Secret Oath

The Hearts and Minds Behind Secret Oath

By this stage, they've probably had enough of being asked about that $1 mare. But the remarkable thing is that the first Thoroughbred ever acquired by Robert and Stacy Mitchell still cost more (cover fees aside) than all the others that have stocked Briland Farm, on and off the racetrack, since 2001. That was the year, having begun an inadvertent breeding career with a mare discarded by a friend of a friend, they decided to see what they could do with one that cost as much as $36,000. Her name...

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'A Great Crowd Pleaser' as Hall of Famers Clash in CCA Oaks

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Though the GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday is short on depth, it is long on star power with Secret Oath (Arrogate) and D. Wayne Lukas taking on Nest (Curlin) and his long-ago former assistant Todd Pletcher. The rematch of the most accomplished 3-year-old fillies in the land puts two Hall of Fame trainers, very friendly rivals indeed, back together on the big stage of Saratoga Race Course. Seventy-nine days after Secret Oath beat favored Nest by two lengths in the GI Kentucky Oaks, the stars...

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'Rising Stars' Rendezvous at the Jersey Shore

The 'second season' for this year's crop of 3-year-olds--both boys and girls--gets underway in earnest with the running of the $1-million GI TVG.com Haskell S. at Monmouth Park for the males and the GI CCA Oaks about 2 1/2 hours earlier at Saratoga. And intriguing matchups between the top two morning-line choices loom in each of the nine-furlong tests. Zedan Racing Stable's 'TDN Rising Star' Taiba (Gun Runner) was made the narrow 7-5 Haskell favorite by oddsmaker Brad Thomas and was utterly brilliant in his first two career starts, winning...

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Some Old, Some New As Saratoga Opens For Summer 2022

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - D. Wayne Lukas is back and so is the Wilson Chute, after a much, much longer absence, for the 154th summer of Thoroughbred racing in Saratoga. The 40-day season at historic Saratoga Race Course launches Thursday and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 5. It will be the 77th consecutive year of competition at Saratoga--since the closing for three years during World War II--which coincidentally makes it the second half of the very long run since the first meet was held in 1863. During the eight-plus weeks...

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D. Wayne and Laurie Lukas Join 'Let's Talk'

    The TDN's 'Let's Talk'--a podcast series featuring TDN's Christina Bossinakis and TVG's on-air analyst Gabby Gaudet, offers candid discussion on personal and professional issues often faced within the racing community.    The latest edition features Hall of Fame horseman D. Wayne Lukas, who collected his latest Grade I victory with Secret Oath in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks. Wayne Lukas is no stranger to success. Inducted into racing's Hall of Fame in 1999, the Antigo, Wisconsin native has spent over four decades reshaping and even defining the sport of...

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D. Wayne and Laurie Lukas Join 'Let's Talk'

The latest edition of "Let's Talk' features hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who is also joined by his wife, Laurie. Racing's power couple catch up with Christina and Gabby to talk about life, family, relationships and horses, including his latest star, GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Secret Oath.

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Taking Stock: Gun Runner in Heady Company

Two weeks ago, when I wrote the column "First Crops Yield Derby and Oaks Winners," I'd expected to write about Taiba (Gun Runner) and Secret Oath (Arrogate), the two I'd liked the most in the Gl Kentucky Derby and Gl Kentucky Oaks, respectively. I'd spoken mainly about those two on Steve Byk's popular SiriusXM program "At the Races," and my feeling was that Gun Runner in particular was on a trajectory to get a first-crop Classic winner. His start at stud had been exceptional with his first juveniles, and the...

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The Week in Review: Is the 'Fresh Horse' Angle Getting Stale?

For the second year in a row, the GI Preakness S. was won by a fresh horse who didn't run in the GI Kentucky Derby. Since both of Saturday's top two Preakness finishers--Early Voting (Gun Runner) and Epicenter (Not This Time)--were publicly declared out of the GI Belmont S. even before the last of the crab cakes cooled at Pimlico, it will be up to another relatively rested horse to step up and snag the third jewel of the Triple Crown. That's not an unfamiliar scenario, and recent history tells...

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Early Voting in Good Condition After Preakness Score, Will Skip Belmont

Saturday's GI Preakness S. winner Early Voting (Gun Runner) was back in his stall at Belmont Park by mid-morning Sunday, some 15 hours after scoring a 1 1/4-length victory over favored Epicenter (Not This Time) in Saturday's Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Trainer Chad Brown traveled from Baltimore to New York overnight and was at Belmont Sunday to oversee what is typically a busy morning of timed workouts for horses in his stable. During a brief break, Brown said that Early Voting, owned by Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables, came...

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Early Voting Gives Gun Runner First Classic Winner in Preakness

The story is a familiar one. Seth Klarman, Chad Brown and Jose Ortiz teaming up for a win with a lightly-raced colt in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. In 2017, the duo entered the Classic with a fresh horse, and played the spoiler when Cloud Computing (Maclean's Music) upended Classic Empire to take the GI Preakness S. Fast forward to 2022, history repeated itself with the same connections snagging Pimlico's marquee race with Early Voting (Gun Runner). The colt's victory also provided a well-deserved birthday gift for his...

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Preakness Full Circle Moments

BALTIMORE, MD--Every year, a new batch of sophomores converges upon Pimlico Race Course. And while the names of the contenders is ever changing, the people behind them are remain fairly consistent. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas casts a very long shadow in the second jewel in the Triple Crown, having won it on six prior occasions. From his first Preakness victory with Codex in 1980, Lukas has gone on to add wins with Tank's Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995), Charismatic (1999) and Oxbow (2013). One...

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This Side Up: The Tough Get Going

I'm pinning my faith in Happy Jack. Not to win, obviously, even after a Derby so outlandish that it still confounds the handicapper's genius for rationalizing the most unaccountable events with the invincible benefit of hindsight.

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