Driving racehorses has always been a pleasure for Stephane Gendron.
It used to be a full-time job as well, but the economics of the sport in Quebec these days made that a challenge, so four years ago he signed on as a municipal employee for the city of Quebec.
Now he fits his driving assignments at Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres around his work schedule in Quebec City.
“I no longer earn my living from it, but it’s still fun, a passion I share with my daughter Pamela (21),” said Gendron, 47, who won his first race in 1989 and currently stands one win shy of 4,000 lifetime.
Gendron could record the milestone victory this week. He is slated to steer three horses during Hippodrome 3R’s Tuesday, June 6 program of live racing, including Y S Suzanna, a brown mare that has been installed as the 5-2 morning line choice for Race 6. To view the entries for the card, click here.
Gendron racked up most of his victories in his home province. He never ventured much further than Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa to race.
“Even after Montreal closed (in 2008), I didn’t want to be away from the family,” said Gendron, who also has a 15-year-old son, Gabriel.
From a family of horsemen that includes an uncle (Gilles) with more than 7,000 career victories, Gendron has won as many as 258 races in a single year and topped $1 million in earnings three times. The numbers are more modest these days, which just makes the looming milestone sweeter.
“Two thousand, three thousand, four thousand... they’re all important to me. I’m just happy I’m still doing it. And I plan to continue as long as I’m capable,” he said.
(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)