He was a regular at East Coast tracks, like Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island, Freehold Raceway in New Jersey and Brandywine Raceway in Delaware, but often went farther afield, to California and other states.
Filion brought a marathon runner’s endurance to reach his enormous win total. Harness racing programs usually consist of 10 to 15 races at a track each day; at Filion’s peak, he averaged about 16 races a day, six days a week, often traveling to different racetracks using helicopters and private planes. (Races are run in one of two gaits, pacing or trotting.)
Filion could be self-effacing about his stamina. “The horses do all the work,” he told The New York Times in 1989. “I just go along for the ride.”
The pay was an added incentive: Filion won at least $1 million every season from 1969 to 1995. For many years, he owned a…