Lukas: Don't Forget About Dublin

In September, if you were to poll writers and horsemen on who they thought the best 2-year-old Kentucky Derby prospect was, there is a good chance Dublin would have been at the top of the list. A couple of sound defeats and four months later, the son of Afleet Alex seems to have fallen off the radars of many of those same people.

According to trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a four-time Kentucky Derby winner, forgetting about Dublin would be a big mistake.

"If he's fallen off the radar, well, that's fine with me. He's going to take up the whole screen this spring," Lukas said confidently on Jan. 29.

Dublin, a $525,000 yearling that Lukas picked out for Robert Baker and William Mack at Keeneland, burst onto the scene when rolling to a convincing two-length win in the grade I Three Chimneys Hopeful at Saratoga on Sept. 7. But a fifth-place finish as the odds-on favorite in the Oct. 1 Champagne (gr. I) at Belmont and an even worse seventh-place effort in the Nov. 1 Iroquois (gr. III) at Churchill Downs followed. That's when many started forgetting about Dublin.

But Lukas found out what the problem was: An entrapped epiglottis that severely affected the colt's breathing. Dublin was sent to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington to have surgery to correct the problem.

"The vet who operated on him, Rolf Embertson, told me it was one of his better jobs with this kind of surgery. I told him he picked the right horse to do it on," Lukas laughed.

"We didn't realize until the last race how much it was compromising his breathing. There is no way to tell until you stress the horse. It's something that deteriorates over time and you can't do much about it early on. Once we realized he wasn't getting enough air, we knew we had to have surgery."

Since the surgery, Lukas said Dublin is not only back to normal, but he is even better than he was when winning the Hopeful.

"He's 100% now," Lukas said. "He's a whole different horse now. He was probably only getting 60 or 70% of his air before. Both riders (in the Champagne and Iroquois) came off and said he wasn't getting enough air. The surgery made a huge difference for him and he's better than ever.

"His works have indicated how much better he is now too. We have a deep track (at Oaklawn Park); it's been embarrassingly slow in races. In stakes, they are averaging 13 and change. Dublin worked (five furlongs in) a minute and two-fifths, which is much better."

In Dublin's last work on Jan. 26, he was clocked in a solid :48.40 for four furlongs.

Lukas, 74, who last won the Derby in 1999 with Charismatic, has said since last summer that Dublin is his best chance at winning another Classic in many years. He said the colt has a rare combination of size and agility.

"He's about 16-3 and change (hands), which he was last winter, but he's put on some weight. He's probably about 1,300 pounds now. He's a man. When people see him on the track they are like, ‘Who the hell is that'. He's really strong in the hip, too.

"But for being such a big horse he is very agile. He was one of the most balanced yearlings I ever bought and that has helped immensely. He's very athletic and has good tactical speed. Terry Thompson, who usually works him in the morning, commented the other day about how light on his feet he is."

Speaking of riders, Dublin has had four different jockeys in five races. Lukas has not yet committed to anyone for his next race, which will be the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) on Feb. 15 at Oaklawn, but he said several agents from high-profile jockeys have been calling.

"I don't like to be totally committed to a rider because sometimes they ride the horse once and it's not a great fit," Lukas said. "I like to have them ride once and see what happens. In other words, we'll date, but not get married just yet."

Lukas said he plans on racing Dublin in all three Oaklawn preps, with the March 13 Rebel (gr. II) and April 10 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) to follow the Southwest. And after that, hopefully it's on to Churchill Downs.

"I wouldn't trade places with anyone," Lukas said.

119 Comments

Leave a Comment:

poormansracehorse

Whether you're a fan of D. Wayne's or not he certainly has been around long enough to know a good horse when he sees one, and he seems very high on this youngster.

It's probably fortunate given the colt's size that he got this little surgery break after his two year old campaign.

I believe he already likely has enough graded earnings to get into the Derby.

29 Jan 2010 1:18 PM
LadyValtaya

My Derby colt is American Lion... But D. Wayne Lukas has always been one of my favorite trainers. I'm glad that Dublin is training well, he's a nice looking colt!

