by Brian J. Mazurek
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "The way things went several times in my career, I never thought I'd be able to reach 2,000 wins," driver Ron Beback Jr. said after reaching that milestone on Wednesday night (April 19) steering Ergo Hanover ($3.60) to victory in the sixth race at Buffalo Raceway.
The 52-year-old Beback Jr. has had to overcome two serious medical issues over the years but has bounced back each time with a clean bill of health to help grow his win total.
"Back in May of 1999, I was involved in an on-track accident," he said. "After about two weeks, I developed a pair of blood clots that went to my heart which gave me a heart attack. My heart nearly exploded. The doctor told me he didn't want me drive again but I recovered well. Driving is something I love to do."
But then in 2012, Beback Jr. said he developed some dizzy spells and after battery of tests were taken, he found out he had vertigo. "The doctors straightened things out so I was able to get back to racing."
In a four-year span from 2007 through 2010, Beback Jr. was able to find the winner's circle 603 times with 2009 his top season of all-time with 189 victories. Then after the vertigo issue, he returned to get 467 wins from 2013 through 2015. He has over $8.1 million in career purse earnings with most coming on the Western New York circuit.
He also trains horses but has seen this stable go from nearly 30 during his peak to just a handful now. "The owners I used to have just aren't around anymore," Beback Jr. stated.
Besides his own, he gets regular duties from trainers Mark Laidlaw and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. . Beback Jr. said he prefer the trotters with two of his favorites to drive now being Lutetium and Kahoku.
And for the future, Beback Jr. said he plans to continue on racing as long as possible. "I'm going to take it year by year but I have no plans of stopping any time soon."
Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) won the featured $8,200 pace for the mares with a head victory over V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) in 1:57.2 over the sloppy track. Who Says That (John Cummings Jr.) finished in third place.
Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, it was the fifth win in 15 starts this year for the 10-year-old Deliciouslynaughty (Mach Three-Naught Enough Hare). The victory pushed her earnings to $31,506 in 2017 and $445,051 lifetime. Stalbaum and Asher combined for a driver/trainer double.
Racing will resume on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There's a $671 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.
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