Harry Landy, who has started out his career with 100 winners over the last two seasons while driving for the most part over the half-mile Freehold oval, is flying out this weekend to get a taste of California racing.
“I’m really looking forward to coming out there for the first time,” related the 20-year-old New Jersey native. Harry’s parents Stan and Laurie own Congress Hill Farm in the Garden State and Harry relates he cut his teeth driving in trotting-bred pony races in Pennsylvania when he was a teenager.
“They race going a half-mile on a quarter-mile track and I was one of the youngest drivers there,” he explained. “I took out my P license as soon as I could when I turned 18, and I had 50 wins my first year and 50 this last one.”
Among those who have taken Landy under their wing are veteran conditioner Jim Porter and a name that will be familiar to California fans, one Lou Pena. “When Lou first came back East we became good friends and he trusted me with some of his young horses. He was the one who said I had to come out here and give it a try and he helped me get the drives.”
With Freehold currently closed until the first of March, the timing was perfect for Harry to come out for the busman’s holiday. “I fly in Thursday, I’ll drive as many as I can on Friday and Saturday and then I’m going to visit Los Angeles on Sunday. It should be a lot of fun.”
Among Landy’s drives on the Saturday program will be an assignment behind Albion in the featured Winners-Over pace for trainer Matias Ruiz.