Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blind-In-One Eye Filly Channeling Dead Owner’s Wife Wins On Racing’s Biggest Stage

Get the screen play started...

Tim Snyder is a lifelong "racetracker" whose done about every job there is around horses. When he bought a horse which he later named Lisa's Booby Trap, he had a station wagon and a dog. He paid $4,500 for the filly - putting $2,000 down and promising the balance when she won a race.

She was big and lanky and couldn't outrun a fat man uphill. Lisa's Booby Trap wouldn't change leads and Snyder in a show of very good horsemanship figured out why. She was hitting her ankle with her other hoof when she tried the maneuver that is critical to successful racing. Snyder somehow figured putting a hind horseshoe on her front hoof would change her way of moving just enough to create some clearance. He was right.

Last Friday, Lisa’s Booby Trap kept her perfect record intact when she won the $70,000 Loudonville Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. We call that "much improved."

Bet down to the 3-2 favorite in the field of five, Lisa’s Booby Trap got off a step slowly and settled in behind the pack. Making a four-wide move on the turn, she closed steadily and drew clear to win by six lengths with a final time of 1:09.64.

So what’s the big deal?

Well, other than the modest price tag and the rags to riches story in the "Sport of Kings," Lisa’s Booby Trap is named for Snyder's late wife who died of cancer in 2003.

“His late wife told him that she wanted to come back as a racehorse, and here she is, living vicariously through Lisa’s Booby Trap,” said winning jockey Kent Desormeaux. “As far as we believe, she’s inside – they have the same heart, and she’s carrying this horse.”

Oh, and she's blind in one eye...

After Snyder solved the lead/ankle problem, Lisa’s Booby Trap made her first start at Finger Lakes in upstate New York on May 24, leading from gate to wire and winning by 17 ¾ lengths. She then wired a pair of Finger Lakes allowances by a combined margin of 19 lengths, setting herself up for a start at Saratoga.

Following those three spectacular victories, Snyder was criticized in cyberspace when it was revealed that he turned down as much as $500,000 for the filly. The standard approach in a business dependent on such poorly designed fragile creatures as racehorses is always “take the money.”

Snyder did not, telling the New York Times, “I’m having way too much fun with this horse to sell her. More fun than the money could bring me. She’s not for sale, not at any price. Everybody told me to take the money and run. That’s not me.”

Lisa’s Booby Trap’s career earning now stand at $75,000 and counting.

(Photos courtesy of the New York Racing Association via Flickr)

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