29 Jan 2010 1:30 PM
Little Ricki

If this horse is the athlete that lukas says he is....he got that from his daddy and one of my favorites....Not only that but Afleet Alex was full of heart...should have won the triple crown...

29 Jan 2010 1:41 PM
waccamaw

All we  can do is wait and see. I loved this colt last fall . He's still sitting on his biggest race. if he shows up at the Southwest as predicted , watch out !!!!

29 Jan 2010 1:51 PM
MonicaV

Definitely one to watch.  Lukas is a master horseman so if he is that high on this colt, watch out.

29 Jan 2010 2:06 PM
KMAUER

I like any Tiznow colt but American Lion is my early pick too...still, Never count Lukas out.

29 Jan 2010 2:10 PM
LDP

Jason,

    You and I must be on the same wavelength, because I just wrote about Dublin in my blog. He was my "off the radar" best three year old of this year. At first I was one who believed that maybe he was just a one track horse. Then I heard about the surgery, and though I was still skeptical, I wondered why would Luckas be so high on a horse he knew could only run on one track effectively? Each passing day now my faith in this colt is growing. One win from him and he could easily push right past all others, even make it past LAL on my derby list.

29 Jan 2010 2:22 PM
Dawn

What causes the epiglottis to become entrapped? I've heard a lot about this condition, and thankfully, it's easy to fix, but is this a congenital thing or what? Equine physiology maybe?

29 Jan 2010 2:29 PM
Jason Shandler

Texspect: Newsflash: If "M" hasnt raced yet, he aint winning the Derby.

29 Jan 2010 2:29 PM
Jason Shandler

Dawn: Wayne said it's a nerve-related thing. He said the "flapper gets lazy over time." Sometimes it requires surgery, sometime snot. Not sure if its hereditary or not.

29 Jan 2010 2:31 PM
Stan

I wish that Dublin was trained  by John Shirreffs.

29 Jan 2010 2:34 PM
Householder

After celebrating an entire year devoted to the girls.  Bow down and kiss this man's feet now for bringing us the likes of Lady's Secret, Winning Colors, and Serena's Song. All 3 made beating the boys fashionable.  

29 Jan 2010 2:40 PM
Runfast159

I was wondering where the heck Dublin went.  He definately fell off the radar with those 2 poor performances.  

I would not count Dublin out either, that is for sure.  He was a big, good looking 2 year old.  Wayne has a talent for picking out horses with great confirmation and and he's a great conditioner who knows how to put horses through the Classics.  

However, lots of bright and shiny 2 year olds don't carry their form into their 3 year old seasons.  So, I'll look forward to seeing what Dublin does in the Southwest.

29 Jan 2010 2:40 PM
TC

I have to admit I got a bit down on him after those two poor efforts. However, I got excited again once he arrived at Oaklawn and started working like a champion. It's good to know he had an excuse and that they got him healthy. He'll surely need as much air as he can get during this grueling time of year.

I remember how Afleet Alex finished his two-year-old campaign, and yet he bounced back great once arriving at Oaklawn as well.

I'd like to see Lukas reach out to Jeremy Rose if he needs a jockey that will fit the horse. That would be something special.

29 Jan 2010 2:44 PM
Ida Lee

I'm so glad to hear Dublin is back. Love this horse. He's gorgeous and very talented. He's going to do great I just know it.

29 Jan 2010 2:52 PM
poormansracehorse

Geez you'd think if snot would take care of it they'd never have to do surgery.

Sorry I couldn't resist.

29 Jan 2010 2:59 PM
rubyreddress

Afleet Alex is one of my favorites and I am hoping that his babies do well.  I am in Dublins corner and am glad that he is Lukas' barn.  And I thank you for the update on him, Jason.  

29 Jan 2010 3:00 PM
Teaser

Wayne, you already had a jockey that fits Dublin, Jamie Theriot. Bad move taking him off in the first place.

29 Jan 2010 3:10 PM
Tim G

Stan, I like John, but that's not the agenda for Dublin. He's a big, robust, athletic colt who is tailor made for the TC races from all indications.

