In depth study of the Art Rooney finalists

07:35 PM 03 Jul 2008 NZST
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1 DRAGON KING (head number 3, 10-1) Bay colt by Dragon Again; originally sold (as Weatherly Hanover) for $20,000 at New Jersey Classic (2006); finished third to Santanna Blue Chip (beaten 2¾ lengths) in second of last weekendʼs two, $40,000 eliminations.

Owns a pair of overnight wins this season (here and Chester, latter in life-best 1:54.1) this

eason; won once in eight tries at 2, a Chester overnight; 43-year-old David

iller, a native of Columbus, OH, was leading Buckeye driver before moving

ast in 1999; won consecutive Rooneys (2002-03); has six $10-million-plus

arnings seasons in last seven; 71-year-old trainer Roy Williams, originally

rom Millen, GA, is co-owner of the colt with his son, Roy Jr.

2 MOON BEAM (head number 4, 15-1) Bay colt by Dragon Again;

riginally sold for $20,000 at Harrisburg (2006); re-sold for $750,000

t Meadowlands (Tattersalls) this past January, third-highest price ever

or a racehorse; photoed for second (by Dontloseyourdayjob) in last weekʼs

irst elimination event, finishing 1¾ lengths behind Badlands Nitro in just

econd start of season; began ʼ08 with a solid second in Chester overnight

vent; impressive frosh season, with four wins and pair of seconds in six tries

$407,650); second in pair of big-money events, the $950,000 final of the

etro at Mohawk (to Somebeachsomewhere) and $415,000 final of

oodrow Wilson at Meadowlands (to Dali); biggest win was $50,600 division

f Goshen Cup (Meadowlands) in career debut; George Teague, who has

air in this Rooney, co-owned and trained this colt at 2 before he was sold in

anuary; trainer-driver Eric Abbatiello, from Neptune, NJ, turns 40 this

ovember; his fathersome guy named Carmine had some success (more

han 7,000 career victories and $50 million in purses) in metro New York

nd a few other places a few years ago; the Abbatiello name and those Red

an colors, are once again finding Yonkersʼ winnerʼs circle, with Eric enjoying

areer season (167 wins, nearly $1.4 million in purses) in ʻ07 .

3 SANTANNA BLUE CHIP (head number 1, 4-1, coupled with Legacy N

iamonds Bay colt by Art Major; originally sold for $75,000 at

arrisburg (2006); won last weekʼs second of two $40,000 elims for

his race, going the distance and defeating Meant to Be Me in 1:54.2; a New

ork-bred who had never raced in this state prior to last weekend; became

areer millionaire earlier this season when third to Somebeachsomewhere

n last monthʼs $1.47 million final of North America Cup; in-money in all 11

f his 2007 starts, with five wins, four seconds and two thirds ($931,233);

inished his plebe season with a flourish, winning both the $760,968 final

f the Governorʼs Cup (Woodbine) and $625,000 final of Breeders Crown

Meadowlands); 31-year-old Ontario native Jody Jamieson, a co-owner of

his colt, has emerged as one of North Americaʼs leading drivers over the

ast half-decade; threw out career best in wins (587) in 2006 and purses

more than $10 million) in ʼ07; drove Tell All to wins in last seasonʼs $1.41

illion North America Cup and Little Brown Jug; won his 4,000th race earlier

n ʼ08 to go along with more than $42 million in purses; 57-year-old

rainer Carl Jamieson, is driverʼs father and also one of coltʼs co-owners,

riginally from Wallace, NS, he oversees one of Canadaʼs high-end stables,

ith nearly $3 million in purses a season ago.

4 LEGACY N DIAMONDS (head number 1A, 4-1, coupled with Santanna

lue Chip) Bay colt by The Panderosa; originally sold for $90,000 at

exington (2006); outrun in the faster of last weekʼs two, $40,000

liminations, bringing up the rear (to Badlands Nitro) while finishing last

mong the quartet; yet to hit ticket in four seasonal starts; stablemate of

inalist Santanna Blue Chip; like “Santanna,” colt is co-owned by trainer Carl

amieson; won thrice in10 tries in 2007, earning more than $169,000;

iggest victory was $108,149 division of Mohawkʼs Champlain; also won

47,586 Flamboro Breeders at (where else?) Flamboro Downs; 26-year-old

im Tetrick, a native of Flora, IL, rewrote the single-season driver record

ook a season ago with unfathomable 1,189 wins and $18.35 million in

urses; grabbed biggest pie in Yonkersʼ history, winning million-dollar edition

f this race with Southwind Lynx (1:52.3); in ʼ08 (through Monday),

eads in North American cash ($8.6 million/purses) while ranking second in

ins (511); (for Jamieson trainer thumbnail, refer to Santanna Blue Chip).

