For racehorse trainers each victory, no matter how big or small, is a momentous occasion, as the thrill of watching a horse under your guidance cross the finish line in first position never goes away. It is testament of their dedication to the sport and commitment to the horse owners, and most trainers dream of leaving behind a legacy that will be remembered long after they have retired from the sport. There were five trainers who stood in a league of their own with more than 5000 victories behind their name, and on Wednesday, 15 December 2010, Scott Lake made it six.
Scott Lake got his first taste of success in 1987, when his horse won the Penn National. During the following years his operation grew from strength to strength with each passing year. At his peak in his training career he was overseeing approximately three hundred horses and winning an average of four hundred races a year, with his personal best of 528 victories in the year 2006. This busy period in his life took place between 2001 and 2008.
In 2009 Lake made the decision to scale down his operation and now only has about seventy horses in training with him. He has been teamed up with many spectacular horses during his time in the horse racing industry, but when asked, Lake will tell you that his most memorable and favorite horse was Spooky Mulder that raced from 2001 until 2009. Up until today, Lake has won purses of over $92 million and watched over twenty-two thousand starting gate entries. And looking back on twenty years in the game, Lake commented that the journey for him has been spectacular. What he said in a recent interview seems so much more fitting now: “We accomplished so much, and it came so fast. You don’t appreciate it while it’s happening. It’s a huge accomplishment. I owe it to all my owners and help and every horse that I’ve trained – they’re the key players.”
This magnificent trainer, while watching Communicator launch him into history and Flight To Eden seal the deal later the same day, has now entered the top ranks of racehorse trainers. The standings are as follows: Dale Baird (9445), Jack Van Berg (6405), King Leatherbury (6313), Jerry Hollendorfer (5831), Steve Asmussen (5684) and Scott Lake (5001).