He's working lights out at Oaklawn and he's a dirt horse, hopefully.

Seems to have an affinity for it.

Lots of times with early success and then issues, that weren't totally obvious until the last race, they fall off the radar and like Wayne said that's just fine.

I actually believe that all the problems started when Draynay and some others who tend to be jinxes started hyping him.

By the way is Dray crying along with Brett?  

29 Jan 2010 3:12 PM
Jason Shandler

Tim G: I think Dray is still crying over the choke. Like Brett, I wish he too would go into retirement.

29 Jan 2010 3:36 PM
Glimmerglass

Ignore DWL at your own peril, as noted by others he still is a force to respect and be cautious of.

Many people wrote off his long shot main TC contender last year, Flying Private, but he still took 4th in the Preakness. DWL knew nobody was taking down Rachel but had confidence in 'Flying' being live.

29 Jan 2010 3:39 PM
Tom D

Householder, you are talking apples and oranges.  The ladies you refer to were likely to be racing while medicated with steroids and other drugs that are no longer allowed.  The ladies last year were au naturel.

I hope Dublin comes back and does well.  Afleet Alex and his connections were a class act.

29 Jan 2010 3:40 PM
Jason Shandler

Fellow bloggers: FYI, I will be out of town until Tuesday with limited access to the Internet. Your comments will be posted by someone other than me during my absence but probably not as quickly as normal. Thanks in advance for understanding.

For anyone living in South Florida, I will likely be at Gulfstream on Sunday, so look for me at the IRS window :)

29 Jan 2010 4:23 PM
Tim G

Right Jason, did you notice that lower lip trembling and the tears in the eyes? Getting all wound up for a great big wahhhhhhhhh!

Dublin is just a naturally big, robust colt. Well put together and great conformation.

Guess we'll see what he does on the 15th?  Wayne had like 18 nominated to the TC races.

Have fun in Fla Jason, hope it's not as cold as it was there this Fall.

29 Jan 2010 5:10 PM
Alex PB

My name here celebrates Alex's Preakness and Belmont. Don't forget tomorrow when his other good TC prospect, Afleet Express, goes in a 6F first level allowance. His win at Aqueduct on Dec 5th was incredible.

29 Jan 2010 5:10 PM
afleetalexforever

I am and have been enjoying Dublin for a while now, speaking with DWL at the Woodward last year he mentioned that Dublin was a special horse and that he would be prepping in my hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas.  We are going to see some big things from him, I am pretty sure that his works over the deep Oaklawn track is going to have him very fit and able to do the exact same things that other top class 3 year olds have done coming out of the Oaklawn series, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, Lawyer Ron, Curlin, Summer Bird, these horses have all given indication that prepping at Oaklawn is the thing to do.  Then on the gurls side Rachel Alexandra, Eight Belles, Round Pond, all of these horses have between them 8 Eclipse awards and 3 HOY awards, no other track can even come close to that in the last decade or so.  I love that DWL and others realize that Oaklawn is the spot to set up your 3 year old.  

Jason, Hopefully we'll see you in Arkansas at Oaklawn on April 10th for the Arkansas Derby.

29 Jan 2010 5:27 PM
Lil Darlin

I loved Dublin when I saw him break his maiden at Saratoga!  It didn't hurt that my now-racing-fan boyfriend won lots of money on him and spent it on me for my birthday! Can't wait to see him Feb. 15.

29 Jan 2010 5:47 PM
Edward

Sat next to DWL, SCrist, BKing, at Charlie Trotters the night before the BreedersCup 2002(worse run BC i have attended-6 total- but some great all-time horses-Azeri, RockofGibralter (2nd, circled the field after leaving the gate about a minute after all the other horses), best ride ever seen in person on Domedriver, SFlagFlying,HighChapparel,). So I sat and listened to Crist and king throw out every handicap angle in the world for 40 minutes...Hold that Tiger this, Hold this Tiger that, Vindication ran slow times and has no chance, blahblahblah. DWL said nothing the whole time. the handicappers got quiet for a minute and D Wayne simply said, "Vindication is a lock to win." Of course, I ignored him and 4-1 later, gate to wire by 3 lengths, Vindication made it look easy. Ignore him at your own peril indeed.

