by Joshua Potts, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent
Springfield, IL — This Saturday, July 7, 16 of the finest 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings will be racing in two eliminations, vying for a spot in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace Final, to be contested seven days later. Carded as the fifth and six races at the Big M this Saturday, each elimination should provide plenty of post-Independence Day fireworks.
The first of the two eliminations is loaded with talent. The North America Cup winner, Tell All, has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite. The New Jersey Sires Stakes champ, Always A Virgin, has earned second choice status at 3-1. Laughing Art, Artzina and Home Bed Advantage are three more big names that should figure prominently in the fifth race fray.
But if there are any horseplayers out there looking for a horse who is 5-1 on the morning line, has won a million dollar race just last month, and has Tim Tetrick, North America’s leading driver with over 600 wins this season, at the lines, then perhaps the George Teague, Jr. trainee Southwind Lynx is for you.
Teague, Inc. co-owns the colt with K & R Racing LLC (Kevin and Ronnie Fry). The Teague-Fry team is no stranger to success, as they jointly owned 2004 Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue.
A $42,000 yearling purchase at the 2005 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Southwind Lynx, a Real Artist colt, out of the Jate Lobell mare Luxury Class, has earned his share of feed. And buying the colt was a team decision.
“When we purchased Lynx at the sale, we were not looking for a Real Artist specifically,” commented Teague. “I liked that Lynx was a good looking colt. His family looked very strong, including the second dam. His pedigree showed he came from a family of winners, good race horses. In fact, Kevin was more interested in Lynx and had prior knowledge of his family when we purchased Lynx at the sale.”
As time went on, Teague knew he had added a good one to his stable.
“Well, early on, Lynx liked to ‘run with the pack.’ Although he had a good attitude, he was very immature in his gait and didn’t really stand out,” said Teague. “As time progressed, he matured in his gait and seemed as if he had a flash in his speed.”
That flash in his speed no doubt helped him win the $1 million Art Rooney Pace Final at Yonkers on June 2. The following week, however, in his North America Cup elimination at Mohawk, the sophomore pacer finished fourth. But Teague has a positive outlook going into this weekend.
“Going towards this elimination, I’m thinking positively, of course, in hopes of making it to the final,” said Teague. “The colt missed about four weeks of racing due to sickness and traveling, so there’s always an apprehension when not consistently racing. However, I have been able to train Lynx at Harrington for a couple weeks, so that helps and boosts my confidence for making him a great contender for the upcoming elimination.”
When asked if the colt has any unique habits, Teague offered a few thoughts.
“Actually, Lynx is a very low key horse. His habits are just ordinary. (He) is like any other horse. He’s simply an everyday, normal horse.”
Harness racing enthusiasts from all over the continent have their own opinions of how the Meadowlands Pace eliminations will unfold on Saturday. But overlooking the “everyday, normal” Southwind Lynx could be perilous indeed.