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Run Director Picks Up The Pieces

Published: February 14, 2019 5:35 pm ET

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After Alarm Detector only managed one win in 11 tries as a three-year-old following a stellar freshman campaign, it was Ontario Sires Stakes champion Run Director who became Ben Bailliargeon's path to an O'Brien Award.

"It's funny because Alarm Detector was supposed to be there and he had a terrible year," Baillargeon admitted. "The other one picked up the pieces, so that's very nice."

After only racing once as a two-year-old due to what Baillargeon characterized as Run Director being 'colt-sore', the Tom and Elizabeth Rankin-homebred worked toward his sophomore campaign under the care of Shane Weber before Baillargeon took over.

"[Mr. Rankin] said, 'Ben, he trains nice, so he's going to your place.' I got lucky; they did the leg work."

For Baillargeon, Run Director won six of 17 races, amassed $436,005 in earnings, and wrapped up the year with a fourth-place finish in the Breeders Crown at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. But it was his effort a fortnight prior in the $225,000 Ontario Super Final that stands out most to Baillargeon.

"He had a tremendous trip that day, parked every step of the way and still was digging in. That was a good race."

Run Director, who is pointed to the Graduate Series and another shot at the Breeders Crown, started jogging again just before the O'Briens after being briefly shut down. While he will race at four, Baillargeon indicates, "We're not going to go crazy with him this year."

This is the 11th and final in a series of post-event video interviews with O'Brien Award finalists, sponsored by Horse Racing Alberta.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, Standardbred Canada announced the winners for the 2018 O’Brien Awards at the 30th edition of the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala, held at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale hotel in Mississauga, Ont. The O’Brien Awards honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season and are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. To view the full list of 2018 O'Brien Award winners, click here.

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