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Plante Surpasses 2,000-Win Mark

Published: December 31, 2012 9:28 pm ET

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Driver J.R. Plante had more than just the New Year to celebrate on Monday evening as he reached a special career milestone with a pair of wins early on the card at Georgian Downs.

Plante entered the New Year's Eve program needing just two victories to reach the 2,000-win mark and it didn't take long for the Burlington, Ont. driver to accomplish the feat with a pair of six-year-old pacing mares.

Plante guided the Gordon Dancetovic-trained Erikastar Mindale ($4.20) to a seven-plus length victory in the second race before pulling off an upset with the pocket-pulling Sissy Bar ($21.40), trained by Ashley Nostadt, for the milestone win in the fourth race.

The 32-year-old reinsman later started his quest for the next 1,000 with a victory aboard Always An Optimist ($22.10) in the $47,600 Camerons Pacing Series Final. The three-year-old Cheyenne Rei gelding rallied home off cover to win by nearly three lengths in 1:54.4 over the 'good' surface for trainer Richard Moreau and owner Tonya Backus of York, Ont. Savannah Splendor and favourite Star Chaser rounded out the top three finishers.

Plante also won the 10th race with Pat Shepherd trainee Stayoutofmyaffair ($3.10) and the finale with Rashabec ($2.30) for conditioner Rene Allard.

Plante reached the 2,000-win milestone just one day after wrapping up the driving title at Flamboro Downs. Among the top 10 drivers in Canada this season, he has won 412 times in 2012 while banking a career-high $2.6 million in purses.

The milestones continued during the Monday program with 22-year-old Catherine Laurin Chouinard celebrating her first training win with the Paul MacKenzie-driven Crusader Dream ($13.80) in the third race.

To view Monday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Monday Results - Georgian Downs.

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