The staff and management and the horsemen at the Hippodrome 3R will have a special memorial service honoring harness racing legend, Herve Filion, on Sunday. Filion passed away on Thursday at age 77.
Filion, who was born and raised in Angers, starting competing as a driver in harness races at age 13 and won his first race at age 14 before becoming become harness racing’s greatest driver. He came to the United States in 1961 and was the North America’s leading driver 16 times, earning his first title in 1968 and last in 1990. He retired with 15,179 wins and had career earnings of $88.4 million.
Filion was inducted into harness racing’s U.S. Hall of Fame in 1975 and Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame a year later. His top horses included Grades Singing, the 1986 Maple Leaf Trot, American Trotting Championship and Breeders Crown Mare Trot winner. He won the Little Brown Jug with Nansemond in 1971 and Hot Hitter in 1979, and had multiple stakes victories with Dorunrun Bluegrass.
After the third race on Sunday, the horsemen and women in the race paddock will come on the track in their colors and track management will have a special reading of Filion’s life, followed by a moment of silence in his memory. The flag on Sunday will also be lowered to half-mast in his honor.