06/03/2011 5:18PM

Lisa's Booby Trap, feel-good story of 2010, looks ahead after successful comeback


Lisa's Booby Trap wins her comeback race Tuesday at Finger Lakes.

One of racing’s most heartwarming stories of 2010 is on track to continue through 2011 after the filly Lisa's Booby Trap won her first start of the year at Finger Lakes on Tuesday.

Owned and trained by Tim Snyder, Lisa’s Booby Trap is named in tribute to his wife Lisa, who died of ovarian cancer in 2003. The latter part of the name is an homage to a gentleman’s club that Snyder used to frequent in south Florida.

Expectations for the young career of Lisa’s Booby Trap quickly soared in 2010, after the 3-year-old filly won her first four races by a combined margin of nearly 43 lengths. The hype died off, however, beginning with a disappointing turf debut at Saratoga in which she finished last. After following that up by placing third out of five in a no-conditions allowance in her final race of 2010, it was unclear what the future held for Lisa's Booby Trap.

But, last year’s feel-good story kicked off her 2011 racing season the same way she did in 2010, galloping to victory at Finger Lakes in a six-furlong dash. In her 4-year-old debut on Tuesday, she was ridden by Daniel Morales for the first time and triumphed over four other horses, finding comfort at the track where she won her first three career races. She stalked the pace and challenged down the stretch, finally pulling away for a five-length victory in 1:10.28. She earned an 83 Beyer Speed Figure for Tuesday's optional claiming win – not up to par with the 94 she earned winning the Loudonville last summer at Saratoga, but much improved from her figures in the 50s and 60s in her last two starts of 2010. According to Finger Lakes officials, her next target is another optional claiming race there on June 11.

Lisa's Booby Trap's initial success had thrust Snyder into the spotlight just two years after he was horseless and nearly penniless. When he purchased Lisa’s Booby Trap with his last $2,000 – a risky investment in a filly blind in one eye and dealing with a club foot and bad shoulder – he was forced to list Finger Lakes trainer and friend John Tebbut as the official trainer because he could not afford an official trainer's license or insurance. Yet, even though Snyder has now found success with the horse named for his wife, he remains wedded to his humble story, refusing to sell her despite receiving purchase offers for $500,000.

Four out of five of Lisa’s Booby Trap’s career wins have come at Finger Lakes. Her success last year earned her the honor of being named the top 3-year-old filly at Finger Lakes in 2010.