GOSHEN — Lyndon Frey waited a whole lot longer to compete in the harness races at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair than he did to win his first race.
The 2016 Westview High School graduate, by his own admission, grew up at the fair.
The wait to jump-start his career was made a little longer Monday by the thunderstorms that rolled through the Goshen area Sunday night. Track officials had to work on the track, causing the scheduled post time of 11 a.m. to be pushed back to 12:15 p.m.
“I grew up at this fair watching the harness races,” he said.
“When he was a kid we would bring him here and he would always cheer for (driver) Don Eash,” his mother Sara Frey of Shipshewana said. “He wanted Don to win and he wanted to be racing like Don some day.”
That opportunity came Monday afternoon just seven days after Frey received his driver’s license.
He made his first career in racing one Monday, driving ER Vegas of the Eash Racing Stables. Fry placed sixth in the six-team field. He more than made up for that start, earning his first career victory in the eighth race, guiding Rose Run Vision, also of Eash Stables, to a win in a time of 2:01 in the one-mile pace.
“I got my license one week ago today (July 15),” he said. “I was actually more nervous getting the horse ready than I was on the track. Once we got out on the track I settled down. ER Vegas has been having a good season. Don told me to take her out in the lead. I did and no one came after me.
“It was awesome coming around the final turn and hearing the crowd cheering.”
Mom was a little nervous at the start of the race, but her pride in her son took over.
“This has been his dream since he was little. He has always wanted to race here,” Sara said. “He made it look easy in his second race.”
Eash, a former Goshen resident who owns Eash Racing Stables in Greenfield, has played a role in the development of the young driver.
“When I graduated from Westview I moved to Greenfield to work for Don,” Frey said. “Working as a groom, it is my job to take care of the horses and get them ready to race.”
Frey talked about the process of becoming a harness racing driver.
“You have to go through the USTA (United States Trotting Association),” he said. “The first step is a written test with over 100 questions. The test is not graded with an A, B or C. You can pass the test with a satisfactory. Next, you go through the equipment for a horse. They want to see if you can put on a bridle or a bit and to see if you know how to train a horse. The final thing is an eye test.”
In addition to seeing Frey win the initial race of his career, Eash had a good day recording three wins of his own.
The veteran driver won the second race taking Rockinten to victory in 2:01 1/5, Townline All Good in the fourth in 1:59 3/5 and Skyway Raine in the sixth in 2:00 4/5.
The third and final day of the harness racing program is today. Post time is 11 a.m.
Greg Keim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN
Monday’s Harness Racing Summary
Race One (2-year-old Colt Pace, 1st Division) — 1, Townline Jated (Jay Cross); 2, Townline Flight (Matt Rheinheimer); 3, Cherokees Gorgeous (Doug Rideout); 4, Maple Lane Wes (Terry Skinner); 5, ER Hunter (Don Eash); 6, ER Vegas (Lyndon Frey). Winning time: 2:01 4/5. Purse: $3,000. Blanket Sponsor: Elkhart County 4-H Fair President Josh Culp.
Race Two (2-year-old Colt Pace, 2nd Division) — 1, Rockinten (Don Eash); 2, Topville Rustler (Mike Peterson); 3, W H Tenderfoot (Terry Skinner); 4, Vel Charlie (Jay Cross); 5, Ataboy Shooter (Matthew Riggle). Winning time: 2:01 1/5. Purse: $3,000. Blanket Sponsor: Advanced Affiliates.
Race Three (Indiana Owned, Sired or Breed, 1st Division) — 1, Army of One (Mike Peterson); 2, Halle Shark (Joey Putnam); 3, He’snosweetie (Zachary Miller); 4, Demi Ivy (Logan Loney); 5, T C Scandal (Matt Rheinheimer). Winning time: 1:59. Purse: $1,000.
Blanket Sponsor: Dr. Weldy’s Associates.
Race Four (Indiana Owned, Sired or Breed, 2nd Division) — 1, Townline All Good (Don Eash); 2, Extravagant Art (Mike Peterson); 3, One Cool Cat (Matt Rheinheimer), 4, Roots N Wings (Matthew Riggle); 5, Real Gorgeous (Jay Cross). Winning time: 1:59 3/5. Purse: $1,000. Blanket Sponsor: Ivy Lane Farms, Dr. Paul and Cathy Webb.
Race Five (Indiana Owned, Sired or Breed, FFA Trot) — 1, Sebiskit Bluegrass (Joey Putnam); 2, J S Guccio Girl (Alex Udell); 3, Outofbait (Mike Peterson); 4, Shelby’s Honor (Don Eash); 5, Bumblebzbuzz (Jay Cross). Winning time: 2:03 1/5. Purse: $1,500. Blanket Sponsor: Hoogies Sportshouse, SRP Custom Graphics.
Race Six (2-year-old Filly Pace) — 1, Skyway Raine (Don Eash); 2, J-S Lady Virgin (Alex Udell); 3, GD Potliker (Jordon Ross); 4, Skyway Ambition (Matt Rheinheimer); 5, Cross Cut Queen (Joey Putnam); 6, Vel Gorgeous Betty (Mike Peterson); 7, Rock N Roll Lady (Clint Coy). Winning time: 2:00 4/5. Purse: $3,000. Blanket Sponsor: SRP Custom Graphics, Awnings Unlimited.
Race Seven (2-year-old Filly Pace, 2nd Division) — 1, Makeitagaingo (Matt Rheinheimer); 2, Sgtshirleyssweetie (Jeffery Dever); 3, Skyway Venus (Zachary Miller); 4, Peachy Bombay (Matthew Riggle); 5, Vel Bundle (Mike Peterson); 6, Rollinlkastar (Don Eash). Winning time: 2:03 1/5. Purse: $3,000. Blanket Sponsor: Forrest River.
Race Eight (2-year-old Filly Pace, 3rd Division) — 1, Rose Run Vision (Lyndon Frey); 2, Lillian Rose (Doug Rideout); 3, Rigginswind (Matt Rheinheimer); 4. B R Flying Rite (Jordan Rose); 5, Dojea Gigi (Mike Peterson); 6, ER Harper Rose (Don Eash). Winning time: 2:01.
Purse: $3,000. Blanket Sponsor: RE-Max Results Darryl Riegsecker.