Sylvain Filion registers historic harness-racing victory in Milton

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Published October 24, 2023 at 9:46 am

Sylvain Filion registers historic harness-racing victory in Milton
Woodbine Mohawk Park - Photo courtesy of Woodbine's official Facebook page

A historic first for veteran harness driver Sylvain Filion.

The 54-year-old native of Angers, Que., became the first Canadian-based driver in harness racing history to reach 10,000 career wins Monday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville, a rural community located in Milton. Filion wasted no time achieving the milestone, driving One More Bet, a two-year-old pacing filly, to victory in the first race on the card.

One More Bet earned a five-length win in 1:52.3 at 3-1 odds.

Filion becomes the 23rd driver in North America to reach 10,000 wins. Although multiple Canadian-born drivers have reached the lofty plateau,  Filion is the first driver exclusively based in Canada to do so.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever even come close to achieving what I did,” said Filion.

And Filion still fondly remembers his first driving win.

“Supreme Jade in Ottawa at Rideau Carleton that was my first win (in 1987), it was just an overnight, it’s a while ago,” he said.

Filion began his driving career in 1987, working his way atop the Quebec racing scene. He joined the Woodbine circuit for a brief period in the late-1990s before returning permanently in 2008.

Filion has enjoyed a successful career. He earned the ’99 world driving championship, four O’Brien Awards as Canada’s top driver (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016) and multiple Woodbine driving titles.

But Filion suggested he’s not necessarily done quite yet.

It (10,000) is pretty nice, but the next 10,000 might be a little trickier,” he said with a chuckle.

Sylvain becomes the second in his family to join the 10,000-win club. His uncle, Herve, finished with 15,138 victories.

Filion has already surpassed $5 million in seasonal earnings for the fifth consecutive year and 13th time overall. He also sits in the top-five for wins at Mohawk Park.

The Canadian Press

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