Gingras going into quarantine to drive Mohawk stakes
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Driver Yannick Gingras told harnessracing.com Monday morning that he will be heading to Canada on Saturday (Aug. 15) in preparation for driving the major stakes events coming up over the next few weeks at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Gingras will first have to go into a 14-day quarantine period as per covid-19 protocols put in place by the Canadian government, and he expects to remain north of the border until late September.
Gingras said he has to be in Canada by 6 p.m. on Saturday, so his 14-day quarantine period would end at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, allowing him to drive likely favorite Tall Dark Stranger on the Pepsi North America Cup card that night. Over the following few weeks at Mohawk are other major stakes such as the Goodtimes, the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Trotting Classic, Metro Pace, She’s A Great Lady and Mohawk Million.
Gingras will be unable to drive on Aug. 22, which means eliminations for the North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red and Armbro Flight are off the table. As a result, trainer Nancy Takter would need to use another driver for Tall Dark Stranger if elims are required. Takter told harnessracing.com last week that her plans are to have her horses stabled in Buffalo and then shipped across the border for the races to assistant Josert Fonseca, who is also going into a quarantine period.
“I hope to get an exemption at the border but I’m not banking on that, so I have to do what I have to do, and that’s do the 14 days (in quarantine),” said Gingras, whose family will be accompanying him. “I’ll be there six weeks total, which means I’ll miss the Kentucky Sires Stakes and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes.
“I could change my mind, but on Sept. 26 at Mohawk are all the 2-year-old races, like the Metro and She’s A Great Lady. I think I have some nice 2 year olds, but if things don’t pan out the way I hope, I could come back and race in the Jug.
“If Tall Dark Stranger goes into the Little Brown Jug, then I’m coming back as I would race him in the Jug. But I’ll take it one week at a time and see what happens.”
Just as professional golfer Collin Morikawa rallied from behind the last two days to win the PGA Championship, Gingras’s seven wins over the last two cards at the Meadowlands propelled him to the dash title on Saturday. Gingras entered the final two programs three wins behind Dexter Dunn, but his seven victories led him to edging Dunn 86-85. With $2,539,384 in purses, Gingras easily won the money title, with Dunn second with $1,866,382.