Briland Farm’s $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) heroine Secret Oath is set to face males in the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes. The two-length winner of last Friday’s Oaks continued her training at Churchill Downs with her typical early-morning gallop under regular exercise rider Danielle Rosier.
“After the Oaks, we researched who was going and discussed it thoroughly to try and get a feel of the race,” Hall of fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. “We checked her after the Oaks and found she was full of life and enjoyed going back to the track. One of the deciding factors was after the Preakness she’ll have an eight-week break and wait for the (July 23, $500,000) Coaching Club American Oaks (G1). It will be important to get that break after the Preakness and then she’ll get another month off before the (Aug. 20, $600,000) Alabama (G1).”
There have been six fillies to win the Preakness, most recently Swiss Skydiver in 2020. The others were Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906) and Flocarline (1903).
“If she puts the Preakness on her résumé, it will take her to another level,” Lukas said. “She’ll be thought of as one of the really good ones.”
Secret Oath is expected to join several other local horses for next Saturday’s Preakness at Pimlico, including Derby Day allowance winner Creative Minister, Derby runner-up Epicenter and Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Rattle N Roll.
Owner Rick Dawson reported Thursday that Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike would bypass the Preakness in favor of the June 11, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1). Rich Strike’s trainer, Eric Reed, will discuss that decision plus relive the victory in last Saturday’s Run for the Roses on “Inside Churchill Downs” Friday at 6 p.m. The one-hour radio show will air on ESPN 680/105.7 and on www.espnlouisville.com.