver Jody Jamieson at the reins for his father/trainer Carl, 3-year-old pacer Up The Credit made a bold rally and then drove off in the Mohawk Racetrack stretch to win Saturday’s $1.5-million North America Cup.

When horse and driver took command late in the race from early pacesetter Big Bad John, the huge crowd erupted as the local star paced away from the 10-horse field.

Both father and son have had considerable success in the sport — together and separately — but the Cup win surely topped them all.

“It’s such a tough race to win, especially for a Canadian trainer,” said Jody who has arguably emerged as Canada’s top big-money driver over the past half decade. “To get the right horse, everything seems so (focussed on the U.S.). We came here from the Maritimes (several years ago) and my dad worked his (butt) off to get to this point.

“I’ve been here before, but it’s an unbelievable feeling to get this for him. This is the best Happy Father’s day, dad.”

While 34 year-old Jody has twice won the O’Brien Award as Canada’s top driver and also won the North America Cup in 2007 with Tell All, his father worked a lifetime to get a victory like this.

A native of Pugwash, N.S., Carl Jamieson moved to Ontario to take a shot at the big time and has had his share of success over the years, but nothing like the win in the Cup, the richest race in the sport.

Even sweeter is the fact that a portion of Up The Credit’s $750,000 winner’s share will stay with trainer Jamieson, as he owns a third of the colt in partnership with Thomas Kyron, Brian Paquet and Joanne Morrison.

A $72,000 yearling purchase, Up The Credit has now won seven of his 11 lifetime starts for more than $920,000 in earnings and if Saturday’s effort was any indication, there’s much more to come.

To hear the father tell it, there was no doubt that his son was going to make a living driving horses at the highest level. From the time he was old enough to walk, he was darting around the family’s Princeton, Ont., farm, often with a whip in hand, and as soon as he was old enough to sit behind a horse, Carl let him help out with the daily training regimen.

“He’s trained horses with me for years, he could drive any horse I could drive,” Jamieson said. “I knew he had the hands to be a good driver. He just had to have the stock.”

They both seem to have it now after Saturday’s impressive performance in which Up The Credit was forced to rally on the outside to set up his bold charge before a screaming throng in the Mohawk stretch.

A slower early pace led to a somewhat modest winning time of 1:49 3/5 as Up The Credit easily held off longshot runner-up Roll With Joe to win by a length. Big Jim finished third while race favourite Big Bad John couldn’t hold his early lead and finished fifth.

Up The Credit, a son of Western Terror ran his winning streak to four in a row and paid $6.60 for the win. Though he was less accomplished than several in the race, both Jamiesons knew they had a big shot in the big dash. He showed promise as a two-year-old before injury stunted his progress but has found his stride in a big way over the past two months.

“He’s just an amazing horse, he’s been proving it all along,” said Jody Jamieson. I said it at the post-position draw, he could go anywhere - first over, on the front, it didn’t matter. He proved it tonight.”


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