Maywood Park (12/30/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
WARREN AND SMITH TAKE MAYWOOD TITLES
A pair of first time champions will be crowned at Maywood Park as Todd Warren captured his first Maywood Park driving title and veteran conditioner Perry Smith toted home top honors in the training ranks for 2010.
Warren, who recently won his 3,000th career race, continued a recent trend of first time winners at Maywood Park. Since Tony Morgan posted seven straight driving titles (1999-2005), there has been a different winner in each of the past five seasons.
This year, the Beecher, IL resident outdistanced Marcus Miller by more than 20 victories to claim the title with more than 170 trips to the charmed circle. Horses driven by Warren also earned more than $515,000 in purse money at Maywood Park.
“I couldn’t have asked for things to go better than they did this season,” said Warren who will celebrate his 46th birthday on New Year’s Day. “Everybody has been great to me and I was very fortunate to hook with trainers like Perry Smith, Jim Eaton and Nelson Willis who all put me up on some very good stock.”
Born in Mattoon, IL Warren, who began his driving career at the age of 16, toiled on the Michigan circuit for almost 20 years before returning to his home state. Over the past two seasons his career has really started to blossom with Warren posting back-to-back seasons of 300-plus victories.
“The past two seasons here in Chicago have been very good to me,” said Warren. “I managed to get my 3,000th career victory, my first Super Night title (with Powerful Speed this year) and now my first Maywood Park driving title.”
Smith turned the trainer standings into a cakewalk as he knocked off defending champion Dave Mc Caffrey by more than 20 victories while sending out winners at a 27 percent clip.
A career winner of more than 950 races with purse earnings of more than $6.3 million, Smith also captured the training title at Balmoral Park in 2008.
“This year it just turned out that I had a lot more horses that were better off on the half-mile oval here at Maywood then on the mile track at Balmoral,” said Smith. “Keeping them sound all year round is not an easy thing to do with as hard as we race them here in Chicago, but it’s what you’ve got to do in order to be successful and to try and make some money right now.”