It's official...George Brennan is, ahem, slowing down. Tongue and cheek both firmly to the side, a man whose career is based on sitting, is once again sitting...this time on another milestone. Brennan, who like Yonkers Raceway had Wednesday night off, enters Thursday's program with 7,997 career driving victories. He is listed to drive in all 13 races.
As for the "slowing down" part, well, after needing just over 16 months to go from 6,000 to 7,000 wins, the quest from 7,000 to 8,000 is taking all of 22 months, give or take a night.
Slowing down? Try three wins Monday night and four wins Tuesday.
Since moving his base of operation to Westchester, all the 46-year-old Brennan has done is the lead the locals twice (2011–697 wins, single-season record $11.1 million in purses, 2012—580 wins, $8.8 million in purses). This season, he sits (there's that word again) second to Brian Sears in both categories, with 247 wins and $5.1 million in purses through Tuesday evening.
"Every number is special, and I think each one defines a stable career,” Brennan said. "When I first started driving in this (New York/New Jersey) area, I didn't even have a thousand wins. I reached that number at Freehold, so I've won nearly all of my races competing against the sport's elite drivers.
"I think that says something.”
Brennan, with nearly $134 million in purses, has reached seven figures in that category ($10-, $14- and $12 million) in each of the last three seasons.
Among his career highlights are wins in the 2006 Yonkers Trot with Glidemaster (subbing for an injured John Campbell and completing that colt's Triple Crown), 2011's final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (Real Nice), that season's Hambletonian/Hambo Oaks (Broad Bahn and Bold and Fresh) and this season's Art Rooney Pace (Doctor Butch).
"But I get as much of a thrill winning with a cheap claimer,” he said. "Every race, you try to get there first.”
Brennan, a native of Monticello, N.Y., began his career at his hometown track. As for his first trip to the winner's circle? "Rob Ron Romper," he said, recalling the name of his first Catskills winner. "I was a junior in high school, and I remember it like it happened yesterday." (Yonkers)