Lukas Saddling Secret Oath In Preakness – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) – D. Wayne Lukas sat atop his horse shortly after 6 a.m. and stared at the Oath of Secrets while she showered after her first trip to the track at the School racing Pimlico.

“All the time she was out there, she never let her ears down — they were always up,” he said. “She might be the most sane person I’ve ever had.”

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Lukas believes she could be one of the most beautiful people he’s ever had. That belief and her victory over the Kentucky Oaks in impressive style the day before the Derby inspired him to step into the Vow of Secrets in the Preakness Stakes, where she was able to give the coach an 86 age of the Hall of Fame won the seventh record-breaking match in the crown jewel of the Third Crown.

“She gives you a reason every day to feel good,” Lukas says from his familiar spot in the corner of the stock barn in Pimlico, where he stands trial every morning as the elder statesman. of horse racing. “It’s still best to stay in front of her.”

The best horse in the Derby went unchallenged, after Rich Strike’s owner decided not to let it run in the Preakness following an 80-1 loss to Churchill Downs. To become the seventh person to win Preakness, Secret Oath will have to beat favorite Epicenter and Derby runner-up, which would put her in the group of the likes of 2009 champion Rachel Alexandra and Swiss Skydiver, who have already won beat Authentic in this race in 2020.

Lukas knows all about great mares, having trained 15 horses that won the Eclipse Award for the best mare of the year. The 1988 color victory became one of three fillings to win the Kentucky Derby, and the Oath of Secrets two weeks ago gave him his fifth win at the Gaur.

She may have run in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday, but Lukas is ready to roll the dice to make Secret Oath better than the ponies this time after finishing third in the Arkansas Derby in April.

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“She will catch them. Whether or not she’s run by them, we’ll find out,” said Lukas, who said the Secret Oath’s turn is her biggest asset. “She has that acceleration. She runs with them. And when they asked her to move, she was hit with a terrifying kick. She broke their hearts.”

Two-time Triple Crown trainer and good friend Bob Baffert told Lukas that the Secret Oath reminded him of Arrogate, whom he considers the best horse of his career. Secret Oath is the daughter of Arrogate and glides more like him than the glittering star Lukas of decades ago.

“She has a lot of work to do, but she has the opportunity to be as good as any of them,” Lukas said. “I don’t think that’s out of the question. We’re talking about one thing, she crosses the ground better than any of them I’ve ever had. Her effectiveness: boy, she’s a good motivator. ”

Secret Oath seems to be for Pimlico as well as her coach, who considers himself lucky to have had so much success at the Preakness pass track. Natural talent may help her add to Lukas’ list of accolades, but his training greatly influenced her evolution.

“He’s a magician,” said retired equestrian Donna Brothers, now an analyst with NBC Sports. “He’s been doing it for years and he can continue to produce results like that.”

He’s had those results since 1980 when he won his first Preakness with the Codex. After the Codex beat the Kentucky Derby, the winner of that race, Lukas didn’t see much poetic value in having an oath in the Secret, who could finish the job 42 years later.

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“Filly, colt, government mule – I don’t care,” he said. “I’m here to get that.” Lukas Saddling Secret Oath In Preakness – CBS Baltimore

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