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Lukas Remembers Winning Colors

Wayne Lukas and Oxbow.
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
On the first Saturday in May of 1988, Winning Colors became the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby and gave Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his first win in the Run for the Roses. On Monday, Churchill Downs will honor the Hall of Fame filly with the $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII) at six furlongs on the main track.
“That’s probably the most confident I’ve ever been about winning one of those,” Lukas said. “She was so exceptional. When she beat the boys so easily in the Santa Anita Derby, we felt she could be the best 3-year-old in the country, regardless of sex. We felt we were in a really good position and it turned out just right.”
Lukas remembers Winning Colors for her talent, size and speed. “She had that tactical speed and strength and she actually was bigger than any colt in the race,” Lukas said.
Winning Colors, who died in Feb. 2008 at the age of 23, gave Lukas his first of four Kentucky Derby victories. “It was good to get that first one and get it out of the way,” Lukas said. “It was a great and fun day for everybody and for (owner) Gene Klein, who was so supportive of our program. It was a good one.”


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