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GINGRAS REACHES 6,000 WINS

-- Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ -- June 27, 2016 -- In many cases, winning seven harness races in a row would be the most notable achievement of any driver’s day. But for Yannick Gingras, such a streak got him to an even more noteworthy accomplishment --- career victory No. 6,000.

On Sunday, the 36-year-old Gingras won his final four drives at Harrah’s Philadelphia before heading north to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where he had three drives in Pennsylvania All-Stars action. Gingras won all three, finishing the day with 6,000 lifetime triumphs.

Gingras notched his milestone win with Ron Burke-trained 2-year-old male pacer Normandy Beach in the seventh race at Pocono.

“That’s just neat that it worked out that way,” Gingras said. “Someone mentioned to me yesterday that I was getting close, but I wasn’t sure how close I was.

“At this stage, it’s a good number --- it’s always nice to get these milestones --- but at this point we race so many horses they come quite often, honestly. But it’s definitely nice. I’m sure it’s something that later on it will be nice to talk about these numbers. Hopefully, I’ll have made it higher than 6,000.”

Gingras was harness racing’s Driver of the Year in 2014 and has led the sport in purses each of the past two seasons. This year, Gingras has won 164 races and $3.12 million, which ranks fifth in North America.

His top wins this season include the Pennsylvania Classic with Check Six, Roses Are Red with Lady Shadow, Armbro Flight with Hannelore Hanover, Confederation Cup with Rockin Ron, New Jersey Sire Stakes championship with Southwind Frank, and a Group 2 race in Sweden with Pinkman.

Other stars driven by Gingras during his career include Foiled Again, Mission Brief, Father Patrick, JK She’salady, Maven, Pastor Stephen, and Darlin’s Delight.

This weekend, Gingras will turn his attention to Pocono’s Sun Stakes Saturday card, where his drives include Southwind Frank in the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. Southwind Frank, last year’s Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, saw a 12-race win streak halted by Bar Hopping last Saturday in their Beal elimination. Bar Hopping won by a neck in 1:52.1.

“He’s good,” Gingras said about Southwind Frank, who has won 13 of 15 career races and is the early Hambletonian Stakes favorite. “He wasn’t a hundred percent on Saturday. That’s pretty scary to get beat a neck when he’s not at his best. I think he’ll be ready to rock on Saturday night.”

Gingras also is anticipating the $500,000 Ben Franklin, where older male pacing stars Always B Miki, Freaky Feet Pete, and Wiggle It Jiggleit all head to the final off impressive elimination victories.

“That’s going to be an unbelievable race,” said Gingras, who is listed on Burke trainees Rock N’ Roll World and Always At My Place. “I’m looking forward to, not only being a part of it, but seeing who is the king of the division now. I hope it’s everything we hope it’s going to be.

“There will be a lot of good racing there at Pocono on Saturday night. I have some good ones, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.”


Photo by Ken Weingartner


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