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Bouchard Headlines Maple Leaf Pace

Published: May 5, 2009 2:35 pm ET

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When Monticello Raceway presents the fifth leg of its Heritage Drivers Series on Monday, May 18, Stephane Bouchard will headline the Maple Leaf Pace, which will feature drivers of Canadian descent. The races were slated for May 18 with it being Victoria Day in Canada.

Bouchard, 42, who was the leading driver in North America during the 2003 campaign, brings with him 6,845 career victories.

“We are real pleased that Stephane has agreed to participate again in our Maple Leaf Pace,” noted Eric Warner, Monticello's director of Racing. “Actually, Stephane is the defending champion having won the Maple Leaf Pace in 2005, the last time that the event was part of our Heritage Drivers Series.”

This year Bouchard is off to a slow start, having been sidelined earlier with a physical problem. But now he’s back in action full-time.

Last season, the resident of Goshen, New York won 530 races. His 814 wins during the 2007 season ranked him third behind Tim Tetrick and Anthony Morgan.

However, since Y2K, Bouchard’s 5,677 wins ranks him among the top five in races won in North America.

Bouchard, who has been a driving champion at the 'Mighty M' in the past, was the first driver whose horses earned more than $1 million in purses competing over the Catskill Mountain oval

After spending his formative years plying his trade in Canada, the native of Montreal, Quebec chose the metropolitan New York area to set down roots. After only one and a half years at Yonkers Raceway, Bouchard became the top reinsmen in the Hilltop oval’s driving colony. He has dominated the drivers' standings at Yonkers many times since.

Also slated to compete in the Maple Leaf Pace are John Gilmour, Jacques Primeau, Keith Haase and Terry Finch.

“But we still need a few more drivers of Canadian descent to get eight betting interests,” Warner added.

Anyone with Canadian heritage that is interested in competing in the Maple Leaf Pace is urged to contact Warner in the racing office at 845-794-4100 (Ext. 557) or call the track publicity office at extension 455.

(With files from Monticello)

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