Humble McClure Offers His Thanks
Published: January 5, 2017 1:19 pm ET
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Bob McClure has been circling Canada’s biggest harness racing title for the past few years, inching closer to the top of the driving ranks. In 2016, he captured not only the winning statistics, but also a prestigious award nomination.
The 26-year-old reinsman from Elora, Ont. secured his first national title in 2016, as he won 576 races and earned driving titles at Flamboro Downs, Grand River Raceway and Georgian Downs. McClure drove 2,418 horses to purse earnings of $3 million. It was just his eighth year as a professional driver.
McClure surpassed 1,000 career wins during 2016, and on several occasions scored four, five or six wins during a 10-race card. He currently sits at 1,436 wins and $8.1 million in purse earnings.
“As much as I'm looking forward to 2017, I can't see how it could top this year,” said McClure. “I've been so lucky, and I have to admit, I'm sad to see the season come to an end. I’m really thankful to all the grooms, trainers, owners, racing fans and everyone else that made it an unforgettable year.”
At the end of this month, McClure will vie for his first O’Brien Award for Driver of the Year. The O'Brien Awards celebrate the absolute best in harness racing over a given year. They are the highest honour the sport bestows upon its heroes in this country and the winners are decided by a panel of voters consisting of media, racing publicists and race secretaries.
McClure is up against veteran driver Sylvain Filion, a three-time O’Brien Award winner. The gala awards ceremony will take place on January 28 at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ont.
McClure and his partner, Jody Howard, and their one-year-old son, Ryder, moved to Elora in 2015. The location is central to the many tracks where McClure plies his trade, including those in Elora, Dundas, London, Clinton, Innisfil and Campbellville.
(Grand River Raceway)