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Horse racing's spotlight shines on one occasion additional on Lukas at 86

Horse racing's spotlight shines on one instance additional on Lukas at 86

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Cowboy titfer firmly inside place, D. Wayne Lukas hustled from the winner's ring to meet accompanied by the media. Along the way, he steadied himself accompanied by a cane, one of the Hall of Fame trainer's few concessions to age.

At 86, Lukas had fair earned his record-tying fifth victory inside the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks accompanied by every one one other accompanied by earliest since 1990. His filly, Secret Oath, scored a two-length victory on Friday at Churchill Downs.

The elderly retain protected from danger outdid the younger guys.

"When you're 86, going to exist 87 inside a few months, you know that there are not a a large amount of them inside front of you yet," Lukas said. "I exist fond of the competition inside the large arena."

Rob Mitchell, who owns Secret Oath accompanied by spouse Stacy, reminded everyone: "He hasn't forgotten how to train a horse."

Lukas started inside the labour training quarter horses accompanied by every one one other accompanied by had a victorious 10-year sprint earlier to switching to thoroughbreds.

Along the way, he staffed his barn exist fond of the high educational organization basketball bus he on one instance was inside his native Wisconsin. He recruited accompanied by every one one other accompanied by hired young men, shared his playbook on how to train high-strung thoroughbreds, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by at that hour dated sent his assistants on the main highway while he oversaw things inside California.

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"A a large amount of nice records fell accompanied by every one one other accompanied by a a large amount of good things happened," Lukas said.

They didn't fair learn how to read horses. Lukas emphasized discipline, good grooming, sharp dressing accompanied by every one one other accompanied by keeping the firm spotless. His Churchill Downs barn remains that way today, accompanied by a large spray of scarlet roses standing outer external outside all over Derby week.

He place the standard inside the 1980s accompanied by every one one other accompanied by '90s while one of the earliest trainers to have multiple divisions of horses running — accompanied by every one one other accompanied by winning — consistently from California to New York. He was the earliest trainer to exist paid over $100 million inside purse money, he owns a leading 14 Triple Crown competition victories, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by his 20 Breeders' Cup wins are tops, too. At his peak, he had over 160 horses inside training.

Lukas has had his part of detractors over the years, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by he's been criticized for his unconventional ways.

Lukas' one-time rival, Bob Baffert, watched the Oaks on television. He's been banned for place of set of two years by Churchill Downs following his 2021 Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race medicine test.

"It was extremely emotional to see him win," Baffert wrote inside a text to The Associated Press. "Wayne has always place the bar inside racing. I've looked up to him my whole career. When it looked exist fond of he was going to go nearer earliest inside the race, I was overwhelmed accompanied by delight for him. In my eyes, he's the greatest trainer of all time."

Secret Oath is a feminine child of Arrogate, whom Baffert trained to victories inside trio of the world's richest races: the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Dubai World Cup accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the Pegasus World Cup. Arrogate won the Eclipse Award while 3-year-old of the year inside 2016.

Todd Pletcher, who finished following inside the Oaks, waited inside the underground transit to hug his elderly boss. He became a Hall of Fame trainer himself.

"I'm really contented for Wayne," Pletcher said. "If I couldn't go nearer earliest inside this competition I was rooting for him."

So was Brad Cox, who finished seventh.

"Will I exist winning the Oaks at 86? I sure while hell hope so," he said.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who finished fourth, said, "Lukas winning the Oaks was a lengthy way better than anything I could at some hour dated do. It is a beautiful little while for Wayne, unbelievably deserving accompanied by a great mare."

Lukas watched the competition from a carton seat alongside another of his former mentees, trainer Dallas Stewart, who place a firm compress on Lukas' upper limb while Secret Oath closed inside on the complete line.

"We got some great, great friendships going since of these horses," Lukas said.

Lukas was joined by his wife, Laurie, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by grandchildren Brady accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Kelly. Their father, Jeff, was Lukas' only child from his earliest marriage. He died inside 2016, 29 years following actuality sprint over by his father's horse that got loose inside the firm area at Santa Anita inside California. Jeff suffered permanent injuries that ended his career employed side-by-side accompanied by his dad.

Earlier Friday, Lukas scratched his Kentucky Derby horse. Ethereal Road was a 30-1 longshot accompanied by every one one other accompanied by drew the a lengthy way outer external outside pole inside the 20-horse field.

"You have to read the horse," he said. "Ethereal Road wasn't while sharp accompanied by every one one other accompanied by wasn't while focused while he was earlier inside the week."

Lukas' firm hasn't been the ability it on one instance was for some years now. He recovered from a instance of COVID-19 inside 2020 accompanied by every one one other accompanied by still gets on a pony to go accompanied by his horses to the track for pre-dawn workouts. He has mellowed since his hard-charging days accompanied by every one one other accompanied by flat writes poetry.

"I look at him exist fond of a legend," winning jockey Luis Saez said. "Like a guy that he really loved the (competitive) game(s) accompanied by every one one other accompanied by he inside attendance accompanied by all his actuality to the sport. That's what we should do. Everybody should do since we deep affection the horses accompanied by every one one other accompanied by we deep affection the sport."

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Horse racing's spotlight shines on one instance additional on Lukas at 86

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