Yannick Gingras is truly in the driver's seat in 2012, closing in on what will be the most successful season of his career.
The 33-year-old Quebec native has already banked over $8.8 million in purse earnings, putting him on track to surpass his personal best of $11.9 million which he set last year. Earlier last month, Gingras was also crowned the Meadowlands's leading driver for the first time in his career.
How does Gingras sum up his stellar season?
"Power! Power, power, power,” he said with a chuckle. "I knew going into this year that I had better horses than I have ever had before. Horses like Foiled Again, A Rocknroll Dance, Drop The Ball, Maven...they are just unbelievable, so I had many live drives to start with.
"Then I was fortunate enough to pick up Romantic Moment and other good horses along the way which always helps,” he continued. "It's been a dream year for me.My goal is to do better every year.”
Gingras has also picked up the driving assignment behind Little Brown Fox this season.After setting a stakes record in the lone Simcoe Stakes division this past Saturday at the Campbellville oval, it appears the youngsteris coming into his $40,000 Canadian Trotting Classic elimination in top form.
Fresh off his sizzling 1:51.4 effort for Gingras, the son of Muscles Yankee has been given post one in the second of two eliminations this Saturday at Mohawk.
"He's been really on his game lately,” Gingras said. "Actually, he was very hot in the post parade last week, which I'm sure affected his performance. I warmed him up myself because Jimmy (Takter) was away and he tends to get hot in the warm up, so he asked me to, but he was very quite and calm. He's better than he showed last week, there's no doubt about that.”
There has been some downside this campaign for the five-time winner. He was the post time favorite in his Hambletonian elimination, but theTakter trainee made a costly break in stride.
"I was wide going into the first turn with pretty good pace and I thought I could clear around Jim Morrill Jr. (Archangel) and I couldn't, so I went to grab up and I had to check my horse a little which caused him to make a break,” Gingras said. "It was just bad luck.”
There's no doubt Little Brown Fox has had a successful season to date with earnings of $437,610. His biggest payday could come in the $1 million rich classic slated for Saturday, Sept. 15, at Mohawk, but first he'll meet this year's Hambletonian winner, Market Share, who will begin from post nine in his elimination.
"Market Share's been on his game for sure, there's no doubt about that,” Gingras said. "He's the horse to beat. But I think he's beatable. My horse racedwell last week, but not great, and I truly believe there is more to him.”
The bay has crafted a 5-3-1 record from10 starts this season for owners Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, John and Jim Fielding.
With a victory on Saturday, Little Brown Fox can punch his ticket to thefinal and get Gingras one step closer to his goal. (Scioto)