If Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, trainer Kevin Lare might be grateful given his luck from late July through August. His stable lost standout pacing mare Southwind Tempo to a suspensory injury while trotter Snow White struggled with soundness issues and pacer Thong battled through illness.
"We're hoping for September to be a little better," Lare said. "We're hoping things turn around. We were having a stellar season; I'm not complaining. Things happen."
Southwind Tempo, who was last season's Dan Patch Award winner as best three-year-old filly pacer, last raced July 19 in the Classic Series at the Meadowlands. She finished sixth and saw her season come to an end with a pulled suspensory ligament in her right front leg. She finished the campaign with seven wins in 13 races and $414,598 in purses. Her wins included the Overbid and Betsy Ross. Lifetime, she has 26 victories in 37 races and $1.2 million in earnings.
"We won't see her until next year," Lare said. "The game plan is to bring her back. We're giving her the right amount of time, doing everything right by her. It's not like she didn't pay for her rest. When they try that hard, and race that well, things happen. We'll be back again next year."
Snow White, who was the Dan Patch Award winner as best two-year-old filly trotter in 2007, last raced August 17 against the boys in the Colonial at Harrah's Chester. She went off stride and finished seventh. She also went off stride in her Hambletonian Oaks elimination race in July, which came two weeks after a 3-1/4 length victory in the Delvin Miller Memorial.
Originally, Lare intended to send Snow White to the Canadian Trotting Classic, but those plans were scrapped.
"That was on my radar until Chester," Lare said. "We're in Kentucky right now. She's jogging every day. I'm going to train her tomorrow (Wednesday) and hopefully everything is all right. We're going to qualifier her in a couple weeks and we'll go from there."
Thong, a three-year-old filly pacer, won five races in a row, including the Lismore, before finishing ninth in the Mistletoe Shalee and eighth in the Valley Forge. For the year, she has won six of 10 starts and earned $290,069.
"She went through a dire sickness," Lare said. "I'm going to train her and she'll be in Sunday in the Nadia Lobell."
Since Southwind Tempo's injury, Lare's stable notched just four wins through August. One was by two-year-old filly pacer Ginger And Fred, who defeated Sweetheart champ Pedigree Snob in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event. On Tuesday (September 2), Ginger And Fred won another PASS, this time by 9-1/4 lengths in 1:53 at the Meadows.
For the season, Lare's stable has 40 wins and $1.2 million in earnings.
"I think she (Ginger And Fred) is one of the better ones out there," Lare said. "She's a nice one. She's the real deal."