Marohn Jr.'s star continues to rise
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"He's a good kid and drives a horse good. And he's got a good future ahead of him, too.”
While growing up there was never any question in young Jimmy's mind about what he'd do for a living. After all, his dad, Jimmy (Sr.), was among the leading drivers at both Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceways.
"I was dad's biggest fan and knew right from the reel that I wanted to be a driver,” young Jimmy acknowledged. "Racing was still attracting plenty of fans and I always dreamed of driving horses like my dad.
"I used to go with him to the barns and I really learned the game and all the hard work that goes along with it.”
Marohn Sr. , himself a winner of 5338 races and now in the twilight of a great career, is understandably proud of his son and of his sons accomplishments.
"Being in the same business I knew right from the start Jimmy had talent,” the senior Marohn said. "But more importantly he has showed the owners and trainers that he's talented. And it's really important for the trainers to be confident in Jimmy when they put him down (to drive).”
One such trainer that has relied on young Jimmy's talents is Danny Gill. Together they were a one-two punch at the Mighty M this past season and it was the winners that he drove for Gill that, not only kept Marohn on top, but put Gill in a heated race for leading trainer.
On, Dec. 31, the last day of Monticello's 2012 season Marohn drove his 118th winner from the Gill barn and that was the one that gave the leading trainer honors to Gill as he turned back Pete Pellegrino by just a single triumph. And like Marohn, Gill's honor was his first.
"I really like Jimmy. He's honest, he's trustworthy and he's loyal… and he's a darn good driver,” Gill said assessing Marohn's attributes. "And since he's been more aggressive (on the track) he keeps getting better all the time.”
The next year (2003) Marohn won the driving title at Colonial Downs and he finished the season with 73 wins. The following season he won 133 races and since then his win totals have been in triple digits with last year's output of 335 his best thus far.
The day after he graduated high school graduation Marohn went to work for Billy Popfinger and to this day he can't say enough great things about him.
"In my eyes, and others too, Billy is an all-out Hall of Famer and while working with him I learned a lot about training and driving,” Marohn said with reverence in his voice.”He taught me to be patient with a young horses and how they like to keep the bit in their mouth. He gave me a tremendous opportunity to drive and because he had confidence in me he even sent me around to different tracks.
"I ‘m very appreciative to Billy and for all the opportunities he gave me.”
Sure young Jimmy is proud of his accomplishments and of the 1954 winners he has already driven, but a young man with his talent doesn't usually stay still and is always looking for better things to come.
"I'd love to crack into the bigger venues,” he said hopefully. "And when I do I probably won't be driving as many times as I have been but I'll be going for more purse money. I'll have to give it a shot, soon.” (Monticello)