Driver Jay Sears scored his 1,500th career victory Saturday at Pompano Park Harness Track, winning the second race Florida Sunshine State Stakes with McRyan Michael ($5.00) in a lifetime best time of 1:54.3.
For Sears, whose father, Gene, is in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, and son Brian, is one of the leading drivers currently in harness racing, it was a special moment.
“I wasn’t even paying attention to it.” Sears said. “You all surprised me and got me smiling. I did not know this was my 1,500th career win. This is something very special in my lifetime.”
Sears and McRyan Michael got away in sixth as McFlash (Dan Clements) lead the field to the quarter in 28.2. As they headed over to the half-mile marker in 58.2 Sears pulled first up and gained ground as they moved past the three quarters in 1:26.4. As McRyan Michael picked up his momentum down the stretch he won by nose over McFlash with Have a Nice Day (Tom Haughton) finishing third.
It was the second win this year for 3-year-old McRyan Michael by Mannart Howard-Quadzzzena, who is trained by Kim Sears and co-owned with Jay Sears of Osteen and Russell Peavyhouse of Plant City.
Other action in the Sunshine State Stakes for 2-year-old Florida-Bred colts and geldings, Tough Chip ($7.00) and Dan Clements won the first race in 1:56.4. Tough Chip, by Tough Sir-Stanwyck is trained by Kim Sears and owned by Grady Cooksey of Orlando. Napoleon Dynahorse ($6.20) by Raging Glory-Queen Ann Revonah won by a neck in the 3-year-old division for colts and geldings in 1:54.4. William Owens of Odessa, owns Napoleon Dyanhorse, who is trained and driven by Bruce Ranger.
There was one non-wagering Sunshine State Stake race for 2-year-old Florida-Bred colts and gelding pacers. Driver Tom Lehmann and Valentine’s Gator won in 1:58.3. Valentine’s Gator by Tough Sir-Katy Q is trained by Mary Birkhold and owned by George Birkhold of Sarasota. (Pompano)