In a resume chock full of major wins and never-ending milestones, Brian Sears crossed another item off his "to-do" list Tuesday night. Sears drove his 8,000th career winner, the round number coming with Get Packin' ($3.40) in Yonkers Raceway's $14,500, 11th-race trot (1:57.2).
Sears began his work night three wins shy of the latest round number. He won the $11,500 pacing opener with Sgt Grit ($7.20), making his local debut and prevailing in 1:55.4, matching his life-best.
The 44-year-old Sears, a native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, ranks 22nd all-time in North American dash wins, while his purse earnings of nearly $134 million place him sixth on the continent. He has earned at least $10 million in purses each of the last right full seasons, and is a lock to keep that run going in 2012.
Not bad for someone who won his first race (for his father, Jay) as a 16-year-old high school student at Vernon Downs back in 1984. He has gone on to be at or near the head of the class at every stop (Vernon, the Meadows, Pompano, Meadowlands) along the way, and currently sits in third place here despite not being a regular presence in Westchester.
"I've never been a 'milestone' person, I just appreciate all the success I've had," Sears said after being presented with the requisite congratulatory signage.
"I also appreciate everyone who has helped me out and gave me chances along the way, especially my father, who was putting me down on horses at the very beginning when I had no idea what I was doing."(Yonkers)