Larry Bates was elected to the FHBPA Board in 2012. He currently serves on the Backstretch Committee.
At an early age, Bates started riding steeplechase horses. His family was involved in the horse business. In 1963, he rode and won races for trainer George Handy. Bates went on to become a trainer, establishing a stable in South Florida in 1983. The best horse he trained was Black Diamond Cat who he purchased for $7,500. Black Diamond Cat went on to win multiples stakes races with $500,000 in career earnings. Black Diamond Cat was owned by James Dodge, who recently passed away. His family told Bates they will continue racing in his honor.
Bates has trained several other multiple stakes winners including Cher Ami and Roses in the South who was purchased for $8,500. Bates currently has over 400 wins with earnings topping $8 million.
Bates was motivated to run for the FHBPA Board because of his belief that racetracks were drifting away from the needs of the backside. His main priorities include advancing purse structure and track safety. Bates is also an advocate for a backside children’s day care center. He would like to see this before he exits the business. Bates cites Anna House in New York as an example.
Bates grew up in Virginia and Massachusetts. He is in avid fisherman and is looking forward to fishing full-time when he retires. Bates lives in Hollywood, Fla.