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Herve's Last Hurrah

Published: October 4, 2012 4:25 pm ET

Last Comment: October 11, 2012 6:49 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Sunday night at Rideau Carleton Raceway, Canadian driving legend Herve Filion will be making a special guest appearance competing at the Ottawa-area oval. According to Filion, these will be his "last professional drives" in a long and storied harness racing career.

"I'm happy that I'm going to race there on Sunday in my last hurrah with all my friends," said Filion to Trot Radio's Norm Borg. "These will be my last professional drives, at the Ottawa Valley - where I started. I won't race, I'm retired. I'm 72, working on 73...I feel good, but, you know, I've had enough racing horses. Right now, I'm spending a lot of time with the family."

Filion will meet with the fans for an autograph session before taking the track for the final time. Filion will drive in eight races on the Sunday evening program which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The 72-year-old, who was born and raised in Angers, Quebec, has spent the last 50 years of his career driving primarily in the states of New York and New Jersey. His illustrious career saw him win 15,180 races - the second highest total for a driver or a jockey in horse racing - and over $88 million in purse money. He was 15 times the world’s leading driver, 30 times in the top five, seven times the world’s leading money earner, and he was the youngest driver ever to enter the Hall of Fame at age 35.

When asked of his biggest thrill in harness racing, Filion said, “every time you win it’s a thrill. But if I had to pick just one, I’d have to say when I drove Nansemond to victory over the great Albatross in the 1971 Little Brown Jug.”

The humble Filion also went on to say, “I was just a passenger. A driver can’t run for a horse, a horse has to run for him. I have been at it all my life and I enjoy every minute of it."

This is an event that has created a stir in the backstretch at Rideau Carleton. Darrell Coville, Rideau Carleton’s winningest driver of all time with just over 6,500 wins feels that driving with Herve will be a great thrill for all the drivers competing on the Sunday program.

“This is like playing hockey with Wayne Gretzky or golfing with Tiger Woods,” said Coville. “I am too young to have driven against Herve before he left Canada but it will be my sincere pleasure to line up behind the gate with the greatest driver our sport has ever seen”.

Episode 273 – Hall Of Fame Driver Herve Filion
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

For further information or dining room reservations call 613-822-2211. To view the entries for Sunday's historic card of harness racing at Rideau Carleton, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Rideau Carleton Raceway.

October 11, 2012 - 6:49 amUnfortunatly for me I drove

Unfortunatly for me I drove against Herve most of my driving career at Brandywine, Liberty Bell, Freehold, Yonkers & Roosevelt. In my eyes he is the greatest harness driver of all time. And always a gentlemen.

October 5, 2012 - 6:43 pmI really wish I could see him

I really wish I could see him race at Kawartha Downs as I havent seen him since we raced against him at Orangeville ,It would be a great promotion for Kawartha Downs to have a world class driver like Herve..

October 4, 2012 - 9:13 pmWish I could be there to see

Paul Keith SAID...

Wish I could be there to see the greatest harness racing driver of all time.

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