The Saratoga Time Machine
left the year 1972, which was noted
for the emergence of 70’s star power and the royal families of racing, and headed
to the year 1985. The traditional red and white decor at the Spa had to share
the limelight with yellow and blue lightning bolts and cowboy hats. The 1985 Saratoga stakes races were dominated
by D. Wayne Lukas and Eugene Klein, the owner of the San
In the Klein era, Lukas
would win three consecutive Eclipse Awards beginning in 1985. Through 2012,
Lukas is third in the all-time Saratoga training stats with earnings of $16,722,912
from 1,468 starts, which produced a record of 235-202-185.
In 1985, as a three
year-old filly, Lady's Secret was
the leader of the Klein/Lukas stable in Saratoga. At the Spa she battled with
the Triple Tiara winner, Mom's Command.
This was a battle between what turned out to be the 1986 Horse of the Year and
the 1985 Champion Three Year-Old Filly.
Lady’s Secret would win their
clash in the Test. Mom’s Command was coming off the sweep of the Triple Tiara.
In 1985 all three of the races: the Acorn, the Mother Goose, and the Coaching
Club American Oaks, were run at Belmont Park, before the Saratoga meeting. As a
result, Lady’s Secret won the Test at amazing odds of 10-1.
Mom’s Command came back
and found the Saratoga winner’s circle in the Alabama. She was bred and
owned by controversial owner Peter Fuller and was ridden by his daughter Abigail Fuller.
Until Mom’s Command came
along and became the sixth filly to win the Triple Tiara, Fuller was known as
the owner of 1968 Kentucky Derby winner, Dancer's Image. Dancer’s Image was disqualified and placed last when traces of
phenylbutazone were found in the post race testing. Fuller and Dancer’s Image
dominated the sports headlines.
Earlier in 1968 Fuller donated
one of the horse’s win purses to the widow Coretta Scott King after the
assassination of her husband. In the State of Kentucky and a country that was
filled with civil rights activity, this would become part of the Dancer’s Image
controversy that would follow Peter Fuller for the rest of his life.
In addition to the Test,
Lady’s Secret won the Ballerina. Klein
and Lukas would also combine to win: the Shuvee with Life's Magic, Sovereign Don would
take the Sanford and the Saratoga
Special, the Spinaway with Family Style,
and Nervous Baba took the
Adirondack. With a different owner, Lukas won the King’s Bishop with Pancho Villa, a son of Secretariat.
In 1985, the Travers was
won by the regally bred Chief's Crown,
whose dam was Six Crowns. Six Crowns was sired by Secretariat and was out of Chris
Evert, herself the third winner of the Triple Tiara.
Woody Stephens would win
his third Jim Dandy with Stephan's Odyssey. The Whitney went to Track Barron for trainer Leroy Jolley and owner Peter Brandt.
Klein would win the
Eclipse Award as leading owner for the three years: 1985, 1986, and 1987. In
just seven years as a thoroughbred owner Klein won seven Breeders’ Cup races
and campaigned six champions. As
his health began to fail in 1989, Klein retired from racing and sold all of his
horses. Klein passed away in 1990. It turned out that the lightning bolt on the
back of his silks perfectly represented his short, powerful, and flashy career
as a thoroughbred owner.