In 2021, he set career-best marks in top-three finishes (45) and purse earnings ($140,224) as a coach and received his first race as a driver.
by Chris Lomon
Whether or not it’s Black Caviar, cheeseburger soup or his each day racing routine, Austin Brubacker has discovered the recipe for fulfillment.
His profession in standardbred racing started within the 2010s, a gig that noticed him put in loads of miles with pacers and trotters in tow, and one which piqued his curiosity about shifting gears into a distinct position.
“I began as a shipper for a buddy of mine. He didn’t have his driver’s license at that second, so I ended up transport horses to Freehold… That was about 10 to 12 years in the past. It wasn’t lengthy till I began serious about desirous to get entangled in racing in a much bigger approach. I ended up shopping for an inexpensive $4,000 claimer, simply to get began. I didn’t make some huge cash on the time, however I acquired actually hooked on it.”
It was a bay trotting mare who made his choice to affix the harness racing ranks a no doubter.
“Black Caviar, she made round $30,000 in three months. She ended up getting injured and she or he’s a broodmare now. I feel that’s once I knew I used to be going to make racing my profession. Again then, $30,000 was some huge cash. I owned 100 per cent of her. I educated her down myself and she or he was wonderful. She was simple to work with, had a very nice gait and was simply so simple. She simply made my job lots simpler, and she or he confirmed me that if you’re keen to place within the work, you can also make cash on this sport.”
With the assist of his household – he doesn’t come from a racing background – Brubacker launched his driving and coaching profession in 2016. In seven begins within the race bike, he posted a pair of thirds. In 64 coaching begins, he notched seven wins, 5 seconds and 4 thirds, to associate with simply over $92,000 in earnings.
Since then, he’s continued to progress with a comparatively small variety of horses. At present, he has 9 in his barn.
“I’m very fortunate to have my household again me a lot in what I do. They’re all the time asking once I’m racing, how issues are going, and what’s developing. That’s very nice to have.”
As it’s to have claimed his first win within the sulky.
Close to the top of final 12 months, Brubacker, now 31, was given an sudden alternative to pilot pacer Gold Star Yoder at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
The Gold Star Farm-bred gelding is educated by Tim Crissman.
“It was the 14th race on December 2, 2021. There was a site visitors delay that day and a few of the drivers had been late coming in from Yonkers, so they only grabbed whoever was left within the paddock, and I occurred to be considered one of them.”
With little time to organize, Brubacker did his greatest to teach himself rapidly on the son of Mysticism. He actually appreciated what he noticed within the kind, and after a look on the tote board, he felt much more assured in his possibilities.
“I believed, ‘If I don’t screw this up, I’d be capable to choose up a pleasant verify for the connections.’ I bear in mind they went very quick fractions, and I got here first up. It made my job lots simpler. The horse was on the highest of his sport and received by virtually three lengths. It was an enormous thrill, for positive. All of it labored out. He had a robust qualifier the week earlier than at Dover, and I simply went on that. I truly raced three of my very own at Chester that day and so they completed one, two, three.”
The coaching facet of Brubacker’s secure has fared effectively over the previous few seasons.
He set career-best marks in top-three finishes (45) and purse earnings ($140,224) final 12 months.
“It’s going effectively. I’ve a pleasant group of trotters. Profitable is all the time enjoyable. That by no means will get outdated. I’m actually centered on ensuring my horses are in the fitting class, that they are often aggressive and carry out at their peak. I like my trotters, particularly working with the younger ones.”
For Brubacker, that facet of coaching and all the scope of the position is a real labor of affection.
Any probability to be hands-on together with his horses brings out an enormous smile for the Pennsylvania horseman.
“It truly is rewarding once they work out. I qualify all of my very own horses and a few for different individuals as effectively. I’m all the time getting educated by different individuals’s horses, which I like. Training is vital on this enterprise. I additionally wish to drive my very own, so I do know what I’ve. I like the entire coaching finish of it too, though it’s a variety of early mornings and late nights, plus all of the stress. However I like being within the place I’m in.”
Life is certainly good for the person who sports activities maroon, white and black colours.
And never simply on the racetrack.
Brubacker is something however the stay-at-home type, preferring as an alternative to reap the benefits of the good outside each time he finds the time.
“I really like looking and fishing. I want I had extra alternative for these, but when I do have any free time, I’ll be exterior. I’m the kind of person who I’ll solely watch TV if it’s a wet evening, and if I do, I’ll be watching TVG, tuning into to see The Meadowlands or racing from Canada. I don’t like to sit down on the couch. For me, it’s all about being exterior.”
With one exception, nevertheless.
Cooking and baking have all the time performed an enormous position in Brubacker’s life.
Whereas he received’t be getting his personal present on The Meals Community, his culinary abilities are prize worthy.
“I actually take pleasure in cooking. All my pals come over and I’ll make lunch or dinner. Whether or not it’s pasta, lasagna or steaks, I simply love cooking. I bake cookies too. After I was little, I might assist him my mother within the kitchen. I used to be her little helper. We did the whole lot collectively.
“By means of my realtor, once I purchased the home, that they had a little bit get-together on the finish of 2021 for the brand new householders, with a free meal. Additionally they had a soup contest. I forgot about it till about two within the afternoon that day – the occasion was at 5 – so I ran out to the shop and acquired all my stuff. I made a cheeseburger soup. I ended up getting second prize and $50.”
It’s the horses, although, that make Brubacker, who has amassed over $700,000 in profession coaching earnings, really feel like one million bucks.
Win or lose, the trotters and pacers really feel extra like household for the horseman, who doesn’t do a lot winter racing, as an alternative specializing in breaking 15-20 infants a 12 months.
“I really like the horses. There’s not a morning I lay in mattress and say I want I didn’t need to go to work. It’s not a job, it’s actually a passion and a ardour. I can’t wait to get there, though I dwell a half-mile the farm. I purchased a home a couple of 12 months and a half in the past. I needed to pay lots for it, however I’m glad I did. If I’ve free time, I’ll work round the home, landscaping or
doing something exterior. I’m grateful for the whole lot I’ve in my life.”
The primary ingredient for his success story?
“That’s a simple one… I simply love what I do.”