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Larry Karr set to watch Larry Karr in Adios

July 19, 2018
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When Larry Karr met Larry Karr, the earth moved. Reunited now after several years apart, the pair will try to recapture the magic when Larry Karr, the human, sends Larry Karr, the 3-year-old colt he co-owns, after Adios orchids.

The 52nd edition of the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids kicks off Saturday at The Meadows with a pair of eliminations that go as races 12 and 13. The first four finishers in each elimination, plus the fifth-place finisher with higher career earnings, return for the July 28 final. Larry Karr leaves from post 2 in race 13 with Yannick Gingras at the helm.

The eliminations card also includes a pair of stakes for freshman pacing colts as well as a number of "big score" wagering opportunities: a $7,500-guaranteed Pick 4 (races 4-7), a $5,000-guaranteed Pick 5 (races 11-15) and a $2,748.90 jackpot in the Super High 5 (race 15). First post for the eliminations card is 1:05 PM.

A New Jersey resident, Karr is well known in the business world as the associate general counsel for the North American operations of Ingredion Incorporated, a manufacturer of food ingredients. But he’s just as prominent in harness racing, particularly as a partner in many horses trained by Ron Burke. Karr’s father owned Standardbreds and took young Larry with him when he raced at Monticello, the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Roosevelt.

"I sometimes say that my legal job gets in the way of my horse racing activities," Karr jokes.

In 2015, Karr was reviewing weanlings at Diamond Creek Farm’s annual open house when Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek called one of the youngsters to his attention.

"He mentioned that the dam of this colt was Emily Car, same last name as mine but spelled differently. He was a good-looking colt. About eight months later, Adam asked me if he could name the colt Larry Karr. I was happy to consent."

Karr and his partners tried to buy Larry Karr at his subsequent yearling auction and set a ceiling of $30,000. When another bidder hammered him down for $35,000, that seemed to be that. But storybook romances don’t end that way.

"He showed ability at 2 but got sick later in the year," Karr says. "We heard he was available and began pursuing him on and off about a month ago. His prior owners are very decent folks. I’m not sure if our interest in this horse is due to his performance or to his connection with me. I hope it’s a little bit of both."

That’s how C. Kevin Thomas and the estate of James Thompson sold Larry Karr to Larry Karr and his partners — Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and Frank Baldachino.

As Adios contenders go, the credentials of the equine Larry Karr are a little light. The A Rocknroll Dance gelding has banked just less than $20,000 in his career, and although he’s entering the Adios off three straight wins at Hoosier Park, those victories have been in overnights rather than stakes.

"It’s undoubtedly a major step up," Karr says, "but he’s pretty well staked. If we can get him to step up even a little bit, he’ll be well worth what we paid for him."

Karr may not know exactly what to expect of his namesake come Saturday, but he considers one outcome unacceptable.

"We’ve been joking that if the horse doesn’t do well, my co-owners will say, ‘Larry Karr stinks.’ I never want to hear that." (The Meadows)

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