Harness racing's newest millionaire

09:55 PM 08 Jul 2008 NZST
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Badlands Nitro & Brian Sears
Badlands Nitro & Brian Sears - 2008 Art Rooney Pace
MIKE LIZZI PHOTO

Badlands Nitro, a son of Badlands Hanover who stands at Winbak Farm of Delaware, is harness racing's latest millionaire. With Brian Sears driving, Badlands Nitro notched an impressive 1:52.3 victory in the $538,270 Art Rooney Pace on July 5 at Yonkers Raceway.

The winner's share of the purse enabled the three-year-old son of Badlands Hanover to become a seven-figure winner for owners, breeder John Celii and Teague Inc.

Brian Sears sent the handsome sophomore colt three wide to take the lead then was half-length to the good at the wire over the Yonkers half-mile racetrack. As the field turned for home, Sears moved Badlands Nitro wide and then charged to the front. He then shook off challengers in the stretch to record the victory.

Badlands Nitro withstood the strong battle in the stretch to prevail for his sixth win of this year in seven starts with only a second place finish in the $1.5-million North America Cup last month. Badlands Nitro has now won $1,007,392 of which $862,488 has come this year.

"I expect a good effort out of him all the time," said winning driver Sears in the winner's circle. "He doesn't have any quit in him."

The win was the sixth of the year in seven starts for Badlands Nitro. The colt has now won $1,007,486 with $862.488 won already this season.

"He's got plenty of upside, which makes him a good horse," remarked trainer Teague. "He has no weakness in his game."

Badlands Nitro next heads to the Meadowlands Pace eliminations on July 12, at the Meadowlands.

The 1:52.3 victory made it back-to-back Rooney Pace triumphs for trainer George Teague and his sister, Brenda, who race under the nom de course of Teague Inc., who were part owners of last season's Rooney winner Southwind Lynx.

John Celii, who bred Badlands Nitro from Badlands Hanover, who raced for Celii during his racing career, bred the colt from his mare then sold her in foal carrying Badlands Nitro. Celii then saw the colt selling as a yearling at the Harrisburg sale and paid $16,000 at the auction.

Elsewhere on the major stakes trail, a headline making trotter bred and sold as a yearly by Winbak Farm, Lear Jetta, remains unbeaten this year after another stakes win coming in the Reynolds Memorial on July 7, during Grand Circuit week at Pocono Downs.

Lear Jetta overcame starting from an outside post to beat eight three-year-old rivals in 1:55:1 on a track listed only in good condition.

Trained by Bobby Myers for Jim McAuliffe, Lear Jetta driven by Tim Tetrick. The victory was the sixth in six starts in 2008 and the 16th in 18 lifetime outings. The colt's career earnings stand more than $469,000.

Earlier in the week, racing at Chester Downs, Rodney Wyatt's Ireneonthemove, a daughter of Powerful Toy, who also stands at Winbak of Delaware, handled by Corey Callahan for trained Jason Skinner, won the $21,000 Mares Open pace feature, on June 24 at Harrington Raceway.

With end of the 2008 breeding season, Winbak Farm now prepares for the upcoming yearling sales.

Winbak Farm stands some of the sport's best-known and successful stallions at several major locations in the U.S. and Canada, including Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ontario and Pennsylvania.

An outstanding group of Winbak Farm trotting and pacing colts and fillies will sell at the leading 2008 yearling venues.

The Pennsylvania Preferred sale takes place on Aug. 24. The New Jersey Class will be held on Sept. 7. The Canadian Classic, Sept. 14. The SUNY Morrisville sale on Sept. 21.

In October, Winbak bred yearlings go under the auctioneer's gavel at the Lexington Select on Oct. 1.

This Fall's Winbak Select Sale is set for Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City, Md. on Oct. 17. The Forest City Select Sale is scheduled for Oct. 19, the Tioga Sale on Oct. 20 and the Forrest City Preferred on Nov. 26. The Harrisburg sale will be held on Nov. 6-8.

Marv Bachrad

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