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Gingras Nears Milestone, Eyes More Stakes

Published: February 22, 2010 8:18 pm ET

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Sometime in the next few days, Yannick Gingras will likely pick up career driving win No. 3,000. Entering Monday, the 30-year-old Quebec native needed just one victory to reach the milestone. And while enjoying the present, Gingras’ focus is on the future.

Gingras, who lives in central New Jersey, is looking forward to returning to a more prominent role in stakes racing this season. Two years ago, Gingras drove in 83 races worth $100,000 or more, and 43 of those were worth at least $250,000. Last year, Gingras focused more on “grinding” and saw his totals in the $100,000 races drop to 64 and in the $250,000 events to 25.

“I don’t set goals, definitely not victories goals, but I want to drive stakes horses,” Gingras said. “Two years ago, I drove some good two-year-olds and had Darlins Delight and stayed at the Meadowlands and drove babies. Last year, I went to [Harrah’s] Chester for the grind. I didn’t win any big races and I made as much money as the year before just with the grind.

“This year I would like to do it differently. I would like to stick around the Meadowlands and drive some babies. I’d like to be in bigger races and try to win some of those bigger races. That’s my goal for the year.”

In 2008, Gingras won 338 races and earned a career-best $9.79 million (US) in purses. Last season, Gingras won 409 races and banked $9.27 million. Last year, he won 217 races at Harrah’s Chester and 110 at the Meadowlands. In 2008, he won 133 races at the Meadowlands and 130 at Chester.

Gingras has 44 wins at the Meadowlands this year, which is good for fifth place in the track’s standings. Last year, he finished eighth at the Big M during the Championship Meet.

“Last year, when the young horses came around I was at Chester,” Gingras said. “If you’re not there, you’re not going to drive them. [This year] when the baby races come around, I’m going to be there. Hopefully I can catch something good. It’s always a thrill to be in the big races. You can win 500 races [in a year] and I’d trade a lot of them for a million-dollar win. It’s definitely a different thrill. It’s a lot of fun.”

Gingras got his first win in 1998 and was the sport’s 2003 Rising Star Award winner, as voted upon by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. He is best known for driving Darlins Delight, the pacing mare with $3 million in career earnings.

“I’m more of a small fish in a big pond rather than a big fish in a small pond,” Gingras said, adding about his upcoming 3,000th win, “It’s a nice accomplishment; every thousand is definitely nice.”


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

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