Secret Oath Could Try Preakness After Oaks

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Secret Oath | Coady

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas indicated Secret Oath (Arrogate) may take another shot against the boys in the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico May 21 following tilt at the May 6 GI Kentucky Oaks. Secret Oath finished third in the GI Arkansas Derby in her first start against males.

“We had no intention of running in the [GI Kentucky] Derby; running a mile and a quarter, in a 20-horse field,” Lukas said. “Whether you could make a case or not that she's one of the better 3-year-olds in the country–which you can–we had no intention of that.”

He continued, “We were running in the Arkansas Derby because the race was [worth] $1.25 million. That in itself was the incentive. If she had won the Arkansas Derby, we wouldn't have run in the Kentucky Derby. We were pretty adamant that we were going to run in the [Kentucky] Oaks and have the best filly in the country.”

The second jewel in the American Triple Crown is contested over 9 1/2 furlongs.

“That's what the nomination was for,” Lukas said. “That's what we thought: If we have a big Oaks, now we cut back in distance. We go to a 14-horse field versus 20. We go on a different surface, tight turns, where speed would be good. It changes the whole game when you go to the Preakness.”

Lukas has won the Preakness on six occasions, most recently with Calumet Farm's Oxbow in 2013. The Preakness also gave Lukas his first Triple Crown victory, that coming with Codex in 1980.

“I have good luck at the Preakness,” said Lukas, who also has won the Derby and GI Belmont S. four times apiece. “I always have had.”

Secret Oath, by champion Arrogate, won the Martha Washington S. and GIII Honeybee S. this winter at Oaklawn earlier this season. She ranks with 80 points for the May 6 Oaks.

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