Virgil Morgan Jr. reaches lofty 7,000-win plateau

Lebanon, OH — Virgil Morgan Jr. became just the second trainer in harness racing history to reach the 7,000-win plateau when his trainee Family Recipe captured the 13th race at Miami Valley Raceway on Thursday (April 14).

The 56-year-old conditioner, who trails only Ron Burke is lifetime wins, began his training career in 1992, notching six wins and six seconds in 22 starts for a .439 Universal Trainer Rating Score. For the next 29 consecutive years, Virgil’s UTRS has always been above .300, including three additional years above .400. Morgan has recorded at least 100 wins from his barn in each of the last 27 years, including one season (2000) with over 400 triumphs, nine seasons with over 300 and another nine with over 200 wins.

In addition to winning 7,000 races, horses under Morgan’s tutelage have earned $63.7 million. He had back-to-back $4 million earning years in 2007 and 2008, and has surpassed $3 million on four other occasions. Morgan has been the leading trainer at Scioto Downs, near his hometown of Grove City, Ohio, each season since 1995. He was inducted into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall Of Fame in 2021.

The Thursday program at Miami Valley included a $26,000 Open I Pace, captured by GD Western Joe (Chris Page), who beat Bell I No (Tyler Smith) and Havefaithinme N (Kayne Kauffman) in 1:51.3. A $22,000 Open II went to Grantmeawish (Josh Sutton) in an identical 1:51.3, topping Tick’s A Yankin (Tony Hall) and Absolut Rocks (Dan Noble).

Miami Valley is dark until Monday (April 18), when racing resumes at 4:05 p.m.

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