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Gingras Reflects On Career Year

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Published: November 30, 2011 8:21 pm ET

Last Comment: December 1, 2011 12:51 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Yannick Gingras is on a roll as he heads into the final month of the year.

Over the past three months, no harness racing driver has earned more in purses than Gingras’ $4.97 million (U.S.), which has helped the 32-year-old Quebec native set his career high in earnings for a season, with $11.43 million (U.S.). Since the beginning of September, Gingras has won 16 races (with nine different horses) worth at least $100,000.

Among his recent triumphs were the $510,000 Governor’s Cup with two-year-old pacer A Rocknroll Dance, the $342,875 Cane Pace with three-year-old pacer Betterthancheddar, the $335,000 Quillen Memorial with older pacer Foiled Again and the $275,500 Monument Circle with three-year-old pacer Hugadragon.

“It’s been the best three months of my driving career, that’s for sure,” said Gingras, who ranks No. 6 in earnings among all drivers in North America for the entire year. “I’m really happy with it."

“If someone asked me in June if I thought I was going to have my best year money-wise, I’d have said absolutely not. Things were going a little bit slow at that point. I had nothing lined up as far as two and three-year-olds. Things started to pick up then and since August it’s been really good. That’s what made the year.”

Gingras began driving three-year-old filly pacer Drop The Ball at the end of June and they teamed to win the $272,500 Mistletoe Shalee in August. He picked up Hugadragon in August and won four stakes finals, including the $221,465 Matron on Nov. 27 at Dover Downs.

In September, he became the regular driver of A Rocknroll Dance. They finished second in the million-dollar Metro Pace in their first start together and afterward won all six times they were united. Interestingly, Gingras turned down two previous chances to drive A Rocknroll Dance prior to the Metro because of previous commitments.

“Finally it was the right place at the right time,” Gingras said. “Sometimes it just doesn’t work out at first, but it works out at the end.”

While the newcomers helped propel Gingras to a new level for earnings, it was his old friend Foiled Again who had the best season. The seven-year-old gelding, trained by Ron Burke, this season became the oldest pacer in history to have a million-dollar campaign, winning 14 of 28 races and $1.40 million (U.S.). His seasonal earnings rank second to only three-year-old pacer Roll With Joe ($1.64 million) among all horses in North America.

Foiled Again’s stakes triumphs this year, in addition to the Quillen, included the Molson Pace, Graduate, Indiana Pacing Derby and American-National. Foiled Again’s career earnings of $3.41 million (U.S.) rank seventh among all pacers in history.

“Any wins with Foiled Again are always a big thrill,” Gingras said. “He’s such a great horse. He’s starting to get recognition now. He’s one of the greatest, toughest, horses I’ve ever seen. If a few things worked out here or there, [the season] could have been even bigger.

“He’s been unbelievable. All the credit goes to the Burkes. They’ve kept him good for four years now and every year is better than the year before. I know the end is definitely closer than the start, but I hope he’s got another year or two years left in him. I don’t see why not. He’s definitely a great pleasure to drive.”

Gingras’ memorable moments were not limited to the racetrack. On Nov. 22, his wife Vicki gave birth to the couple’s third child, a girl named Averi.

“She’s a great little girl,” Gingras said. “I’ve been getting up every night to give her the bottle; it’s really a nice time. With every one of my kids I was the same way. I love it. When I have time off I really enjoy spending it at home. It’s not even a responsibility, it’s what I like. It’s peaceful to me to do things like that.”

As the end of the year approaches, Gingras hopes his good fortune continues in 2012.

“When you’re on a run like that, you don’t want it to end,” said Gingras, who has won 3,846 races and $71.74 million (U.S.) in his career. “It seemed like I was becoming one of the go-to guys. All the hard work is paying off. It’s nice to be one of those guys that people believe in your ability.

“As far as carrying over to next year, none of my horses are getting retired. Hopefully they have good winters and come back healthy. I have a lot of horses to look forward to next spring.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

December 1, 2011 - 12:51 pmBravo Yannick, I know that

Bravo Yannick, I know that your late grand father Mark and your dad Raymond are very proud of you and the hard work you put into acheiving what you have done. You left Mtl and could not speak a word of english, and you conquered. CONGRATULATIONS AND ALL THE BEST OF HEALTH TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IN THE COMING YEAR! Ron

December 1, 2011 - 11:30 amGreat year for a great guy!

Great year for a great guy!


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