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Experience Vs. Youth In Quebec

Published: July 10, 2016 11:36 am ET

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There are 50 years between them but on Tuesday, July 12, Brett MacDonald and Gaetan Lamy will both be chasing the driving title in the Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship at Hippodrome 3R, and a coveted spot in the National Driving Championship.

Brett MacDonald, 19, of Embrun, Ontario, is the youngest driver to take part in any of the four Regionals hosted across the country this year, while Gaetan Lamy, 69, of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec is at the other end of the spectrum as the oldest driver.

Gaetan Lamy:
  • 36,655 career starts

  • 6,735 career wins

  • $32,562,063 career earnings

  • 51 years driving

Brett MacDonald:

  • 521 career starts

  • 63 career wins

  • $287,461 career earnings

  • 2 years driving

 

MacDonald has been jogging horses since the age of 12 and drove in his first Matinee race at age 15 on PEI. Born in Toronto, the family moved to PEI for a few years and then returned to Ontario six years ago.

His goal is to be a full-time catch driver and with a solid season and a half under his belt he’s been making a name for himself at Rideau Carleton with some impressive stats.

In 521 career starts, he has 63 wins and almost $290,000 in earnings and that’s just in two years of driving. This year he’s seen the winner’s circle 34 times and driven horses to just over $167,000 in earnings.

“Jamie Copley gave me a lot of drives early; that helped me,” explains MacDonald. “The more drives I have, the more it helps me to improve my skills. I pick up different things from different drivers. I think I’m a patient driver…I try to wait for chances to open up.”

Macdonald has been testing the waters at Hippodrome 3R, driving a few times there in recent weeks in prep for the RDC on July 12.

Gaetan Lamy, a regular competitor at Hippodrome 3R, embodies all of the credentials and experiences of a successful veteran driver. He’s competed in over 36,600 races, won 6,735 of those and driven horses to over $32.5 million in purse earnings.

Lamy is no stranger to driving championships or international competition. He represented Canada in the 1993 World Driving Championship in Europe.

“It was an amazing experience. I finished fifth but I came back as a winner with all the experiences we had there. In 1991, I was invited to Russia for an event and it was an experience that I will never forget.”

He’s driven in hundreds of stakes races and was honoured as Canada’s Driver of the Year with an O’Brien Award in 1992, something he says was one of the “most memorable moments in his career.”

His career has not been without obstacles. On November 21, 2007, Lamy scored his 6,700th career winning drive. He also competed in the National Driving Championship that year. He then left racing for over two years for personal reasons. “I had to take some time off for my wellness. It was the right decision. I jumped back on the bike in 2010 after Jean Beaulieu offered me some drives down in Pompano. I did it for the fun of it.“

Does being the oldest competitor in the RDC bother Lamy?

“I don’t think age is an issue here. The draw makes the difference. If you are lucky and get the right horse, you can make it to the top. I know I’ll be competing against great drivers and I will try to get as many points as I can so I can be part of the NDC. I thank the trainers in advance for letting us drive their horses and being part of the tournament.”

Post time for Tuesday’s card of racing is 7:15 p.m. Lamy and MacDonald will face off against Jacques Beaudoin, Pascal Berube, Gord Brown, Guy Gagnon, Sylvain Lacaille and Louis Philippe Roy.

The RDC races are Races 2, 4, 5 and 7-9. To view Tuesday’s entries, click on one of the following links: Hippodrome 3R - Tuesday EntriesTuesday Program Pages

The top two finishers, based on points, from the Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional will go on to compete in the National Driving Championship on October 14 at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ontario. They will join the following six drivers in the competition:

  • James MacDonald & Trevor Henry (Ontario Regional)

  • Jason Hughes and Corey MacPherson (Atlantic Regional)

  • Brandon Campbell and Jim Marino (Western Regional)

The winner of the NDC will represent Canada in the 2017 World Driving Championship which will be hosted in Canada next August.


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