Driver Brian Sears, a third generation horseman, is the sole nominee on the ballot in voting for the 2017 Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
The Harness Racing Hall of Fame screening committee met this past weekend in Goshen and reviewed nominations from 11 chapters of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Sears was the only candidate to make the ballot.
The ballot will be sent to 223 members of USHWA and existing Hall of Fame inductees in August. A nominee must receive 75 per cent of votes cast to be inducted in to the Hall of Fame. Results will be announced when tabulated.
Sears, who plies his trade primarily on the east coast of the United States, has 9,601 wins in nearly 50,000 starts. He has exceeded $10 million in annual purse earnings nine times for a total of just over $172 million.
He concluded another outstanding driving year in 2015 with the highlights including capturing his third Hambletonian win with Pinkman and grabbing divisional Dan Patch Award honours behind the great trotting mare Bee A Magician.
Sears has driving wins in classic races such as 10 of the 12 divisions of the Breeders Crown, Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug, Kentucky Futurity, Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup, Yonkers Trot, Messenger, Cane, Adios, Battle of Brandywine, Canadian Trotting Classic, Metro Pace, Stanley Dancer, Del Miller and Canadian Pacing Classic.
He has been the primary driver on three Dan Patch Harness Horses of the Year – Muscle Hill in 2009 and Bee A Magician in 2013, plus Rocknroll Hanover in 2005.
Racing has been a family affair for Sears. His father, Jay, won more than 1,400 races and purses of over $3.3 million. Brian’s grandfather, the late Gene Sears, was also a 1,000-plus race winner who won $1.7 million in purses during his career.