WILKES-BARRE PA –Kevin Wallis, among only a dozen North American active drivers with 10000 or more victories, ended his driving career on Tuesday afternoon over sloppy going at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono – and a win with Latest Attraction brought his final sulky success total to 10541.
Wallis, who turned 66 this past Friday, is a native of London ONT who guided the winners of nearly $52 million in his 45-year driving career (there was indication that he will be training horses in the future). His total of 652 wins in his best season, 1996, got him second behind Tony Morgan among all drivers.
Wallis was a driving champion at Windsor, Pompano, and Hazel Park, at the last-named track taking the dash and money titles for seven straight years, 1994-2000. He had 34 years where he recorded 100+ victories, including a string of 28 straight from 1983 to 2010, and 14 seasons when his win total exceeded 300; 28 years where he posted a UDR of .300+, including 23 consecutive seasons from 1983-2005; and seventeen straight years between 1993-2009 where he drove the winners of $1 million or more. Wallis also trained 964 winners since the USTA began counting in 1991.
On a day when a portion of a distinguished harness career came to a close, it seems a good balance that a trainer sent out a winner in her very first attempt. Gena Anderson, a 33-year-old from the non-harness hotspot of Blaine, Washington (though it’s the last town at the top of Washington state before you cross over to British Columbia and 22-miles-away Fraser Downs), had Howtotrainurdragon ready after 46 days away and a ship from Running Aces in Minnesota. The Dragon Again gelding was full of pace when Pocono’s top driver Matt Kakaley (a four-time winner Tuesday) tipped him wide on the far turn and came home to win easily. Making the win doubly memorable is the fact that Anderson also owns the victorious pacer.
Pocono will race on its Saturday-Monday-Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. basic full schedule this coming week and next, then end its 2022 season on Saturday, November 19. . Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.