By Rebecca Roush
Growing up in Mill Bank, South Dakota, Larry Cronin had never been around race horses. That was until 1987 when his friend and eventual racing partner, Paul Hook, convinced him to purchase a horse in partnership and run it at Canterbury Park. Since then, Cronin’s horses have gone on to win multiple stakes races.
Cronin currently owns two horses that train under Tim Padilla. “Tim really does a great job training and is very honest,” Cronin commented. “He is also an excellent claimer.” Cronin says that finding and keeping an honest trainer is the most important asset that any owner can have.
One of Cronin’s favorite things about owning race horses is the thrill of watching them run. “There is something special about owning a horse and watching them race,” he said. Cronin also enjoys watching morning workouts to see how his horses are doing before they race.
Though Cronin is not involved in any partnerships at the moment, he often works with other owners to claim horses. In fact, one of his favorite racing memories is due to a partnership, Husker Racing, he had in 2006. The horse that the partnership owned, Al’s Dearly Bred, won the $100,000 Claiming Crown Emerald at Canterbury Park. Cronin described the horse as a “stone runner.” He added that the horse was claimed for $16,000 just before winning the Claim Crown. “Al’s Dearly Bred is a nice, classy old horse,” Cronin said.
Another successful horse that Cronin owned was Prince Compliance. The horse was one of Cronin’s first purchases. It went on to win thirty of one hundred starts. “That was a horse that really liked to run,” Cronin said. The horse was claimed back by Cronin on nine different occasions. “That must be a record,” he commented.
When Cronin is not busy overseeing his horses, you can often find him at Canterbury’s Paddock Pub placing simulcast bets with his friends and fellow owners. “Everything about horse racing is just really fun,” he said.
Now living in Bloomington, Cronin also finds time to spend on the lake with his wife, Sue Cronin, their three children and five grandchildren.