5 IDLE HOUR (head number 2, 4-5, coupled with Badlands Nitro) ̶

ay colt by Dragon Again; originally sold for $18,000 at Lexington

2006); stablemate of Badlands Nitro; finished fourth in last weekʼs

econd, $40,000 elim, three lengths behind Santanna Blue Chip; his three

ictories in ʼ08 came in succession to begin season, won $68,900 final of

obert Suslow at the Meadowlands (career-best 1:51.2) and $35,661 division

f Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Chester; won five of his nine tries as a

rosh ($119,090), culminated by 100G final of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in

ate September at Chester (1:53.2); won a $22,611 division of the Arden

owns at the Meadows; 27-year-old Jason Bartlett, originally from Augusta,

E, is enjoying the best season of his career (257 wins, $2.1 million

hrough Monday); the Racewayʼs leading driver in ʼ08 (193 wins through

onday); 44-year-old trainer George Teague, originally from Melfa, VA, is

ased in Delaware, where he operates one of sportʼs standout stables;

areer-best $4.6 million in purses a season ago (fourth in North America),

ncluding million-dollar Rooney Pace winner Southwind Lynx; Teague

rained 2004 Harness Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue.

6 BADLANDS NITRO (head number 2A, 4-5, coupled with Idle Hour)̶

ay colt by Badlands Hanover; originally sold for $16,000 at

arrisburg (2006); won the faster of last weekʼs two, $40,000 elims

or the race beating three rivals in a snappy 1:51.4; this effort was just twofifths

way from Riyadhʼs 15-season track record for soph pacing colts;

egan this season with four consecutive wins, highlighted by the $301,072

inal of the Max Hempt at Pocono (life-best 1:50); won his $49,000 elim for

orth America Cup before finishing second (to Somebeachsomewhere) in

1.47 million final; won six of his eight starts (nearly $146,000) as a 2-yearold

hile never leaving the Delmarva circuit; biggest win was the $110,000

inal of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders in early November at Dover;

rian Sears, 40, is a native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and has been one of harness

acingʼs elite drivers this decade; more than 6,400 career victories and

80 million in purses, including single-season record $15 million in purses

n ʼ05 (broken by Tim Tetrick in ʼ07); began this week fifth in wins (280)

nd second in purses ($6.4 million) in North America; won last seasonʼs

725,480 final of Messenger here with Always a Virgin, luring him across

iver for a rare visit; (for Teague trainer thumbnail, refer to Idle Hour).

7 MEANT TO BE ME (head number 5, 8-1) Bay colt by McArdle; originally

old for $35,000 at Harrisburg (2006); pocket second to

antanna Blue Chip in last weekʼs second, $40,000 elimination, beaten

hree-quarters of a length; pair of seconds and pair of thirds to show for

even ʼ08 tries entering tonightʼs final; three wins and two seconds in nine

irst-season starts (more than $197,000), finishing with a romp in $266,950

inal of the Matron at Dover (life-best 1:53.1); 53-year-old John Campbell,

rom Ailsa Craig, ON, is the driver by which all others are measured; his

253 million in career earnings leads the sport by far and he entered this

eek 17 wins away from 10,000; his four Rooney victories (Jake and

lwood-ʼ90, Life Sign-ʼ93, Camʼs Card Shark-ʼ94, Bolero Master-ʼ99) are most

y any driver, 53-year-old Brooklyn native Linda Toscano oversees one of

portʼs most potent stables; personal-bests 94 wins and $2.8 million in purses

n ʼ07 included pair of winners (150G finals) in New York Night of

hampions here.

8 DONTLOSEYOURDAYJOB (head number 6, 5-1) Bay colt by Life

ign; homebred; chased home Badlands Nitro from the pocket in the

aster (1:51.4) of last weekʼs two, $40,000 elim races, beaten a lengthand-

hree-quarters; enters tonightʼs final having hit the board in six-of-seven

#700;08 tries, with lone win coming in Pocono overnight (career-best 1:51.2);

econd in 175G final of New Jersey Sire Stakes prior to visiting Yonkers;

on four of 13 starts at 2 (nearly $146,000), highlighted by the 145G final

f the Lou Babic at Freehold in late October; other three wins were Green

cres events; driver Yannick Gingras, a Quebecer who turns 29 next month,

urst upon the metropolitan area scene over the past half-decade, first here

efore moving to New Jersey; set personal-bests in ʼ07 in both wins (449)

nd purses (more than $9.6 million); closing in on 2,400 wins with more

han $34 million in purses; 48-year-old (later this month) Jeff Smith, originally

rom Urbana, IL, trained ʼ02 Yonkers Trot champ Bubba Dunn; he took

ver training this colt prior to this race for long-time successful owner Fred

onteleone.

(Compiled by Frank Drucker, with gracious assistance from the U.S. Trotting

ssociationʼs David Carr, Anne Chunko, Paul Ramlow & Ron Taubert)

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