Gil Robillard, who piloted 11-1 longshot Epigram to victory in the 1952 Queen's Plate, died Jan. 23 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. He was 80.
The highlight of Robillard's career in the saddle came 52 years ago over a sloppy main track at Woodbine Park, as Epigram, a maiden with earnings of just $75 at that time, rallied from near the back of the 21-horse field, to capture the top prize of $16,875, plus 50 guineas.
Though the odds appeared to be against Robillard and the bay colt bred by E.P. Taylor, the son of Flares, owned by Three V's Stable, gutted out a length triumph in a stirring score over 79-1 longshot Genthorn in the 93rd running of the Queen's Plate.
After hanging up his tack, Robillard turned his focus to training, saddling six stakes winners.
Robillard, a native of Angus, Ontario, is survived by his widow, Shirley, and children Marsha, Brenda, and Wayne.