Canada's Top Performers Of 2021

Published: January 1, 2022 11:51 am EST

Trot Insider has compiled a list of the leading drivers and trainers at racetracks across Canada through the 2021 harness racing season.

Four years removed from his World Driving Championship title on home soil, James MacDonald took 2021's top seasonal honours in both the wins and earnings tables, amassing more than $7.1 million in purses in Canada while winning 304 of his 1,590 Canadian starts this season. MacDonald, who primarily plies his trade at Woodbine Mohawk Park, enjoyed a breakout year and established himself as top driver on the country's premier circuit. He was announced as one of two finalists for the 2021 Keith Waples Driver of the Year Award.

Nationwide, Colin Kelly (278) and Sylvain Filion (233) rounded out the top three winningest drivers in Canadian competition, while Filion ($5.3 million) and McNair ($4.9 million) completed the earnings triactor.

Guy Gagnon posted a jaw-dropping 0.467 Universal Driver Rating to take the percentage title among Canadian drivers with a minimum of 260 starts, a figure that was the best in North America. Gagnon's average bested that of Marc St. Louis, Jr. (0.458) and Brandon Campbell (0.418) among Canadian reinsmen.

On the strength of training championships at Woodbine Mohawk Park and Georgian Downs, Richard Moreau claimed his sixth consecutive sweep of the wins and earnings titles among conditioners across Canada. Moreau, whose only defeat in either category since 2012 came when Jimmy Takter edged him as the top-earning trainer in 2015, saw his starters account for 236 wins and $3.17 million in purses. Carmen Auciello was the runner-up in both columns, with 132 wins and $2.4 million in earnings; Kelly Hoerdt (107) and Nick Gallucci ($2.1 million) finished third in wins and earnings, respectively.

Among trainers with more than 260 starts, Marc Campbell ended 2021 atop the percentage table, compiling a 0.471 Universal Trainer Rating to outpace Mandy Archer (0.424) and Guy Gagnon (0.413).

Some of Canada's smaller stables topped the charts in the UTR leaderboard for trainers that made between 120 and 260 starts. Canadian-based trainers boasted five of the seven best averages in North America, with Gilles Barrieau leading the way while batting 0.502 from his 144 starts. Barrieau just edged out Trevor Williams (third in North America with 0.500 from 181 starts) with Stacey Currie (fourth in North America; 0.488; 133 starts) and Nathan Sobey (fifth in North America; 0.450; 240 starts) rounding out the top five. O'Brien Award finalist Nick Gallucci (0.433 from 203 starts) was seventh best.

(***All statistics include Canadian starts from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021. Minimum 260 starts for URS stats.)

Century Downs

Top Driver (Money): Kelly Hoerdt ($525,273)
Top Driver (Wins): Brandon Campbell (80)

Top Trainer (Money): Nathan Sobey ($415,950)
Top Trainer (Wins): Nathan Sobey (55)

Century Mile

Top Driver (Money): Phil Giesbrecht ($47,787)
Top Driver (Wins): Phil Giesbrecht (9)

Top Trainer (Money): Nathan Sobey (29,960)
Top Trainer (Wins): Nathan Sobey (5)

Clinton Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Tyler Moore ($77,275)
Top Driver (Wins): Natasha Day (14)

Top Trainer (Money): Blake MacIntosh ($51,774)
Top Trainer (Wins): Lacey McCabe (8)

Dresden Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Scott Wray ($68,669)
Top Driver (Wins): Scott Wray (18)

Top Trainer (Money): Donnie Rankin Jr. ($24,874)
Top Trainer (Wins): Tyler Nostadt (8)

Exhibition Park Raceway

Top Driver (Money): David Dowling ($34,368)
Top Driver (Wins): Todd Trites (15)

Top Trainer (Money): Gilles Barrieau ($25,979)
Top Trainer (Wins): Sifroi Melanson (14)

Flamboro Downs

Top Driver (Money): Brett MacDonald ($594,157)
Top Driver (Wins): Brett MacDonald (87)

Top Trainer (Money): Richard Moreau ($252,421)
Top Trainer (Wins): Richard Moreau (45)

Fraser Downs

Top Driver (Money): Brandon Campbell ($609,919)
Top Driver (Wins): Brandon Campbell (91)

Top Trainer (Money): Jim Marino ($474,845)
Top Trainer (Wins): Kelly Hoerdt (61)

