Lukas takes over training of Last Samurai, Will's Secret

Lukas takes over training of Last Samurai, Will's Secret
Photo: Courtesy of Oaklawn Park

Graded-stakes winners Last Samurai and Will's Secret have been transferred to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas from Dallas Stewart and are expected to start Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Willis Horton, owner of both horses, confirmed the move, reported earlier by The Sentinel-Record of Hot Springs, Ark. "We got in a little bit of conflict with Dallas," Horton told Horse Racing Nation. "So we made the change."

Horton declined to elaborate about the conflict. Stewart declined to comment, and Lukas could not be reached for comment.

Horton said Lukas trains "about nine or 10" of his 18 horses, and he also has some with Steve Asmussen.

Last Samurai, a 4-year-old son of Malibu Moon, is a probable for the Stephen Foster (G2) after winning the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) by four lengths last out. His competition is expected to include Mandaloun in his first start since finishing ninth in the Saudi Cup (G1). Before that, he had four straight wins, including his promotion to winner of last year’s Kentucky Derby. Also expected is Olympiad, who is 4-for-4 this year, with three of those wins in graded stakes.

Will's Secret, a 4-year-old daughter of Will Take Charge, is a probable for the Fleur de Lis (G2). She came off an 8 1/2-month layoff to finish fifth in a Churchill Downs allowance on June 12. Her last win came in the 2021 Honeybee (G3). On Saturday, she is likely to face Paulines's Pearl and Shedaresthedevil, who finished 1-2 in the La Troienne (G1).

Horton and Lukas notably campaigned Will Take Charge in 2013 to a pair of Grade 1 victories in the Travers and the Clark Handicap.

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