History was made at Laurel Park Wednesday afternoon when Scott Lake became the sixth trainer in North American history to win 5,000 races when Communicator wired the field in the first race at the Laurel, Md., racetrack.
Only Dale Baird (9,445), Jack Van Berg (6,405), King Leatherbury (6,313), Jerry Hollendorfer (5,830) and Steve Asmussen (5,684) have more first place finishes.
“We are really proud of what the barn has accomplished,” said Lake after reaching the milestone. “We owe it to all the owners, horses and my help. What is really cool is that we did our 3,000th at Philly (Philadelphia Park), the 4000th at Penn National and the 5,000th here. Those are the three places we did most of the winning.”
The 45-year-old then saddled Flight to Eden to victory in the second race for his 5,001st career victory. Malcolm Franklin was aboard both winners.
From 2000-2009, Lake finished first or second nationally in wins each year, leading in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006. He ranks ninth this year with 191 trips to the winners’ circle after downsizing his barn from 287 horses at eight different tracks to 70 runners at two locations.
“We had an unbelievable run,” added Lake, who won his first race at Penn National with Niminy Piminy in June 1987. “It will just take us a lot longer to get to 6,000, but I am a lot happier. Seventy horses is a good number for us.”