29 Jan 2010 7:58 PM
jimmy jones

The Coach;is the man ;a class operation,The man cares for his horses

29 Jan 2010 8:24 PM
EJMitchellKy

Golden Rule: Never discount Lukas.

As for Jason at Gulfstream, the only thing he'll be doing at the IRS window is filing for an extension.

Seriously, man. Have a great time. Stay out from underneath the seagulls in the parking lot and hit a Pick Three for me.

29 Jan 2010 10:24 PM
Draynay

Hate to see my Vikings lose to a team they kicked around the field but it has been their history.  Brett is not going anywhere with superstar Harvin, Rice, and Peterson.  He is crazy not stupid and they will be favored to win the Superbowl next year.  On to Dublin who I still love and expect big things from.  His next race should be a domination that will get everyone talking about him again.  He has good foundation behind him and I expect a very talented 3 year old will appear.

29 Jan 2010 10:31 PM
jim

everything sounds fine....and i admire d.wayne....but to get more seasoning and development since he might have fallen behind with the problem he has had and if wayne feels he's that good i would prefer a tougher route before going to churchill  

29 Jan 2010 10:35 PM
Brian Appleton

Dublin has always been high on my Derby list. When Lukas said last year that he might be one of the best he's ever trained that sealed it for me.

It would be great to see him turn in a big effort in the Southwest Stakes.

29 Jan 2010 10:43 PM
Tim G

Yes Oaklawn is a good place to prep the 3 year olds. Also a string at Fair Grounds for the first time. He's at Oaklawn for the 4th year, first time in 07 that he took a string there himself, when his string was down and just the loyal diehards were hanging on.

Dublin seems to like the surface, but works are works that hopefully will translate.

Caution, he hits them once in a while, BIG, but he's not the greatest handicapper. A joke about it for years.

I heard the IRS is waiting for Jason, and not because he's going to be the big winner...LOL just kidding.

29 Jan 2010 10:59 PM
Glassoniongirl

I`m proud of Alex, 2 of his first crop competing for the Derby! Afleet Express and Dublin both incredibly good looking and talented. Alex is the horse that brought me to racing in the first place.

Despite that, Lentinor is my pick for the Kentucky Derby, he`s got the talent and speed, he just needs to learn to use it to its fullest...and get enough earnings to get in of course. But Alex`s colts get 2nd dibs on Derby favorites!

29 Jan 2010 11:05 PM
Rowner

DWL horses have been responsible for some of my biggest pay outs. Anyone remember Cat Thief in the BC. Discount his horses at your own peril.

30 Jan 2010 12:19 AM
tcc

Jason:

While you're at Gulfstream on Sunday, take a look at the 6th race,there could be some runners in that race that might end up in Florida prep race,s.(i.e.) F.O.Y. or the Florida Derby.

30 Jan 2010 5:04 AM
hoofprintsandhorseplay

Silly comment that said they would rather have John Sheriffs train Dublin instead of D Wayne. I don't think Mr Sheriffs has EVER run a horse 3 times in 5 weeks like the Triple Crown unfolds.

While I love Zenyatta , he has never won a Classic race and Mr Lucas has won many.

Always remember Tabasco Cat who got loose and ran over Jeff Lucas. Jeff Lucas was never the same and D Wayne made TC a Classic winner with everyday personal care so people wouldn't vilify Tabasco Cat.

D Wayne Lucas is all class.

30 Jan 2010 8:06 AM
Coldfacts

Jason,

Dublin appears to be a nice colt. However, he has to overcome some negatives if he is to win the derby.

Negatives:

TRAINER: It is evident Mr. Lukas best days are behind him. He will invariably force this colt like he has done with others in recent years. This policy will invariably lead to Dublin’s demise.

