Monticello, NY --- Don’t look now Danny Gill but Bob Lounsbury is closing in on you and is just three training wins behind.
|Geri Schwarz photo|
|Bob Lounsbury sent out four winners on Dec. 3 at Monticello.|
On Tuesday (Dec. 3) at Monticello Raceway, Lounsbury sent out seven horses and finished with four wins and two seconds and now has 179 winners for the meeting, just three wins shy of Gill’s 182.
Gill’s assistants sent out two because he wasn’t here. He’s on vacation in Florida at Disney World. However, both came up empty.
Gill and Lounsbury are friendly enemies and each jibes the other when one of their horses win.
“He might out-train me but I‘ll out-start him,” Gill says with tongue in cheek. “I’ve got a bigger stable than he does.”
And Lounsbury loves to taunt back.
“I’m gonna get you Danny,” he says after one of his horses wins a race.
Tuesday after his four winners, Lounsbury was extremely loquacious.
“I can hear him screaming all the way from Disney World. I feel sorry for him because while he’s there I’m going to take over the lead,” Lounsbury chirped.
Of course their words to one another are said in jest but both have an overwhelming desire to win races. And both are masters at their trade.
Last season Gill won the training title with 118 winners while Lounsbury finished fourth with 80 winners. Gill’s horses started 525 times to Lounsbury’s 346, which gives credence to Gill’s statement about out-starting Lounsbury.
Both trainers basically race claiming horses and each has had many multiple winners this season. Gill’s tops have been the veteran pacer Haroun Hanover, who has won 20 times while in his barn, and Lounsbury’s tops is Tracys Song, with 21 wins, who still leads North America in victories although she was recently tied by 14-year-old Anvil Raider N. The 8-year-old mare was cited as Horse of the Year by the local scribes at the recently completed 54th awards banquet of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA.
Lounsbury, also a professional surveyor, has a great attitude when it comes to racing horses.
“When I have a horse in my barn that can’t win in his class after a few tries, I drop him down. And if he still doesn’t win he’s out (of my barn),” he says. “And this year I lucky to have owners that have the same perspective. Winning is the name of the game.”
Nancy Fugere has been with Lounsbury a few years now and is the owner of Tracys Song, who set a Monticello Raceway track record of 18 consecutive wins this season.
“She raced real hard this year and sored up, so we stopped with her a few months ago and turned her out for a while,” said Fugere. “When we brought her back she still wasn’t herself and Bob said we won’t race her if she is not right. So we sent her to Blue Chip Farms to be bred to Roll With Joe.”
In mid-summer, Fugere, on Lounsbury’s recommendation, purchased another pacer for $4,000 by the name of Hickory Louie who was racing at Pocono Downs without much success. But once in Lounsbry’s barn the pacer's fortunes have turned.
“He just won for the 12th time since the summer and with her two $4,000 horses (Tracys Song was also a $4,000 purchase) they earned her over $80,000 this year alone,” Lounsbury said proudly.
Lounsbury is also compassionate. Last year local trainer Julie Wurking was down on her luck and didn’t know where to turn so Lounsbury gave her a horse he owned by the name of Edie’s Desire. That mare was a 19-time winner in 2011 and a seven-time winner in 2012. Still, Lounsbury felt the pain and hardship that Wurking was enduring and out and out gave Edie's Desire to Julie.
And nobody felt better than Lounsbury when Edie's Desire won nine times this year and earned more than $24,000 in purses for Julie Wurking and her husband Tony.
“Some people say I’m crazy, and they may be right, but what’s wrong with helping someone when they're down on their luck,” he said.