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An Unprecedented Feat For Moreau?

Published: February 7, 2016 10:17 am ET

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If he were to be named outstanding trainer in Canada for a third time at the 2015 O’Brien Awards gala on Feb. 13, Quebec native Richard Moreau has a plan for the trophy.

“If I win this year, I’ll give it to a neighbour and family friend I had growing up (in Repentigny, Quebec), Robert Galardo. He’s the guy who brought me to the races in Montreal all the time when I was a kid. He got me interested in the sport. Through those outings, I had regular contact with my uncle, (horseman) Raymond Gingras.”

Moreau studied finance in school but horse racing was his passion and he’s made a successful living from it for three decades.

In 2015, he led all Canadian trainers in wins with 271 and was second to U.S.-based Jimmy Takter in accumulated earnings with $3.6 million. Takter, the other O’Brien finalist for outstanding trainer, topped $4 million despite having few Canadian starts. Having a powerhouse stable that included the likes of Wild Honey, The Bank, Pinkman and Shake It Cerry –- all O’Brien Award finalists in their categories -– made that possible.

Richard Moreau presented with O'Brien Award for Trainer of the Year in 2013

In the history of the O'Brien Awards, no trainer has won for three consecutive years. Moreau, a finalist four years running and winner in 2013 and 2014, said O’Brien voters again narrowed it down to a big-event trainer and someone who races all kinds of horses at a variety of Canadian tracks day after day.

“You don’t know how they’re going to assess it. Maybe they don’t want to give it to the same person all the time, either. Even if I don’t win, I appreciate being in the same category as Mr. Takter, who’s in a class apart. I just hope my suit still fits,” said Moreau, who trains a 40-horse stable in constant turnover, with about 15 horses coming and going every month. His heavy hitters in 2015 included Ms Mac N Cheese, Evenin Of Pleasure and Sandbetweenurtoes, just nipped by Colors A Virgin in the $324,350 Breeders Crown final for older pacing mares at Woodbine.

Now 51, Moreau said he enjoys the sport as much as ever, which is why he still operates at full tilt.

“If I stopped to think about it, I might have second thoughts, so I don’t. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished and what I have. But I couldn’t retire tomorrow if I wanted to...which I don’t. I love what I do."

(A Trot Insider exclusive by Paul Delean)

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