Pacer's Win A Tribute To A Mentor

Published: June 15, 2015 06:24 pm EDT

Bestofbest Hanover’s victory at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday had special meaning for driver/owner Mélanie Plourde.

It came just days after the passing of her mentor in the business, Quebec City horseman Gabriel Boily, who died last week of bladder cancer at age 66.

Together, they developed Bestofbest Hanover for original owner Jean-Roch Perron, who died in 2012.

Boily used to call the pacer “my best medicine.” The son of Western Ideal was the richest and most accomplished horse he ever handled, winning the $533,250 Confederation Cup final in 2011 and now near $600,000 in lifetime earnings.

Plourde bought the pacer after Perron’s death, and Boily continued to take a keen interest, even when health issues forced him to the sidelines last summer.

“He called me before and after his previous start (a win at Rideau on June 7), congratulating me and telling me to keep going. He had watched the race at the hospital,” said Plourde, 33.

It was their last conversation.

Plourde worked for and with Boily for 14 years. “He hired me, gave me my break. He taught me the business top to bottom. He was a man devoted to his work and horses. And right to the end, he was giving me advice.”

Gabriel Boily’s funeral service is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on June 21st at the Complexe Funéraire Lepine Cloutier in Quebec City.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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