Christoforou, Auciello take WEG titles
December 29, 2014
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The 2014 Standardbred racing season concluded Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack and although there was little drama for the WEG driving title, the final card was needed to decide the season's top trainer.
Chris Christoforou entered Saturday evening with a comfortable eight win lead over Jody Jamieson in the drivers' standings, but Carmen Auciello came into the final card with only a two-win lead over Richard Moreau for the training title.
Both trainers sent out a plethora of horses Saturday evening, with Auciello's barn sending out eight starters and Moreau's sending out 10.
The Moreau-trained Ray Hall captured the first race of the evening to get his trainer to within a win of the top spot, but the Auciello trained Camaes Fellow would extend the lead back to two with a victory in the seventh race. Montreal Phil would come through in the tenth race with a victory to get Moreau back to within a win of Auciello with both trainers sending out their final starter in the next race.
In the 11th race, the Moreau-trained Naked City left hard to grab the early lead, while the Auciello trained Glammit came first-up down the backstretch to battle with the leader. In the stretch, Naked City would relinquish the lead late in the mile to finish third, but Glammit dug in to score the first-over victory and secure the training title for Auciello.
Auciello finished the 2014 WEG season with 95 victories, while Moreau's two victories Saturday night gave him a total of 93 wins.
Auciello, 34, is wrapping up a career best season. The Stouffville resident's starters banked more than $2.6 million this year, with $1.6 million of those earnings coming on the WEG circuit. This is Auciello's first WEG training title.
As for the driving title, Christoforou completed his 2014 resurgence with his first WEG driving title since 2003. Christoforou, 43, picked a single victory Saturday night to finish the 2014 season with 226 victories at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks.
Jamieson, who won two races Saturday evening, finished second with 219 wins and Sylvain Filion, the reigning driving title champion, finished third with 201 wins.
Filion led all drivers in earnings for 2014 on the WEG circuit with over $5.3 million in earnings, while Christoforou drove winners of over $4.8 million.
The 2014 WEG driving title is one of several accomplishments for Christoforou this season, including surpassing 6,000 wins and $100 million in earnings. Christoforou was also recently named a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver of the Year. (WEG)