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Roy Retains His Throne

Published: February 3, 2020 8:41 pm ET

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"You can be as good as you won't be here tonight if you don't drive those good horses. I'm lucky that I have a lot of people that put [their] confidence in me. It helps me show my talent, but without that I couldn't be what I am."

Coming off another strong season, driver Louis-Philippe Roy had amazing numbers but even he wasn't sure if those statistics would propel him into O'Brien Awards consideration.

The voters clearly felt otherwise, and selected Roy as Canada's Driver of the Year for the second consecutive season. On Saturday, February 1, Standardbred Canada announced the winners for the 2019 O’Brien Award at the 31st edition of the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala held at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale hotel in Mississauga, Ont. Roy, a native of Mont-Joli, Que. who now resides in Guelph, Ont., took home the hardware as the nation's top reinsman.

Five years ago, Louis-Philippe Roy was driving at the Quebec Fairs and his ascent up the driving ranks is almost unprecedented. Roy’s win was the result of another stellar year that included 293 wins and more than $6.2 million in purse earnings, which put him second best in the country. He’s surpassed $5 million in earnings for the past three seasons and for the past three years he’s shared his good fortune by donating a full card’s earnings to a food bank in his hometown. Roy was also the regular driver for two O’Brien Award winners -- two-year-old pacing filly Alicorn and two-year-old trotting colt HP Royal Theo.

While appreciating the trainers that allow him to drive such good horses, Roy also gave credit to his parents for providing him with a ton of support behind the scenes and away from the spotlight.

"I almost never talk about them...but they're always behind me, whatever I do in life not only in horse racing," Roy told SC's Rachel Oenema after the award presentations on Saturday. "Whenever I need them, they're there for me."

Roy also discussed the upcoming season and how much he's looking forward to driving O'Brien Award winners Alicorn and HP Royal Theo in 2020, and what's on his bucket list after back-to-back driver of the year titles.

The full post-event interview with Roy and Oenema is available below.

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

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 2019 O'Brien Award winners, click here.

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