by Bob Heyden
Jack Moiseyev and Herve Filion. Their birthdays are and would have been this weekend.
Jackie Mo turned 60 on Jan. 31 and Filion would have been 80 on Feb. 1. Let’s take a look at some of their career highlights.
• Won his first race in 1977 at age 17 with Scotch VO at Brandywine.
• Was only a teenager when he won with Minus Two and Vaudeville at the Meadowlands in January, 1977. He and Kyle DiBenedetto are the only two drivers to win a Meadowlands race both before age 20 and after age 50.
• Was the driver of Precious Bunny in 1991, the Horse of the Year who set the single-season money record of $2,217,222. That year, in addition to the Jug, he won the Meadowlands Pace, the very first time that race went in sub-1:50 (1:49.4, over Artsplace).
• Three weeks after winning his first million-dollar race, he drove Giant Victory to a Hambletonian score, the very first time driving. It was his first million-dollar trotting score.
• In 1992-1993, he guided Presidential Ball to a $3,021,363 career, highlighted by another Pace score.
• He was the principal driver for trainer Ed Lohmeyer on his star pupil, Pacific Rocket ($2,333,401).
• He drove Ellamony, who set the female Meadowlands record for consecutive wins at 16, which still stands.
• He handled Stienams Place, the 1997 Breeders Crown winner and 3YOFP divisional champion for trainer Bruce Riegle.
• He won the 1991 Cane Pace with Silky Stallone, first time in the barn of Brett Pelling. Moiseyev-Pelling also teamed with White Ruffles, a star of the early 1990s.
• Moiseyev also handled such stars as 1997 Jug winner Armbro Operative, Survivor Gold, Stoneridge Scooter, Magical Mike, Armbro Monarch (Doherty Winner), Shore Patrol and Sweetheart winner Clover Hanover.
• He was both the leading money-winning driver of 1991 ($9,568,468) and the dash-winning leader that same year 769 wins. There are only three drivers in the last half century who have led in both wins and earnings the same year. Moiseyev, Herve Filion and Tim Tetrick.
• He had been runner-up in victories in 1988, and would again be second in 1992.
• He was the second leading earner in each of the next three years after winning the title (1992-1993-1994) and was the HTA Driver of the Year in 1993.
• He was one of the first drivers to handle both a $3 million trotter and pacer — Presidential Ball and Fools Goal.
• Lifetime, Moiseyev has driven the winners of some $130 million.
• Filion was the youngest (at the time) to be voted into the Hall Of Fame in 1975 at age 35.
• Seven times he led in both wins and earnings. Only Jack Moiseyev and Tim Tetrick have done so since, and each has done it just once.
• Holds the all-time record for most combined wins/earnings titles with 22. Fifteen times he led in wins, seven times in earnings. Billy Haughton is next at 18 combined with 12 earnings titles and six dash titles.
• His 15 title years were: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990
• Eleven different drivers were second best to him at various points during his dash-leading seasons.
• He is the only driver to lead in wins in four different decades — 1968-1990.
• Filion was the national earnings leader in these years: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977
• He was the first driver to reach $2 million (1972 — $2,473,625).
• Filion was the 1970 World Driving Champion.
• He won the 1985 Breeders Crown as a last minute substitute behind Caressable. He won the 1986 Breeders Crown with the sensational Grades Singing and he also beat pacers one night in New York with that great trotting mare. Grades Singing also beat the boys in the 1986 Maple Leaf Trot.
• Filion drove the first horse to surpass $800,000 in a single season (Hot Hitter in 1979, $826,542). He won the Jug that year, and the James Dancer, with this Lou Meittinis trainee.
• He won the 1971 Jug driving Nansemond to victory over Albatross. It was one of only three losses that year for Albatross, the Horse of the Year repeater.
• In 1980, both he and Billy Haughton passed $30 million. Filion went in front and held that title until July 31, 1987, when John Campbell took over for good.
• Filion died in June 2017. He had been a Hall Of Famer for more than half his life — 42 of his 77 years.