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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Ken Weingartner, USTA –– Troy Beyer is not one to keep track of his stats, preferring to wait until the end of the year to check his numbers.

When the time has come to look, it’s been a pleasant sight.

Beyer, who turns 28 next week, worked for several different trainers after arriving from Illinois to the East Coast about eight years ago. In 2021, he began to turn his attention toward driving more frequently while training a stable with his wife, Katie.

Two years ago, Beyer won 96 races and drove horses that earned $1.02 million in purses. He surpassed those figures last year, registering 148 victories and $1.62 million in the money column.

He tied for seventh in wins at Freehold Raceway in 2022 and was eighth at Harrah’s Philadelphia, where he did the majority of his driving.

“The first time I went over a million in earnings for a season, it was a shock,” Beyer said. “I didn’t even know I was close to it until I hit it and people told me. That was a good surprise.

“To have an even better year last year was unbelievable. I had a very good meet at (Harrah’s Philadelphia) and I picked up more work as the year went on and drove for some good trainers throughout the year. I built some good relationships with people. I don’t think it could have gone any better. I was thrilled.”

By refraining from looking at his numbers during the season, Beyer can remain better focused on the job at hand.

“If you get to checking stats all the time, you’re constantly trying to outdo yourself and thinking about it,” Beyer said. “I just try to race the horses I drive and train and do the best I can. I just keep pushing along and kind of look at it at the end of the year. Then you can say, wow, it was a good year.”

Beyer has picked up 260 of his 338 career wins since the start of 2021. He has 16 triumphs this year, with two of the victories coming March 3 at The Meadowlands, which resulted in Beyer being named the track’s Driver of the Week.

“That was pretty cool,” he said.

A native of the Chicago suburbs, Beyer got started in racing through his father, Wayne Elliott, and notched his first driving win in 2013 at Balmoral Park. Whether driving or training, Beyer said patience is a virtue, which he learned from his dad.

“He was probably the most patient person I ever met,” Beyer said. “We had some bad horses when I was a kid, and I would tell him to get rid of some, and he would say just to wait on them or keep going with them. Patience, it does pay off most of the time. I was lucky to learn that from him.

“I like to train young horses, too, and that’s a big thing with young horses. You have to let them tell you when they’re ready to do things and you just go from there.”

Troy and Katie have 11 horses, including six 2-year-olds and three 3-year-olds, in their stable.

“I think that’s a good number for just Katie and I,” Beyer said. “Even if we stay at this number, or get a few more, we want to continue to get better quality horses and try to have a little more success each year.”

Which is Beyer’s same goal for his driving career.

“I always wanted to drive,” Beyer said. “I worked for Noel Daley, and he was a big help. He put faith in me to drive some nice horses, and I’ve just been able to get some more work over the years. Last year, I got lucky and drove some nice horses throughout the year, and I got to drive some stakes horses at different tracks — The Meadows, Freehold, (Philadelphia), The Meadowlands.

“It just kind of gets a little better every year. Hopefully, I can keep setting new records for myself every year.”

He will just wait until the end of the year to find out.

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