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Bouchard: ‘It’s Been Too Long’

Published: May 29, 2017 10:01 am ET

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Driver Stephane Bouchard isn’t sure when he last raced in Quebec, his home province.

“I believe it was to drive On The Attack for Mark Ford (in the first Prix de Montreal, a short-lived stakes event for three-year-old pacers at Hippodrome de Montreal, which they won in 2001). I know it’s been a long time... too long.”

The long absence will end June 4 when Bouchard, 50, joins an elite group of eight for an all-star drivers` tournament at Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres.

Bouchard never raced much in Trois-Rivieres even when he started his driving career in Quebec in the late 1980s, competing mostly in Montreal and Quebec City, but his proficiency on a half-mile track isn’t in doubt.

He has more than 8,500 career victories, most of them at Yonkers Raceway, where he was a prominent driver for 15 years and achieved career-high totals of 814 wins and $7.6 million in earnings in 2007. Since 2013, he’s been based at another half-mile track in the U.S., Saratoga. Without fanfare, the native of Saint-Urbain-de-Charlevoix (north of Quebec City) has won 168 or more races for 19 consecutive years after relocating to the U.S. in the late 1990s at the suggestion of another driving ace from Quebec, Daniel Dube.

Bouchard, who also had driving stints in Italy and Germany, has been invited before for drivers’ tournaments in Quebec, but had to decline because they conflicted with stakes commitments. This time, he’ll make the trip from his home in Malta, N.Y., about a four-hour drive from Trois-Rivieres, to lock horns with Dube, Sylvain Filion, Louis-Philippe Roy, Yannick Gingras, David Miller, Jody Jamieson and Scott Zeron.

“It’ll be fun going back, seeing people I haven’t seen in such a long time,” he said.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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