Callahan still in control in dash standings
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Callahan's late start to driving hasn't been a hindrance.
Last year he set career highs with 519 wins, which was good for eighth place among all drivers, and $7.39 million in purses. He was the regular driver of world-record-setting trotter Googoo Gaagaa, whose stakes victories included the $500,000 Colonial at Harrah's Philadelphia.
Callahan in 2011 represented the U.S. in the World Driving Championship, finishing second to Canada's Jody Jamieson. In April, Callahan notched career victory No. 3,000.
He is on pace for 785 wins and $8.18 million in purses this season.
"Growing up I wanted to be a professional athlete,” Callahan said. "I was a good player, but not quite good enough to be at that top level. Luckily, I've had a lot of success driving. Now here I am with the best of the best. In the harness racing world, I've finally made it to the pros, so to speak.”
As a hockey player, Callahan needed good hands and the ability to anticipate and react to fast-paced action. Those attributes are helpful as a driver.
"You have to kind of see things before they happen,” Callahan said. "Having played hockey helps your mind think that way, it's so fast.
"Wayne Gretzky would probably be a really good driver,” he added with a smile. "Maybe he should try it now.”
Callahan hopes to keep his hold on the No. 1 spot in wins, but knows it will be difficult. He leads last year's champion, Dave Palone, by 46 victories. Palone has won 15,775 races in his career, the most ever for any driver in North American harness racing history.
"I'd really like to keep it going, but I'm just going to try to let it happen,” Callahan said. "I'm going to work hard at it, but I'm not going to do two tracks every day. My wife is due with our second child in July and there's no way I won't be able to not get any sleep at night and do two tracks during the day.
"I'm just hoping I can continue to get some quality work and keep the wins coming. People are seeing what I can do now and I'm grateful for the opportunities I'm getting.” (HRC)