Owner Jerry Silva told harnessracing.com Friday afternoon that he has put together a three-horse purchase agreement “worth a million dollars” that includes 2007 Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year Southwind Tempo from owners Toby Lynch and Wayne Chrebet. The agreement also calls for the purchase of the 3-year-old filly pacer Thong and the 2-year-old Conway Hall trotting filly TK Lindy.
Silva said talks began a couple of weeks ago but were not finalized until after Southwind Tempo won her second qualifier of the year Thursday at the Meadowlands, winning by 19 lengths in 1:53.1. He said Southwind Tempo will now be trained by Kevin Lare and driven by John Campbell.
“We started to put it all together at the Harness Tracks of America meeting in St. Petersburg (Feb. 19-20),” said Silva by cell phone from Florida, where he was planning to attend Sunday’s South Florida Sunshine Sale. “I would say it was an 80-percent done deal until yesterday and then got the wire transfer done today.”
“A couple weeks ago I put some of my horses up for sale…my son is going to drive so I need to buy some horses for him to drive,” explained Lynch, who originally purchased Southwind Tempo as a yearling for $3,500. “There is an old saying that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Anything could happen and I couldn’t afford it if something happened. And I still have a half brother to Tempo (the 3-year-old colt Southwind Tyrant) that I like.”
Southwind Tempo won 16 of 21 starts last year at three, earning $863,604. Included among her victories was her world-record 1:49.3f effort in the $250,632 James Lynch Memorial final at Pocono Downs.
“I like that she only had three starts at two, and was dominant at three,” said Silva of the daughter of Bettor’s Delight who earned Dan Patch honors as the best of her division last year and finished second in Pacer of the Year voting behind Tell All. “I think there is room to have fun with her at four and five. Kevin knows what (former trainer) Steve Elliott was doing and what Toby was doing, and hopefully she continues on with the record she had last year, which was a great record.”
Silva said he usually buys interests in horses that have already established themselves, as he did last year with 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year Deweycheatumnhowe and 2-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year Snow White, but he believed the opportunity to purchase Southwind Tempo was something he could not pass on.
“On Dewey and Snow White I did it that way (buying smaller interests) but this time I felt the opportunity was coming very close because she is going to race next Friday in the Overbid (at the Meadowlands),” said Silva. “All three horses, if you put them together, they are worth a million dollars.”
Although Southwind Tempo is the marquee player in the deal, Thong brings strong credentials to the table herself. She had a 2007 record of 11-3-2-2 and earnings of $332,857, with the daughter of Western Hanover pacing to her career mark of 1:53.3 while winning an elimination of the She’s A Great Lady at Mohawk. She went on to finish second in the $743,090 final.