Trainer Bob Lake, who began conditioning horses as a teen and continued training until retiring in 1999, died at age 82 Wednesday, March 4, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Top horses for Lake included Birchfield Farm's Brenda Beauty, who won three stakes in her 2-year-old season including the Sorority at Monmouth Park; and Alfred Vanderbilt's North Sea, a multiple stakes winner who took the 1973 Westchester Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack. Lake's son, Bob Lake Jr., said his father was proud of training for Vanderbilt for about five years.
Lake conditioned two-time grade III winner Bravely Bold, who won the Toboggan Handicap (gr. III) and Coaltown Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) in 1991 at Aqueduct. Lake claimed Bravely Bold for $25,000 for owner Arthur Klein.
Lake Jr. said his father loved working with horses.
"Growing up, I only remember him taking one vacation, and that was at the prodding of my mother," Lake said. "He loved the life. He loved getting up in the morning and seeing the horses. I remember on some of the coldest days at Aqueduct, he'd be the only one out there training horses in the morning. He was definitely dedicated."
A pair of future Kentucky Derby (gr. I)-winning trainers worked for Lake over the years in Hall of Famer Nick Zito, who won the Derby in 1991 with Strike the Gold and in 1994 with Go For Gin; and David Cross Jr., who saddled Sunny's Halo to victory in the 1983 Derby.
Other top horses for Lake included Anniron, a New York-bred Iron Constitution mare who won 11 stakes in New York including the 1988 Yaddo, and 1992 Lawrence Realization Stakes (gr. III) winner Timber Cat.
Lake Jr. said arrangements have not been planned yet but he would like to honor his father this summer at Saratoga Race Course.