12/23/2001 12:00AM

Lake trains 400th winner of year

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Scott Lake became only the second trainer in racing history to win 400 races in one season when Skipjack Cove won the first race at Philadelphia Park on Sunday afternoon.

Following the race, Lake said, "It's the culmination of a lot of hard work. I was also happy to be able to share it with those closest to me."

Three of Lake's assistants - Steve Krebs, Tim Hooper, and Sam Righter - were present for the milestone win, along with his girlfriend, Jennifer Stisted, and his daughter Emily.

In addition to Lake's nation-leading 400 wins, he has won at a rate of 26 percent and has purse earnings in excess of $7.2 million. Nevertheless, Lake said he feels like he has some unfinished business. He intends to target the record 496 wins in one season set by Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg in 1976.

"Our goal at the beginning of the season was that 496," said Lake. "We'll retool and give it another shot next year."