D. Wayne Lukas

Stories I Hope To Be Writing in 2023

Another year is in the books, and it featured the usual combination of good news and bad news. Flightline (Tapit) wowed us, even if it was for just three races. The impossible victory by Rich Strike (Keen Ice) in the GI Kentucky Derby was an unforgettable moment. Then again, the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act went off the rails and the acrimony surrounding it turned even uglier. With more guilty pleas and sentencings during the year, we still haven't been able to fully escape the nightmare that is Servis-Navarro....

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“I'd Like to Keep Training Her,” D. Wayne Lukas on Night of the Stars-Bound Secret Oath

Forty years after his first GI Kentucky Oaks win, D. Wayne Lukas relished his fifth appearance in that winner's circle this year alongside a special filly named Secret Oath (Arrogate - Absinthe Minded, by Quiet American). "We've celebrated in that winner's circle a number of times already, but this one was a little bit better though, because when you're an old man you often wonder if you're going to get another one--one of those really special ones," explained Lukas. The Hall of Fame conditioner known as "The Coach" has a...

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Owner of Champions Willis Horton Dies

Willis Horton, an owner and breeder in Thoroughbred racing for decades whose Willis Horton Racing campaigned champions Will Take Charge (Unbridled's Song) and Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway), passed away Friday at the age of 82 after a bout with COVID-induced pneumonia. The news was first reported by Daily Racing Form. Originally from Zach, Ark., Horton grew up on a farm and competed in rodeos. His wife of 64 years, Glenda, had a similar upbringing, and the two owned quarter horses before branching out into the world of Thoroughbreds. Horton's...

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Hot Rod Charlie Denies Rich Strike in Lukas Classic

   The gutsy Hot Rod Charlie clawed his way back late to deny a late rally from GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike in the GII Lukas Classic S. Saturday beneath the Twin Spires. Favored at 6-5, the bay hustled up to press Art Collector (Bernardini) through opening splits of :23.55 and :47.94. Turning up the heat as three-quarters went in 1:11.77, the bay took control entering the far turn and had his nose in front at the top of the stretch. Rich Strike rallied up the outside and briefly...

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Book Review – Landaluce: The Story of Seattle Slew's First Champion

Trying to capture the essence of a bygone era champion can be a daunting task. The subtleties can be as elusive as the principal cast of characters--many of whom might no longer with us--who made up the stalwart's inner circle. However, author Mary Perdue has managed to capture not only the nuance of a great champion, Landaluce, but also the framework of an era long since past. A tremendous talent whose rising stardom was snuffed out much too early, Landaluce was surrounded by a team of individuals who would leave...

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Blockbuster Book 1 Concludes at Keeneland With Another 13 Million-Dollar Yearlings

by Jessica Martini, Christie DeBernardis & Christina Bossinakis The elite Book 1 section of the Keeneland September Sale, which began with a powerhouse session Monday, maintained its energy all the way through to the end of Tuesday's second session. After nine yearlings sold for $1 million or more Monday, a further 13 horses topped that mark during Tuesday's session, led by a $1.8-million son of Constitution. "Coming out of day one, I think that momentum was almost euphoric," said Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy. "Coming into day two,...

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$2.5-Million Quality Road Colt Leads Seven-Figure Bonanza at Keeneland September Opener

by Jessica Martini, Christie DeBernardis & Christina Bossinakis LEXINGTON, KY - The Keeneland September Yearling Sale, which began shortly after 1 p.m. Monday afternoon, jumped immediately into high gear and, by the time the dust had settled at the conclusion of a frenetic session of bidding, nine yearlings, led by a $2.5-million son of Quality Road, topped the seven-figure mark. During last year's first session, three horses sold for seven figures and the entire sale produced 15 horses to pass that mark. "It was a great day, from beginning to...

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Cape Canaveral Passes Away at 26

GSW Cape Canaveral (Mr. Prospector--Seaside Attraction, by Seattle Slew) passed away at age 26 at Highfield Stock Farm in Canada, where he stood for 14 years. He had been battling severe cellulitis and was humanely euthanized. He was pensioned last fall. Cape Canaveral has been one of the leading sires in Canada since 2008 with 20 crops of racing age, 541 foals, 429 starters, 21 black-type winners, 315 winners of 1,080 races and earnings of over $17.8 million. Out of GI Kentucky Oaks winner Seaside Attraction, Cape Canaveral raced for...

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Sun Sets on Record-Breaking Saratoga Season

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-With a five-word quip, New York Racing Association president and CEO Dave O'Rourke provided plenty of context about the record-setting 154th season of racing in Saratoga. "It didn't rain much, huh?" O'Rourke said. Indeed. Though the 40-day meet concluded Monday on cool, dark, sodden afternoon where jackets and umbrellas were needed, almost all of the programs at Saratoga Race Course were run on tracks listed as "fast" and "firm." When the final grass race of the closing day card was moved to the main track, it was just...

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Juvenile Fillies Take Centerstage at the Spa Sunday

A talented field of 10 juvenile fillies will throw down in Sunday's featured GI Spinaway S. at Saratoga. Kaling (Practical Joke) will exit from the rail following a 'TDN Rising Star' performance on debut for Todd Pletcher at the Spa July 24. Pletcher's former boss D. Wayne Lukas will be very well-represented as well via last out GIII Adirondack S. Aug. 7 heroine Naughty Gal (Into Mischief). The duo share a co-leading six Spinaway victories. "I enjoy it and I pull for him," Lukas said of facing the aforementioned fellow...

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Lukas 'Hopeful' On Final Weekend At The Spa

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Here we are on the final weekend of the Saratoga season and--no surprise--D. Wayne Lukas is ready to take swings in both of the historic Grade I races for 2-year-olds. The Hall of Fame trainer, who turned 87 Friday, will saddle Holy Cow Stable's Naughty Gal (Into Mischief) Sunday in the GI Spinaway S. The next afternoon, Lukas will send out BC Stable's Bourbon Bash (City of Light) and Western Ghent (American Pharoah) in the GI Hopeful, the final stake of the 154th season of Saratoga...

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Lukas to Train for MyRacehorse

Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas is the newest addition to the MyRacehorse cast of trainers, as he will condition a yearling colt by Arrogate out of well-bred stakes-placed runner and producer Smart Shopping (Smart Strike) for the micro-share syndication company. The colt was purchased for $300,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale as hip 79. "Adding a world-class name such as D. Wayne Lukas to MyRacehorse is an honor," MyRacehorse CEO Michael Behrens said. "Teaming up to provide our owners with the opportunity to say their horse is trained by...

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