High hopes abound in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas
for Optimizer, a debut winner on
Saturday who took a 1 1/16-mile grass race by a neck in 1:42.67 under jockey
The bay colt is by freshman sire English Channel, the Champion Turf Male
of 2007, who won his debut on the exact same course, distance and day –
August 6, 2004 – in 1:42.42. It was the first debut winner on the grass
for Lukas in more than five years.
Optimizer will now be pointed toward the Grade 2, $150,000 With
Anticipation for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the grass on September 1,
according to Lukas assistant Will VanMeter. If all goes well, the colt will
then head to the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland and then the G2 Breeders’
Cup Juvenile Turf.
says, treat them all like champions, and let them disappoint you,”