Dylan Andrew looks to build on first career harness racing win
Getting the winning feeling
TRURO - Now that he knows what winning feels like, Dylan Andrew wants to do it again.
The 19-year-old nabbed his first win as a harness racing driver July 17 at Summerside Raceway piloting Race Me Volcano in 1:59.3.
"It was great," said the polite Stratford, P.E.I., resident and student at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Bible Hill, where he studies agricultural business. "It took a while to get one under my belt but it felt great."
Andrew is hoping to add a second notch to his belt tonight in the Neil 'Chops' Campbell Memorial Young Guns Drivers Challenge at Truro Raceway, pitting young drivers against each other.
Andrew will be in the bike with George Rennison's Pier Ho L Artiste in Race 7 before teaming up with Porto Bello Sultan, owned by Neil Campbell Jr., for Race 10.
Post time is 7 p.m. and the 12-dash card also features Atlantic Sires Stakes Series races for two and three-year-old trotters and two-year-old pacing fillies.
The card is part of the Atlantic Grand Circuit Week festivities.
"I'm just hoping to do my best and anything after that is a bonus," Andrew said.
Harness racing has always been a part of Andrew's life. His great grandfather started the family in the sport, which was passed down from generation to generation. Andrew often trained horses for his family and felt driving was a natural step.
"It just seemed like it was the next thing," he said. "It looked like a lot of fun and everyone who did it enjoyed it."
He raced several times at Pinette Raceway in Pinette, P.E.I., but really got involved in September 2007 after meeting Truro Raceway heavy-hitters Darren Crowe and Ryan Ellis after starting at the NSAC.
"They really helped me out a lot and took me under their wing," Andrew said. "They really pushed me to go for it, so I did."
Andrew said he couldn't think of better drivers to learn from.
"I've really got to credit them," he said. "They are great guys to learn from. They know what they're doing."
But even with great teachers, learning how to drive a race horse isn't an easy thing to do. Getting used to driving a horse while alone on the track is one thing, getting into a pack during a race is another.
"My first couple times getting behind the gate was intimidating," Andrew said. "But the more times you do it the more comfortable you get.
"There's a lot of skill and a lot of strategy in it."
And although he questioned several times whether getting in the bike on race day was for him, the answer was always the same.
"I just liked it too much," he said.
"I had the itch and I wanted to learn."