Wilmington, Del., May 16, 2018–Scott Lake, sixth on the all-time list for wins by a North American trainer with nearly 5,900 victories, has been returning to Delaware Park for nearly two decades because of the atmosphere, the people and the competition. The 52-year-old native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will have approximately 35 horses stabled at the Stanton oval for the 81st season of live racing, which begins on May 30th.
“It is one of my favorites,” said Lake, who finished first or second as the leading trainer in North America by wins from 2000 through 2009. “I love the stable area with the open barns and the long walks to the race track, and I have always gotten along with management. So for me, it is just a great place to train horses. We have also had plenty of success in Delaware, so it is a meet I look forward to every year.”
Since 2000, Lake has won more than 1,000 races and has finished first or second in the race for leading trainer 13 times at Delaware Park. Last season, he finished tied for first with fellow perennial national and Delaware Park leader Jamie Ness with 21 wins.
“It was great,” said Lake. “My crew worked hard. It was real nice to tie for the win, and I was proud of my crew and horses to get that done. Jamie and I go back a long time. I met him at Canterbury Park when he only had four or five horses. Every year, when I would go back to Canterbury for the Claiming Crown, he would have a little more and more. We would sit and talk to each other all the time about angles, the business and other things. He has done very well, and it was great to finish in a dead heat with him.”
Combined, the Lake and Ness duo have won 8,608 career races in North America through May 15th. Lake has 5,903 career victories, while Ness ranks 40th on the list with 2,705. They have won a combined 13 training titles at Delaware Park. Before last season, Lake won seven straight Delaware Park titles from 2002 through 2008, which equaled the record for most consecutive set by the legendary Grover “Buddy” Delp from 1963 through 1969. Ness has been leading trainer for five seasons—the last three and 2012 and 2013. The only person to win more training titles than Lake and Ness is Delp, who won 11. Tim Ritchey has won five, King Leatherbury has won four, and Sam Cronk, Juan Vasquez, Richard Dutrow, John Tammaro, Douglas Davis Jr. and Frank Bonsal have won three each.
Others preparing for the 2018 season at Delaware Park are Jamie Ness, Tim Ritchey, Gerald Bennett, Sam Cronk, Randy Nunley, Michael Gorham, Anthony Pecoraro, Louis Albertrani, Jonathan Sheppard, Thomas Proctor, Arnaud Delacour, Ronald Alfano, Victor Carrasco Jr., Bobby Raymond, Richard Hendriks, John Rigattieri, Wayne Potts, Richard Hendriks and Abel Castellano.
2018 LIVE RACING DATES–The 81st season of live racing at the Stanton oval will feature 81 days with the meet starting on May 30 and concluding on October 20. Live racing will be conducted Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The final week of the meet live racing will only be conducted on Wednesday and Saturday. Delaware Oaks Day is slated for July 7th and Delaware Handicap Day is July 14th. The first race post time is set for 1:15 p.m.