When the favorite Super
Ninety Nine finished fifth in Saturday’s Rebel Stakes and Will Take Charge and Oxbow finished first and second, the
attention shifted to Super Seventy Seven. That, of course, is Hall of Fame
trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who is
seventy-seven years old.
When Will Take Charge won the Rebel he picked up 50 Derby points to add
to the 10 that he had already earned with his Smarty Jones stakes victory. Those 60 points put the Unbridled’s
Song colt on top of the Road to the Derby standings and guarantee him a spot in the Derby field. If he stays
healthy he would become Lukas’ 43rd starter in the Run for the Roses.
If that isn’t enough, Oxbow's second place finish gave that
Lukas runner another 20 points for a total of 36, which is currently sixth
place in the standings. Oxbow has already shown an affinity to the Churchill
Downs as that is where he convincingly broke his maiden as a two-year-old. He
is a possible starter in the Arkansas Derby.
After the Rebel both Will
Take Charge and Oxbow moved to spots nine and ten in the latest NTRA Three-Year-Old Poll. Yet Lukas has
two more shots at the Derby field with Channel Isle and Titletown Five.
Channel Isle will run in the Spiral on
March 25. Look for him to make one big closing run to try and earn his Derby
points. Jon Court, who won the Rebel for Lukas, will try and repeat that
performance at Turfway.
Titletown Five was expected to start in the Sunland Derby the following day, but his plans just changed. He is now
being pointed to the March 30 Louisiana Derby, where the winner gets 100 Derby
points. Titletown Five is owned by Paul Hornung, number five from the legendary
Green Bay Packers of the 1960’s.
Just in case some of us may have forgotten all that D. Wayne Lukas has accomplished in his career, here are some of the highlights.
•Lukas has trained 24 Eclipse Award winners from Althea and Azeri to Winning Colors (Believe it or not, before that he trained 23 world champion quarter horses.)
•Lukas has trained the Horse of the Year three times: Lady’s Secret 1986, Criminal Type 1990, and Charismatic 1999.
•Lukas has won 13 Triple
Crown races: Kentucky Derby (4), Preakness (5), and Belmont Stakes (4).
•Lukas won six straight
Triple Crown races from the 1994 Preakness to the 1996 Kentucky Derby with
Tabasco Cat, Tabasco Cat, Thunder Gulch, Timber Country, Thunder Gulch, and
•Lukas won the Triple
Crown in 1995, but it was with two different horses.
•Lukas is in the Hall of
Fame for both thoroughbreds in 1999 and quarterhorses 2007.
•Lukas has won over $262
Million in purses and 4,670 races.
•Lukas has won 19
Breeders’ Cup races.
The 2013 Kentucky Derby
could be a throwback edition, like in the heyday of D. Wayne Lukas in the
1980’s and 1990’s, when multiple entries by the “Coach” were common in all of
the big races.