Style points were at a premium for Badlands Nitro Saturday night, but he was efficient enough to win Yonkers Raceway's $538,270 final of thr Art Rooney Pace. With Brian Sears driving for co-owner/trainer George Teague, "Nitro" outkicked his main rival, Santanna Blue Chip (Jody Jamieson) to prevail by a half-length 1:52.4.
The win, Teague's second in succession as trainer in this race--won the million-dollar Rooney in '07--made harness racing's newest milionaire.
(Eric Abbatiello) was a credible third despite a first-up effort, beaten a length-and-a-half. Legacy N Diamonds (Tim Tetrick), the other half of the "Santanna" entry, wound up fourth, with Dragon King (Dave Miller) grabbing the final pay envelope. Dontloseyourdayjob, Idle Hour (Jason Bartlett driving the other portion of the winning entry) and Meant to Be Me (John Campbell) were the back markers.
Leaving from post position No. 6 in the field of eight 3-year-old colts,--the stronger half of the 3-10 favored entry--dropped in fifth. Dontloseyourdayjob (Yannick Gingras) had schnoz on starting gate from the eight-hole, rolling right to the front just after a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. , from post No. 3, fell in behind, with pole-sitting Dragon King (Dave Miller) away third.
"Dayjob" continued through a :56.1 intermission, beforetook out of fourth. looked at it from second-over, though not without his escort getting after him a bit. Dontloseyourdayjob and were right alongside one another going to the 1:24.1 three-quarters, with going three-deep and searching for room.
"Nitro" did get his mind on business when it counted, outgaming a splitting-rivals
2008 YONKERS $538,270 ART ROONEY 3CP 1:52.4
he two had won last week'ss $40,000 elimination races, with "Nitro's" 1:51.4 just two-fifths away from the local soph pacing colt record.
, a son of co-owned by John Celii, paid $2.70 for his sixth win in seven seasonal starts ($861,488). The exacta returned a popular $4.10, with the triple (three wagering choices inorder) worth $11.40.
"That's just the sort of horse he is," Sears said. "He does what he has to do. You just have to give him a chance, and he really has never disappointed us."
"I'm just very pleased with his success," Teague said of the $16,000 yearling who has made a few dollars back from that original investment. "We had this race on his schedule all along, and we just hope to get horses good enough to bring here."
Yonkers' now-six-night-per-week (Monday through Friday--all at 7:40 PM--and Saturday--6:50 PM) welcomed the return of Wednesdays this past week. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.
Frank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway Publicity Director