By Mike Kane
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – In an atypical move, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said that GIII Saratoga Special S. runner-up Market Street (Street Sense) will likely make his next start on grass in the Aug. 31 GIII With Anticipation S.
Lukas, 87, built his exceptional career with dirt horses and most years saddles far fewer horses on the grass. So far in 2023, just six of his 193 starters (3%) have run on turf. Since the beginning of 2019, 11.9% of his starters have been on turf. His most recent graded stakes winner on turf was Skyring (English Channel) in the 2014 GII Mervin Muniz Jr. H.
In the last four-and-a-half seasons, Lukas has had 38 2-year-old starters on turf from a total of 301 runners (12.6%) and has a record of 0-1-4.
Conditions permitting, Lukas's first 2-year-old runner on the grass this year could be Seize the Grey (Arrogate) Friday in the Skidmore S. With a rain forecast of 90% Thursday night and 100% Friday, there is a good chance that the New York Racing Association will move the turf races to the dirt.
Lukas has targeted the 1 1/16 miles With Anticipation for Market Street because he is planning to run Just Steel (Justify) in the GI Hopeful Sept. 4. Just Steel finished second by three lengths to 'TDN Rising Star' Pirate (Omaha Beach) on July 15 and broke his maiden by a nose on Aug. 5.
Market Street set the early pace in the 6 1/2-furlong Saratoga Special, but Rhyme Schemes (Ghostzapper) unleashed an impressive run in the stretch and matched his Ellis Park maiden score with a 9 1/2-length victory. Lukas said he was pleased with Market Street's run in the Special–“I thought it was good enough,” he said–even though he was a distant second to a spectacular performance.
“That's what happens up here,” he said. “You run a real good race and all of a sudden you look up and there's one that is really good. You have to deal with them.”
Lukas said Market Street will not train on the turf before the With Anticipation, but with his running style should be able to handle the surface change.
“We're not smart enough to have a crystal ball to tell whether they like it or not,” he said. “That's always a conversation among trainers. I always say, 'I don't think anybody knows till they try it.' I've really got a couple other horses backed up, so it's kind of a nice fit for him to drop in there.”
Lukas noted that in this wet summer at Saratoga Race Course the With Anticipation might end up on the dirt.
Through Wednesday's racing, Lukas has a record at Saratoga of 2-9-0 from 25 starters. Both of his wins and five of his seconds have come from 13 starts with 2-year-olds. He said he has five maidens in his barn.
“Our 2-year-olds should all come around a second time now pretty strong,” Lukas said.