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John Gilmour retires after Mighty M victory

November 30, 2012
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After a 35-year driving career, New York-based horseman John "Sep” Gilmour wanted to retire a winner—and he did just that on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Monticello Raceway.

Driving My Buddy Chimo, a 10-year-old pacer he trains and co-owns, the 74-year-old Gilmour won his 4,492nd race and then told track photographer Geri Schwarz he was calling it a career and that he wanted to go out a winner.

"In the 1970s he was a seven-time Mighty M driving champion and the most sought-after catch-driver,” remembered John Manzi, Monticello Raceway's longtime publicity director. "He would drive anything. He could handle a bad horse with the best of them. And he was hard to beat.”

Gilmour is the younger brother of the late Hall of Famer William "Buddy” Gilmour, with his other siblings including brothers Lloyd and the late George.

Manzi said John Gilmour did not reveal his retirement plans to anyone and that he wanted to wait until he drove a winner. There was no doubt on Thursday as My Buddy Chimo romped to a 7 ¼-length win in 2:03.2 as the 1-2 favorite.

"He and his brother George were the first to use the single-shaft sulky back in the late 1960s,” added Manzi of Gilmour, who retires with more than $9.5 million in purse earnings. "He could just flat out drive and was especially tough when he went to the front with a horse as he seldom let anyone go.”

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