No place like home

Joey Smith
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Successful horseman Romo glad to be part of the action this week at Truro Raceway

No place like home

BIBLE HILL - Given Danny Romo's hectic summer schedule, one can understand why Atlantic Grand Circuit Week seems to agree with the local horseman.
"It's a good week," said Romo. "We're home all week and it's nice to be able to stay home and not truck around."
Romo, 56, has seen his share of racetracks during a 38-year career in harness racing. Between June and October, and especially during stakes season, he is on the road nearly every weekend.
"If you get some stake horses you've got to travel with them in the summertime, and on the weekend is when they race, so you've got to go every day," he said.
Romo has enjoyed much success during his career as a driver, posting 3,341 lifetime wins and purse earnings of almost $5 million. In 2009, he has 27 wins, 38 seconds and 32 thirds.
Romo, who grew up in Lower Sackville, got his start in racing at Sackville Downs and obtained his driving licence when he was 18. In the mid-1980s Romo really hit his stride, and established himself as one of the top drivers in Atlantic Canada.
It was then, following the closure of Sackville Downs, that others in the industry encouraged him to further his career in Ontario where big money could be made.
"I didn't really want to go," he said. "I was making a decent living at the time and had two young kids, so I didn't want to go. And my (horse) owner said to me at the time, 'If you want to stay home, we'll buy you horses.' So I said, 'To hell with it, if I can make a living at home I'd sooner be home.'"
Romo, who owns a five-acre farm in Shubenacadie, credits his success to committed owners, good horses, good planning and some good ol' fashion luck.
"I think I got in it at the right time," he said. "I got into the young horses, training the colts, and I think that was a time when a lot of guys stuck to the old claiming horses. I could see the writing on the wall, it was time to get out of those kinds and get into the young horses."
Romo said at this point in his career, he plans to pull back the reins a bit, and not run the kind of hectic training and racing schedule he has become accustomed to over the years.
"It's just me and my wife now, the family's grown up and on their own, and a fella doesn't need as much money as he did back then, I guess, so I kinda wanna cut back," he said. "But I still love horses. It's all I'm ever gonna do and it's all I've ever done. But I'm at the point now, the last two years, it's a lot of work, it's hard to get help and the price of everything has gone up, everything but the purses has gone up."
Romo will be in the bike tonight as Atlantic Grand Circuit Week continues at Truro
Raceway. He will drive in two Atlantic Sires Stakes races for two-year-old pacing colts. Post time for the 13-dash card is 7 p.m.
Saturday, Romo will drive St. Pete Star in the Exhibition Cup Invitational. Post time is 7 p.m.

Geographic location: Lower Sackville, Atlantic Canada, Ontario Shubenacadie

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