LEBANON, OH. – Harness racing driver Josh Sutton reached the coveted 5,000 career victory plateau at Miami Valley Raceway on Monday (Jan. 11), guiding Wegottatruckyea to the wire first in the very first race. It wasn't long before Sutton commenced his trek for 10,000 wins as he also captured the second race with Astroffical, prompting a daily double that returned $20.60 to Sutton faithful.
Sutton was born in Henderson, Kentucky, just a stone's throw from Audubon Raceway, in 1982. He began working for trainer Brian Loney when he was 14, mucking stalls and jogging horses. Hooked for life on harness racing, Sutton quit school at age 15 and hitched a ride to Los Alamitos in California where he found work on the backstretch for the winter meet. When that ended Josh returned to Lexington and he has been a mainstay in Midwest America racing circles ever since.
After another year of grooming and jogging horses, Sutton get his qualifying license in 1999 and drove in 18 of those tests. As soon as he turned 18, Sutton was awarded his driver's license and Loney and trainer Clint Binkley gave the young reinsmen his first work.
Sutton's career has progressed nicely since those early days. He has raced at Fairmount Park, where he won his first qualifier, Colonial Downs, where he won his first real race, and a plethora of other tracks throughout the Midwest over the past 20 years.
He has raced at Maywood, Hawthorne and Balmoral in Chicago, Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs in Indiana, as well as stints at The Red Mile and Pompano Park. For the past seven years Sutton has been a mainstay on the southern Ohio circuit of Miami Valley, Hollywood Dayton and Scioto Downs.
Sutton's mounts have earned almost $36 million and he has notched over 100 victories in 16 of the last 18 years. Josh's best year was 2016 when he triumphed 550 times, earned $5,060,722 and sported a .319 UDRS. One of many highlights of his career was winning four Ohio Sires Stakes championship races on a single night at Northfield Park in that season.
Josh Sutton is congratulated on his 5000th career win by Race Secretary Gregg Keidel, his girlfriend Ashley Holliday, longtime friend Brett Schultz and Miami Valley Race Manager Larry Alexander. Conrad photo
When asked to name his favorite horse, Sutton quipped "The last one that I won with! I hate losing even more than I like winning."
On his goals moving forward, "10,000! This is what I do and I plan on doing it as long as I'm able."
Sutton and his girlfriend, outrider Ashley Holliday, purchased a horse farm several years ago that keeps them busy in their spare time. "I don't have a lot of hobbies, other than rooting for the Kentucky Wildcats in basketball, but there's always something to do at the farm."