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Baillargeon wins 6,000th

December 03, 2006

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Mario Baillargeon won his 6,000th career race Saturday afternoon at Flamboro Downs. It is just a little too simple to say Baillargeon has come a long way since first steering a horse professionally back in 1977.

Over the span of four decades, the 49 year old has gone from his native Quebec, to California, to Illinois and then back to \"La Belle Province\" before settling in Milton, Ont. Baillargeon netted mass amounts of victories along the way, and Saturday at Flamboro Downs in Dundas, Ontario, the man in the red, white and green silks notched his 6,000-milestone win.

Piloting 2-year-old Camotion filly Sweet Notion for trainer Ben Wallace, Baillargeon grabbed the lead before the half-mile indicator and his filly did the rest at Flamboro, scampering away to a half-length victory in 1:59.2.

Baillargeon was honored Saturday evening at Woodbine for his prestigious accomplishment, which ironically came less than 24 hours after fellow Miltonian Chris Christoforou notched his 5,000th career victory in the sulky.

\"I\'ve put in a lot of miles over my career, and this is quite an honor,\" said the humbled Baillargeon, who, alongside Jeff Renton of Woodbine\'s Media and Community Relations department, had members of his family attend for the milestone achievement.

Baillargeon was the runner-up to Christoforou in the 2002 O\'Brien Award voting (as Canada\'s Driver of the Year) and tallied his biggest career victory that same season, leading Totally Western to a triumph in the Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Colt Pace.

In the midst of another fine season, Baillargeon, who perennially sits amongst the top 10 in the Woodbine Entertainment Group drivers\' colony, has piloted the winners of $55 million in purses in his career. (WEG)
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