Kevin Lare continues comeback with top colt

12:02 AM 16 Jul 2014 NZST
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Kevin Lare, harness racing
Kevin Lare hamming it up in the race paddock
Kevin Lare has experienced being on top of the harness racing world and then on the bottom.
 
He is on his way back again. In 2007 horses trained by Kevin won over $2,500,000 . In 2010 horses trained by Kevin won only $12,000. It has been an up and down career for Kevin. Already this year horses trained by Kevin have won $390.115, sporting an impressive UTRS training record of 0.387. At the present time, his stable contains about twenty horses.
 
Kevin's stable of quality stakes horses once included Snow White, the Dan Patch 2007 two-year-old filly trotter of the year, Southwind Tempo, and Fred and Ginger. Now he is back with his first stake winning horse in five years with Yankee Bounty.
 
Yankee Bounty has proved the be one of best two year pacing colts in the early start of this yeawr's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Yankee Bounty sports a two race unblemished winning record in two stakes races this year. His most recent win was at the Meadows scoring impressively in 1:53 over a very deep rain soaked track. Yankee Bounty looks to keep his undefeated record intact Wednesday at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes racing as the 3-1 favorite in the seventh race.
 
"Yankee Bounty was really impressive in his last race," said Lare. "I was thrilled when the timer showed 1:53. It was a deep and sloppy track. I would like to think he could have gone at least a second faster over a fast track. He will have to go a lot faster very soon.
 
"Corey (Callahan) called on him when they came out of the turn," said Lare. "Somebody came right up on his back This horse is so professional and relaxed. He can go one quarter in twenty seven seconds and go the next quarter in thirty five seconds. He can go from. zero to one hundred and then from one hundred to zero. He is just so talented. It makes him stand out from the others in how you can control him. Yankee Bounty is the best youngster I have ever had. We will not be shocked to see how fast he paces at Pocono this week.
 
"He was purchased by Frank Chick because of his brother," added Lare. "Frank had his full brother who was a midget of a horse. He was the smallest standardbred I have ever seen. This small horse paced in fifty-five as a two-year-old. Frank went to the sale and bought Yankee Bounty, figuring if the tiny horse can go that fast the much bigger one will do much better.
 
"I have another twelve to fifteen horses in my barn for Frank right now," said Lare. "Frank has been unbelievable with helping me in my comeback. I can't thank him enough for what he has done for me. We have become not only business partners but great friends. We are mainly playing the claiming game at Pocono, and it has been successful. I have a couple of Maryland Babies with him who will race in the Maryland Sire Stakes this year. The rest are all overnight horses.
 
"I have some other horses with Mike Coombs," said Lare. "We have a nice trotter in the name of Boffin. He was one of the first to give me a chance again and I am very grateful.
 
"I have two Maryland Sire Stake Horses and one Delaware," said Lare. "The one two-year-old filly looks to be outstanding for the Maryland Sire Stakes. She is faster than the rest of them. Her name is Helaine's Firebird. She will have her first race next Sunday."
 
Kevin Lare went thru a nightmarish 2009 when horse after horse came down with a devastating injury. His great trotter Snow White had to be euthananized following colic surgery. His life went into a downward spiral. His wife divorced him, he lost all his money, and he got caught up in drugs. With the help of his friend, Fern Panquet Jr., he moved to Florida and got his life back on track.
 
"I took a bad turn in life," added Lare. "I got caught up in the drug activity of life. I had seventy horses in my stable at one time. If you mess with the devil, it does not take long for the devil to take it from you. I lost it all. I went to Florida to live with a friend, Fran Panquet Jr. I didn't even have enough money for a airplane ticket. He bought me the ticket. He told me I could come down there to get away. I went to Florida and worked for Fran. I got my head screwed back on straight and came back here.
 
"I had an eight day period in 2009 where everything went wrong," said Lare. "During this period, Snow White died, Fred and Ginger could not pick up her feet, and Southwind Tempo pulled a suspensory when she got run into on the racetrack. My phone was ringing off the hook with questions about the horses. I just went into the corner and hid. I did not want to talk to anyone.
 
"I am hoping when the sales come in September/October that some owners will see what I am doing and pick up the phone and ask if I want to train some babies for them," stated Lare."
 
Frank Chick has been a mainstay and stalwart supporter of harness racing for years. He has a saddle shop and hosts a horse sale three times a year at the Harrington Racetrack Fairgrounds. He currently owns over a dozen horses in the care of Kevin Lare.
 
"When Kevin was having his success he would always go out of his way to help me with some of my horses," said Chick. "He never asked for anything and was just happy to do it. There came a time when I was in a position to help him.
 
"I think Yankee Bounty is the real deal," said Chick. "He has done everything we have asked him to do. When Corey has asked him to pace he has put it into another gear. I think he is an exceptional colt.
 
"Outside of the Pennsylvania Sire Stake Races, he is staked to Arden Downs, the Matron,and Keystone Classic," added Chick. "Next year he is staked to everything including the Breeders Crown and Little Brown Jug.
 
"We were cutting a bunch of horses after the Harrisburg Sale," said Chick. "The colts I had from the sale were not very well bred. I got a deal on the fifth one and it was Yankee Bounty. They ended up cutting him for twenty bucks. I really didn't know if I wanted to cut him or not. He's not a fancy bred horse.
 
"Every horse I have is for up for sale for at the right price," said Chick. "I will sell anything if the right offer comes along. I have had some tire kickers."
 
Corey Callahan has been the driver on Yankee Bounty for both of his victories this year. His maiden win was an easy several lengths victory at Pocono Downs in the Pennsylvania Allstars on June 29th. The second victory was at the Meadows in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in 1:53 over a deep sloppy track. Yankee Bounty has almost doubled his sale price of $21,000 with bankrolling $39,931 on his card.
 
"Yankee Bounty has done everything right so far," said Callahan. " I have had several people call me about the horse who want to buy him. I had a really nice colt ( Tomy Terror ) come after him on the backside in the last race. I had just been with that colt last time in 1:53 at Pocono Downs. We went pretty good up the backside in 27:1. I asked him to go a little more at the wire but he still had plenty of horse left.
 
"He hasn't really been tested yet," added Callahan. "He can go four quarters. He is really good horse. He is in again on Wednesday at Pocono Downs. The Burke's have a nice horse ( Lyons Levi Lewis ) in there that they just bought. I think we have the best horse in there.
 
"Kevin is the best," said Callahan. "We have been friends going back many years. I am proud and amazed he got himself back so fast. He has been a great trainer all his life. It does not surprise he is all the way back. He is a great guy to work for. He is cut and dry. He tells you if they will be good or if they will not be good."
 
Yankee Bounty has brought Kevin Lare back into the harness racing world spotlight again. Thanks to the support of owners Frank Chick and Mike Coombs, he has been able to build a foundation for his comeback. Will he be able to attain the greatness he had once before when his stable included Snow White, Fred and Ginger, and Southwind Tempo? That remains to be seen. He has battled his demons and is on his way back.
 
by Brian McEvoy for Harnesslink.com
 
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