The 23rd rendition of the Art Rooney Pace, which pays homage to the late, legendary Pittsburgh Steelers founding father, will be contested Saturday night, June 1, at Yonkers Raceway. The Rooney is worth $275,000.
Twelve 3-year-old colts and geldings are set to go at it in a pair of $40,000 eliminations on Saturday night, May 25, for the right to start in the Rooney. The first four finishers in each elim gain berth.
Here are the dozen sophomores seeking a spot in the Rooney finale (in alphabetical order with declared drivers: Bet the Moon (George Brennan), Doctor Butch (Tim Tetrick), Duel in the Sun (Corey Callahan), Good Day Mate (Brian Sears), Just Bettor (Brennan also listed), Lonewolf Currier (Sears also listed), Mach it So (Sears also listed), Sir Cary’s Z Tam (Pat Lachance), Source of Pride (Dave Miller), Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras), Swift As a Shadow (Brennan also listed) and Visa Viper (Brennan also listed).
The Rooney family has owned the Raceway and Empire City Casino since 1972, and Timothy J. Rooney, one of Art’s five sons, has been president of the historic half-mile harness track, for the full 40 years.
Every Steelers fan knows the story of how Art Rooney, the team’s founder, funded the purchase of his football franchise in 1932 by a win on the horses. It was suggested that he won $250,000 – which is a lot of money today, let alone all those years ago. Fortunately for gridiron zealots and Steelers aficionados in particular, he decided to invest his money in a pro football team. And the rest, as they say, is history.