William Roy, 22, makes pari-mutuel debut Sunday
May 11, 2019
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On Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R, 22-year-old William Roy will make his pari-mutuel debut as a harness racing driver when he drives Buckeye Babe in the sixth race trot.
Quebec is known for developing many of the world's greatest drivers and trainers and Roy hopes he too can make a name for himself and for Quebec.
A resident of Sorel-Tracy, Roy learned his trade through his father, trainer Guy Roy, and the youngster says he is ready for Sunday's debut.
"I'm not really nervous when I think about Sunday," Roy said. "When I do think about the race, I just become really happy and impatient. It's just so exciting and I am ready to race."
Involved in harness racing since birth, Roy said he wanted to be just like his father.
"Growing up I wanted to become a great trainer like my father," Roy explained. "But he put me in the sulky right away for the experience and I liked it."
Growing up in a harness racing family in Quebec, Roy always had his hero drivers to root for and hopefully become as good as when he grew up.
"When I was young," Roy explained. "I liked to watch Gill Gendron drive at the old Blue Bonnets Raceway. He was so good and then when that track closed, I started to follow the Green Hornet (Yannick Gingras). He is such a great driver. Now, since his great performances the last few years, I am a big fan of Louis Philippe Roy (no relation)."
After attending the Cégep de Sorel-Tracy College, Roy works during the day as a concierge for the city of Sorel-Tracy. He has two horses with his father and co-owner Francis Proux.
On Sunday, Roy will start from post position two with Buckeye Babe and they are listed in the morning line at odds of 7/2.
"She is a great mare with a winning attitude," Roy said. "She needs to know how to race. She always wants to go hard behind the starting gate with the other horses. We just need to teach her to calm herself behind the gate and she will get better."
Buckeye Babe is coming off a long winter layoff and she was impressive in her qualifying race, with Roy driving, finishing second. The four-year-old trotting mare by Manofmanymissions had been prone to making breaks in the past, except when Roy has driven her.
We asked Roy does his prefer driving trotters over pacers?
"Not especially," Roy explained. "I like pacers better because they go faster, but for the same speed the feeling in the sulky is better with a trotter."
Track Notes: There are ten races on Sunday's H3R program with first race post time at 1:00 pm. Driver Stephane Gendron, who exploded on opening day last Sunday winning five of the ten races on the card, is back in action with Mister Big Top in the seventh race Preferred Pace.
Last week Mister Big Top stalked the field for Gendron, then closed well in the stretch for the victory. He will face a stiff challenge from post seven against rivals Windsum Cheyenne (post 8) and return winners Surf Report (post 5) and Hooter Shooter (post 6).
For more information and a free race program for Sunday, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com.