Day At The Track

Queen Of The Pride makes Yonkers debut

03:14 AM 12 May 2019 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Queen Of The Pride,Harness racing
Queen Of The Pride
Conrad photo

YONKERS, N.Y. – The harness racing team of trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick have a good history with broodmare Lionness Hanover.

The pair bought the Western Ideal mare’s second foal, Well Lets See, for $4,500 at the Harrisburg Sale in 2014. Despite being an undersized gelding, Well Lets See won 15 races at 2 and 3 while racing primarily on the Pennsylvania fair circuit. 

Off Well Lets See’s success, Lare and Chick purchased Lionness Hanover’s next foal, Roaring To Go, a year later at Goshen for $16,000. The filly became a force on the New York Sire Stakes circuit at 2, finishing first in the NYSS Final before being disqualified for a pylon violation.

She also had Grand Circuit success, winning divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile and a Breeders Crown elimination at 2, but was only fourth as the 1-2 favorite in the final after coming down sick.

Roaring To Go went 9-for-28 and earned $431,999 in her career, prompting Lare and Chick to tap the well one more time. The Delaware-based connections traveled to the Ohio Select Sale in 2017 with their sights set on buying Queen Of The Pride, the fourth foal out of Lionness Hanover.

“We wouldn’t have gone to the Ohio Sale if it wasn’t for her being in there,” Lare recalled.

“We’ve had other ones in her family that had done us well, and we were just going back to the same well again.”

Although they came specifically to purchase Queen Of The Pride, the McArdle daughter quickly climbed beyond Chick’s budget. But Lare managed to squeeze one more bid out of Chick, convincing the owner to offer $62,000 for the filly. The hammer fell and Lare was thrilled.

“That was his last bid. If there had been another one, I don’t think he’d have won,” Lare said.

“I was standing next to him and I was like, ‘come on Frank, one more time.’ He hit it one more time and I wouldn’t have gotten him to go again.That was it. If it wasn’t for the history with the family, we definitely wouldn’t have been there, but we went there for the purpose of trying to buy her and it worked out.”

Queen Of The Pride hasn’t disappointed. She won her first four starts as a 2-year-old, including three Ohio Sire Stakes splits, and went on to score a wire-to-wire victory in the $275,000 OSS Final at Scioto Downs last September. 

“As a 2-year-old. When she got down in the 2:15 range, she showed that she had talent,” Lare remembered.

“Frank loved her from the word ‘go’ and he paid her into all the big stakes races and he just kept on paying. He had faith in her, and she kept going.

“It was very sweet winning the Ohio Sire Stakes Final,” Lare said.

“We had a lot of fun racing out in Ohio, the people treated us great. Winning the final was a nice race win for Frank.”

After graduating from state-bred competition, Queen Of the Pride moved to the Grand Circuit. She finished fourth in the She’s A Great Lady Final at Mohawk September 22 and posted two runner-up finishes in the Bluegrass and ISS at the Red Mile. However, after qualifying for the Breeders Crown with a third in the elimination, she finished eighth in the final, suffering the same fate as Roaring To Go.

“Bad luck for the family there,” Lare said.

“Roaring To Go went of favored in the Final at the Meadowlands and she got sick that week after not being sick all year. Queen Of The Pride wasn’t sick all year long and she got sick that week in the Breeders Crown. We’ve had bad luck as far as the Breeders Crown.”

Queen Of The Pride bounced back with a second in the Matron at Dover to cap her freshman year and has returned strong in 2019. She won an elimination of the Hackett Memorial at Miami Valley on debut April 12 and was second in the final a week later. Queen Of The Pride won the $50,000 Scarlett & Gray Invitational in 1:51.2 April 26 and doubled up with a 1:51.4 score in OSS in her latest start May 3. She’s 8-for-18 with $421,454 earned.

“She’s come back very sharp from the qualifier to all her races,” Lare said.

“She was a little off form there the one week when she got beat in the final of the Hackett. It really wasn’t her fault, I’m going to take the blame for that. She rebounded from it very well in her next two starts. She set the season’s record out there, she’s doing everything that’s being asked of her.”

Queen Of The Pride will make her Yonkers Raceway debut Saturday, May 11 when she starts in a $22,050 division of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old fillies. Lare is using the start as a test drive for the Lismore Pace eliminations May 18. It will be Queen Of The Pride’s second start on the half-mile track after she won an OSS division at Northfield Park last year.

“If everything goes well this week, we’re coming back next week for the Lismore,” Lare said.

“This will be the second start I’ve ever raced her on a half-mile racetrack. I’ve trained her on a half. She trained a very good mile on a half this week and I don’t see that being a problem. I really don’t.”

Queen Of The Pride will start from post three and is the 7-5 morning line favorite with Jordan Stratton in the sulky. Her rivals include Abigail Dawn, who is 3-for-3 this season and posted a 1:51.2 win at Harrah’s Philadelphia last time out. 

“She’s won three races this year, all from the three hole,” Lare said.

“We got the three hole this week and I said, ‘maybe that’s a good sign. Maybe that’s an omen.’ There’s a nice group of fillies in there all around. Chris Ryder’s filly looks like she’s come back very well this year. It looks like she’s come back really strong with the mile she put in at Chester in her last start.

“Queen Of The Pride is very manageable. She’s all racehorse,” Lare continued.

“She has gate speed, but that doesn’t mean she can’t race from off the pace. Tony (Hall) raced her in a hole two starts ago. She doesn’t have to have the front-end; actually, I like her better out of a hole. But I’ll leave that up to Jordan. He knows everything about Yonkers Raceway, I have all the faith in Jordan.”

On Accident Vies for Stakes Win in Last Start for Lare and Chick

In addition to Queen Of the Pride, Lare and Chick will start On Accident in a division of the Reynolds for sophomore colts and geldings. Chick’s purchase of the Well Said gelding for $20,000 at Harrisburg was an unintended one. 

“Frank buys the horses, we go and look at them and pretty much figure that some of them are going to be out of his price range,” Lare explained, remembering Chick pointing out a horse in the catalog.

“He asked me, ‘did you look at this horse? He’s got to be worth that, isn’t he?’ He turned around and he bid. I said, ‘Frank, that’s not him in the ring, that’s the horse before him.’ Then the hammer went down and we bought him. We got him home and he was training pretty good, so we changed his name to On Accident. The horse that he wanted to buy brought over $100,000, I think.”

On Accident went 0-for-5 at 2, but is 2-for-13 this year with another eight placings. After being placed first in a leg of the Sagamore and finishing third in the Final and placing in three legs of the Weiss Series at Pocono this spring, the gelding’s earnings swelled to $54,084. 

The Reynolds will be On Accident’s last start for Lare and Chick as he is entered in the Blooded Horse Spring Mixed Sale May 14. He enters the Reynolds off a fourth-place finish in a $16,000 overnight at Yonkers April 29. 

“He’s done OK. He was an OK 2-year-old. He’ll follow a horse, he’s not big on cutting a mile at all,” Lare said.

“He’s progressed a lot from his 2-year-old to his 3-year-old season.

“He was actually eligible for the Weiss Final at Pocono, but we elected not to race him and took him to Yonkers instead to take him back there before this race and we got blessed with the eight hole,” Lare continued.

“He finished fourth out of the eight hole in a respectable mile. He’s in with some nice horses, but he’ll be close, I’m sure.”

Saturday night’s card features two divisions of the Reynolds for fillies and two divisions for colts and geldings, along with the regular $44,000 pacing and trotting co-features. 

First post time is 6:50 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here.

By Brandon Valvo

for the SOA of NY

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: