Kentucky Trainer Bobby LaRue Dies

Kentucky-born trainer was a leading conditioner at Kentucky tracks

Bobby LaRue, a veteran Kentucky trainer, died Jan. 3 at a Henderson, Ky., hospital. LaRue, who had suffered a stroke, was 71.

Born in Henderson, LaRue worked for prominent Kentucky trainer Doug Davis Jr. before going out on his own in the 1960s. In the early 1970s, he was a leading conditioner at Latonia (now Turfway Park) and defunct Miles Park near Louisville.

From 1976 through 2009, LaRue saddled 273 winners.

LaRue’s operation suffered major setbacks in the latter part of the 2000s. He lost much of his equipment when a tornado swept through Ellis Park and lost eight horses in a fire at Riverside Downs training center near Henderson.

LaRue’s survivors include his wife of 52 years, Beryl; two daughters; and a son, Jeff, who is the starter at Finger Lakes. LaRue’s nephew, Benji LaRue, is a Kentucky trainer.

A memorial service will be held Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. at the Ellis Park track kitchen.