Georgian Downs

Top Driver (Money): Brett MacDonald ($296,630)
Top Driver (Wins): Brett MacDonald (38)

Top Trainer (Money): Richard Moreau ($185,643)
Top Trainer (Wins): Richard Moreau (26)

Grand River Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Colin Kelly ($357,980)
Top Driver (Wins): Colin Kelly (65)

Top Trainer (Money): Nick Gallucci ($158,075)
Top Trainer (Wins): Kyle Bossence (27)

Hanover Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Bob McClure ($80,314)
Top Driver (Wins): Bob McClure (14)

Top Trainer (Money): Mark Etsell ($35,662)
Top Trainer (Wins): Terry Gallant (10)

Hiawatha Horse Park

Top Driver (Money): Marc St. Louis Jr. ($97,640)
Top Driver (Wins): Marc St. Louis Jr. (33)

Top Trainer (Money): Tyler Nostadt ($53,715)
Top Trainer (Wins): Tyler Nostadt (17)

Hippodrome 3R

Top Driver (Money): Pascal Bérubé ($225,329)
Top Driver (Wins): Pascal Bérubé (63)

Top Trainer (Money): Francis Richard ($142,250)
Top Trainer (Wins): Sylvain Tremblay (31)

Inverness Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Redmond Doucet ($34,523)
Top Driver (Wins): Redmond Doucet (33)

Top Trainer (Money): Donald Beaton ($18,661)
Top Trainer (Wins): Donald Beaton (15)

Kawartha Downs

Top Driver (Money): Nick Boyd ($107,394)
Top Driver (Wins): Nick Boyd (31)

Top Trainer (Money): John MacMiillan ($39,785)
Top Trainer (Wins): John MacMillan (12)

Leamington Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Tyler Borth ($124,672)
Top Driver (Wins): Tyler Borth (34)

Top Trainer (Money): Tyler Nostadt ($66,359)
Top Trainer (Wins): Tyler Nostadt (24)

Marquis Downs

Top Driver (Money): Glenn Le Drew ($32,200)
Top Driver (Wins): Glenn Le Drew (17)

Top Trainer (Money): Trevor Williams ($39,824)
Top Trainer (Wins): Trevor Williams (19)

Miami Fair

Top Driver (Money): Glenn Le Drew ($40,130)
Top Driver (Wins): Glenn Le Drew (25)

Top Trainer (Money): Trevor Williams ($55,891)
Top Trainer (Wins): Trevor Williams (35)

Northside Downs

Top Driver (Money): Mark Pezzarello ($33,494)
Top Driver (Wins): Ryan Campbell and Mark Pezzarello (27)

Top Trainer (Money): Harold LeBlanc ($14,008)
Top Trainer (Wins): Harold LeBlanc and Robert MacNeil (13)

The Raceway at the Western Fair District

Top Driver (Money): Colin Kelly ($533,287)
Top Driver (Wins): Colin Kelly (79)

Top Trainer (Money): Kyle Bossence ($198,909)
Top Trainer (Wins): Kyle Bossence (32)

Red Shores at Charlottetown Driving Park

Top Driver (Money): Marc Campbell ($395,140)
Top Driver (Wins): Marc Campbell (129)

Top Trainer (Money): Marc Campbell ($173,716)
Top Trainer (Wins): Marc Campbell (60)

Rideau Carleton Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Guy Gagnon ($859,739)
Top Driver (Wins): Guy Gagnon (179)

Top Trainer (Money): Vic Puddy ($508,644)
Top Trainer (Wins): Mandy Archer (101)

Summerside Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Marc Campbell ($197,331)
Top Driver (Wins): Marc Campbell (52)

Top Trainer (Money): Marc Campbell ($95,264)
Top Trainer (Wins): Marc Campbell (21)

The Track On 2

Top Driver (Money): Dave Kelly ($67,337)
Top Driver (Wins): Dave Kelly (22)

Top Trainer (Money): Dave Kelly ($58,274)
Top Trainer (Wins): Dave Kelly (19)

Truro Raceway

Top Driver (Money): Paul Langille ($63,990)
Top Driver (Wins): Paul Langille (36)

Top Trainer (Money): George Rennison ($54,030)
Top Trainer (Wins): George Rennison (33)

Woodbine Mohawk Park

Top Driver (Money): James MacDonald ($6,430,456)
Top Driver (Wins): James MacDonald (270)

Top Trainer (Money): Richard Moreau ($2,981,237)
Top Trainer (Wins): Richard Moreau (135)

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