Teague's millionaires on the comeback trail

07:29 AM 22 Jan 2010 NZDT
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Badlands Nitro Southwind Lynx
Badlands Nitro - By Badlands Hanover
Courtesy Of Racehorsephoto.com
Southwind Lynx - 2007 Meadowlands Pace Final
Photo by Michael Lisa - Lisa Photo, Inc.
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Watch out Auckland Reactor, millionaire pacers Badlands Nitro and Southwind Lynx are on the harness racing come-back trail after a year away from the race-track. The awesome duo will again be trained by one of North America's best horsemen - George Teague junior - in Harrington Delaware.

Teague trained the pair before they were retired to stud. However fertility problems reassured their comebacks.

"They'll each get three or four qualifiers into them before racing. They had pretty much the same issues, getting only about 10 mares in foal apiece," Teague said.

Both 5-year-olds qualified for the second time in two weeks at Dover Downs on Wednesday (January 20). A week earlier, Teague's son Montrell steered Southwind Lynx to a 1:56.1 13-length win and Badlands Nitro to win by 18 lengths in 1:56.3.

They went quicker this week. Mark Mayes drove Southwind Lynx home in 1:54.3 and Badlands Nitro in 1:55.2.

Southwind Lynx (1:48.3), a son of Real Artist, won eight of his 36 starts and placed in 10 others for just under $1.5 million in career stakes. He is the only pacer to have won the prestigious Art Rooney Pace and Meadowlands Pace in one year (2007).

Badlands Nitro (1:50), who is by Badlands Hanover, won 15 of his 25 starts and placed in eight others for just over $1.5 million in career stakes. He also won the $1 million Art Rooney in 2008 as well as the Max Hempt Memorial Pace.

Teague was delighted the former stars were back on the racetrack.

"We figured we could make more money on the track. They both retired sound - they always were sound horses - so I have them back," he added.

He said both pacers had put on quite a bit of weight, especially Badlands Nitro.

"The 4-year-old year can be a tough one and it might not have been a bad thing for Badlands Nitro to miss his 4-year-old season. Both horses have filled out quite a bit," Teague said.

Former Little Brown Jug winner, Mr Feelgood proved that harness racing comebacks can work. He came out of retirement and then went on to win the 2009 Interdominion Championship on Australia's Gold Coast. He's also favored again this year's Championship in New South Wales.

Also keep close tabs on another millionaire Teague pacer this season - 2009 Hoosier Cup champion, Mr Wiggles.

"Mr Wiggles had a long season at three, racing from March to the start of December," said Teague. "He is coming back on February 1 along with [O'Brien nominee] Fancy Filly," Teague said.

FOOTNOTE:

In January the first foal by Badlands Nitro (out of Gambling Debt) hit the ground at Winbak Farm. Southwind Lynx stood at Southwind Farms.

Duane Ranger (editor)

2007 $1m Meadowlands Pace

2008 Art Rooney $1m Pace:

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