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7,000 wins for 'Super Mario'

June 25, 2011

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Driver Mario Baillargeon hit the 7,000-win milestone in the seventh race at Mohawk Racetrack, Saturday night. The Milton, Ont. resident steered Major Stone to victory in 1:51.1 for trainer Tony O’Sullivan and owner Joseph Martinelli.
“I feel very relieved right now, it’s been about a week I’ve been missing one win,” Baillargeon said. “Seven-thousand is quite an accomplishment.”
The 34-year driving veteran admits the win was bittersweet. “Too bad it wasn’t with one for my brother (trainer Ben Baillargeon),” he said. “I would have loved to win the 7,000th with one of his horses. We have won a lot of races together. He was in the picture so it made it almost as good.”
Baillargeon said he thinks the next 7,000 wins will be harder, but is focusing on his next goal.
“I have over $80 million made so I would love to get to $100 million, that’s my next goal, but 7,000 sure feels good,” he said.
Baillargeon was among the leading drivers in California, Chicago, Detroit and Florida in the 1980s and was one of Quebec’s top reinsmen throughout the 1990s before relocating to Ontario in 1999.
His biggest career victory was in 2002, aboard the Ben Wallace-trained, Totally Western in the $943,809 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Pace at Woodbine. Also in 2002, Baillargeon was runner-up to Chris Christoforou for an O’Brien Award as Canada’s Driver of the Year.
The Quebec native captured his 6,000th career victory back in 2006 at Flamboro Downs.
‘Super Mario’ consistently sits amongst the top drivers on the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit. Baillargeon has sat behind 47,521 horses thus far in his career and has over $81 million in career purse earnings.  (WEG)

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