Saratoga Time Machine – Lightning Strikes in 1985

July 09, 2013 05:15pm
Saratoga Time Machine
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 Diego Chargers.
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 MagicSovereign 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. 


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Older Comments about Saratoga Time Machine – Lightning Strikes in 1985... FORM's top ten
how many did Lukas train at 4, that he did not inherit (like Azeri, Steinlen or Criminal Type)???
Before the `breakdown KING`assumed his rightful throne with mountains of evidence
Howard, In Lady's Secret's last race on the slop in 1987, she bolted at the beginning of the race and did not finish.
Bobby Frankel won with a Ca. shipper.
I remember Ladys Secret being eased at Saratoga in a 4 or 5 horse race.
The 1985 Travers was my first trip to Saratoga, I took the bus up from New York City, arriving on Friday afternoon. Not knowing much about Saratoga I didn't realize that 1) the motels doubled the price for a room during the meet and 2) there are no rooms available Travers Weekend anyway. So I ended up sleeping in the park. The Travers was a great race and I have been going back every year since, but have learned that you need to plan ahead. Every racing fan should make a trip to Saratoga.
Me, too, Brian, Lady's Secret was a big favorite of mine.
I didn't notice that Baze rode Lady's Secret, all three times she appeared in the Bay area: twice at BM and once at GG. It is amazing that she ran 45 times.
always associate Russel with Lost in the Fog
Wow...looking back through Lady's Secret's records, Russell Baze won riding her in 1985. That just crazy to think he's been winning races on legends as long as I have been alive. 12k and counting...
This was a little before my time, but the success Klein/Lukas team had was no doubt legendary.
I was lucky enough to be at the 1985 Test. Lady's Secret looked so good in the paddock, I bet her and loved her ever after.

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Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Recently, Matt helped launch Derby Day Racing, a new 2-year-old racing partnership, that just purchased a promising Lookin At Lucky filly named Sooner Schooner.

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