Larry Karr hopes the "sweet” is back in Sweet Lou. Karr, who is among the owners of the 5-year-old male pacer, has watched Sweet Lou win back-to-back starts for the first time since June 2012, a span of 44 races.
Sweet Lou heads to Sunday's $160,000 Roll With Joe for older male pacers off consecutive victories in the TVG Free For All Series at the Meadowlands, with his most recent triumph coming from post 10 in 1:48 over a track labeled "good” on May 24.
For his career, Sweet Lou has won 24 of 60 races and earned $2.18 million for owners Karr, Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Phil Collura. Sweet Lou, trained by Ron Burke, was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer and still holds the world record of 1:49 for fastest mile ever by a 2-year-old pacer.
Sweet Lou and stablemate Clear Vision, who won the 2012 Roll With Joe (known then as the Bettor's Delight), will race as an entry and were made the 6-5 morning line favorite in this year's event. Sweet Lou starts from post two with driver Ron Pierce.
"He's looking as good as ever,” Karr said. "I know it's a long year, and there are a lot of very tough horses out there, but he looks the part. It looks like he's put it all together. It's not going to be easy, you have all these good horses coming out of the woodwork, but as long as Lou is healthy I'll put him against anyone.”
Sweet Lou's season started with a second-place finish by a nose to Bettor's Edge in the Levy Series at Yonkers, but after a sixth-place finish in the series the following week, March 29, the horse was given time off.
He returned on May 3 with a solid third-place effort in the Van Rose Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs before winning the first two rounds of the TVG Free For All Series.
"Early on, when we tried him in the Levy, I didn't have a lot of optimism,” Karr said. "Ron decided Yonkers wasn't going to be his forte and freshened him up and got him ready for the Meadowlands. During that time, he really matured and filled out. He looks fantastic now. He looks strong.”
Karr, a corporate lawyer from New Jersey, has enjoyed success with a number of horses over the years--he was among the owners of 2007 Jugette winner Western Graduate as well as several sire stakes champions--but nothing compares to Sweet Lou.
"No horse I've had ranks up there with Lou,” Karr said. "None has the kind of aura he possesses. Whenever he races, I'll always plan my night around it. Horses like him are why I'm in the business. It's exciting to feel you have a horse that's at the top of his class.
"Hopefully now he'll get on a roll and validate the belief we've always had in him.”
Karr knows any successes go beyond the horse, the trainer and driver. It extends to the grooms who take care of the horses on a daily basis.
"These people put everything they've got into these horses,” Karr said. "I'm extremely grateful to them.” (HRC)