Yonkers, NY – The team of trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick have a good history with broodmare Lionness Hanover. The pair bought the Western Ideal mare’s second foal, Well Lets See, for $4,500 at the Harrisburg Sale in 2014.
Despite being an undersized gelding, Well Lets See won 15 races at 2 and 3 while racing primarily on the Pennsylvania fair circuit.
Off Well Lets See’s success, Lare and Chick purchased Lionness Hanover’s next foal, Roaring To Go, a year later at Goshen for $16,000. The filly became a force on the New York Sire Stakes circuit at 2, finishing first in the NYSS Final before being disqualified for a pylon violation. She also had Grand Circuit success, winning divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile and a Breeders Crown elimination at 2, but was only fourth as the 1-2 favorite in the final after coming down sick.
Roaring To Go went 9-for-28 and earned $431,999 in her career, prompting Lare and Chick to tap the well one more time. The Delaware-based connections traveled to the Ohio Select Sale in 2017 with their sights set on buying Queen Of The Pride, the fourth foal out of Lionness Hanover.
“We wouldn’t have gone to the Ohio Sale if it wasn’t for her being in there,” Lare recalled. “We’ve had other ones in her family that had done us well, and we were just going back to the same well again.”
Although they came specifically to purchase Queen Of The Pride, the McArdle daughter quickly climbed beyond Chick’s budget. But Lare managed to squeeze one more bid out of Chick, convincing the owner to offer $62,000 for the filly. The hammer fell and Lare was thrilled.
“That was his last bid. If there had been another one, I don’t think he’d have won,” Lare said. “I was standing next to him and I was like, ‘come on Frank, one more time.’ He hit it one more time and I wouldn’t have gotten him to go again.”
Queen Of The Pride hasn’t disappointed. She won her first four starts as a 2-year-old, including three Ohio Sire Stakes splits, and went on to score a wire-to-wire victory in the $275,000 OSS Final at Scioto Downs last September.
After graduating from state-bred competition, Queen Of the Pride moved to the Grand Circuit. She finished fourth in the She’s A Great Lady Final at Mohawk September 22 and posted two runner-up finishes in the Bluegrass and ISS at the Red Mile. However, after qualifying for the Breeders Crown with a third in the elimination, she finished eighth in the final, suffering the same fate as Roaring To Go.
Queen Of The Pride bounced back with a second in the Matron at Dover to cap her freshman year and has returned strong in 2019. She won an elimination of the Hackett Memorial at Miami Valley on April 12 and was second in the final a week later. Queen Of The Pride won the $50,000 Scarlett & Gray Invitational in 1:51.2 April 26 and doubled up with a 1:51.4 score in OSS in her latest start May 3. She’s 8-for-18 with $421,454 earned.
Queen Of The Pride will make her Yonkers Raceway debut from post three as the 7-5 morning line favorite with Jordan Stratton in the sulky on Saturday (May 11) in a $22,050 division of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old fillies.
Lare is using the start as a test drive for the Lismore Pace eliminations May 18. It will be Queen Of The Pride’s second start on the half-mile track after she won an OSS division at Northfield Park last year.
In addition to Queen Of the Pride, Lare and Chick will start On Accident in a division of the Reynolds for sophomore colts and geldings.
Saturday night’s card features two divisions of the Reynolds for fillies and two divisions for colts and geldings, along with the regular $44,000 pacing and trotting co-features.
First post time is 6:50 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here.