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Allen Honored For Reaching 2,000 Win Plateau
LAUREL, MD, 01-28-12---The Maryland Jockey Club honored trainer Ferris Allen for reaching the 2,000-win plateau last month with a winners’ circle presentation following Saturday’s first race. The 60-year-old, who saddled his first winner in 1974, accomplished the milestone when he saddled From Jump Street to victory at Gulfstream Park on December 18, 2011.
“It’s terrific to get this accomplished and as you know it’s a team effort,” Allen said. “Lots and lots of efforts from individuals that go into this. A lot of people don’t realize that it takes one employee roughly for every two horses so if you’re winning a hundred races a year just think of all the human effort that goes into that and I’ve been blessed with great people working for me all along.”
A baseball player at William & Mary, the 60-year-old led all trainers in wins on the Maryland circuit in 1999 and ranked in the top 10 for 16 consecutive years (1995-2010). His barn has earned more than $1 million for 15 straight years.
“I was a school teacher for three years and I thought I’d take a break from teaching to train horses for a year,” joked Allen, who has won 801 races at Laurel and Pimlico since 1995. “We made a decision to be a regional operation so I could be around the family much like what Mario Pino did. We chose Maryland because at the time it was the best year-round circuit and I am hoping we can get back to that. I do think we can get back to that. It is right around the horizon after the slots get going to help purses.”
Allen is best known for conditioning Miracle Wood to a fifth place finish in the 1986 Preakness at odds of 20-1 and winning the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap with Passeggiata in 1999.
“It’s all about standing right here, in the winners’ circle,” added Allen. “We won only six races combined in ’74 and ’75 but I remember each one of them like it was yesterday. As you look back it isn’t just the stakes horses but there have been special mid-level horses and cheap claimers that hang with you through the years.”