SIRE Afleet Alex brilliance on the track is well known. However, there are two historic negative associated with this stallion. Winners of the Triple Crown races have very moderate records as derby winning sires. The 2009 derby winner Mine that Bird was sired by Belmont winner Birdstone. MTB victory broke a 10 year drought for sires who won TC races. It is unlikely that a winner of a TC races will be the 2010 derby wining sire.  Afleet Alex is also a great grandson Mr. Prospector. This is the only category from Mr. Ps line that is yet to be represented by a derby winner. Horses’ from Mr. P line have accounted for the winners of 30 TC races.

DAM: Classic Mirage is a G1 winner. G1 winning mares are rarely the 1st dam of derby winners. Derby winning dams are either moderate on the track, lightly raced or unraced. Mine That Bird (Dam unraced) Big Brown (Dam 2 starts) Preakness winner Curlin (Dam unraced). My chart reflects one G1 winning derby mare in the last 50 years.  

NAME: The name Dublin has been used 19 previous times. Who pays $525,000 for a horse and selects a name that has been used 19 previous occasions and expects it to be a champion. Dunkirk was purchased of $3.7M and his purchasers gave him a name used 9 times before.

Positives:

DAM LINE: Classic Mirage dam sire Storm Bird a son of the great Northern Dancer. This dam line has accounted for 18 victories in the TC series of races in the last 20 year. It is by far the most successful in TC history.  Storm Bird  is the broodmare sire of Line Of Thunder dam of derby winner Thunder Gulch and Dear Birdie dam of Belmont winner Birdstone. Dublin’s second dam was sired by the 1972 Derby & Belmont winner Riva Ridge. His third dam was sired by Bold Bidder a horse Voted one of the meanest stallions in history. His meanness did not prevent him from siring derby winners Cannonade & Spectacular Bid.

Dublin’s dam line is loaded with classic blood and success at the TC level. However, the historic negatives associated with him reduces his prospects as the likely 2010 derby winner.

30 Jan 2010 8:11 AM
Dovienya

Dublin is definitely on my list of TC contenders.  I don't think D. Wayne Lukas is as prone to boasting as some younger trainers are, so I trust him when he is high on a horse.

Afleetalexforever - I live in Little Rock now, but I went to the math and science school in Hot Springs.  I love Oaklawn, it's a great track!  I am also excited about all of the great horses we've been getting.

30 Jan 2010 8:50 AM
Mary Ann W in Louisville

Go D. Wayne!!!!!!!!!!!  We miss seeing you on the Derby trail and seeing you at Dawn at the Downs!!! Looking forward to seeing you in April!  I'll be pulling for you and Dublin!!!!!!!!!!

30 Jan 2010 9:31 AM
Dave

AfleetAlexForever -

While I never wish to challenge a fellow Afleet Alex fan I must challenge the no other track can come close claim...remember a lot of these horses launch thier careers in the baby races of Saratoga..Afleet Alex and Big Brown are 2 classic winners from the last 10 years that easily spring to mind.  Anyway, that was a plug for the home team...I love the Saratoga-Oaklawn-Derby route, it makes soo much sense, I think the tracks run very similar not to mention the more than 300 combined years of racing on them.  

I was at Dublins Maiden and the Hopeful.  I positioned myself on the rail at the top of the stretch where Afleet Alex would over take the field...Dublin did not disappoint.  I have great video of the hopeful including Jamie Theroit's interview on his walk back to the Jock's room.  He said he came to Saratoga to find a Derby horse, and it looks like we got a good one (Dublin). When Dublin stepped into the Paddock, there was an audible gasp across the crowd, he is very striking, large, and at 2 clearly more developed his peers.  I remember people around us asking "who is that one?", and we replied, "He's Dublin, the winner of this race and the Kentucky Derby too" - of course they just laughed at me...but hey, he hasn't made a liar of me yet!  

The only other time in my life that I was so sure about a horse was with his Daddy on that same race.   oooh the goose bumps just keep comin'.

Dear Racing Gods, let DWL have this one.  Let Alex's Progeny wear the roses. Let Racing fans have a Triple Crown hero.

30 Jan 2010 10:00 AM
Billy D.

I'd like to see more from Dublin before we start annointing him the next great Arazi! Speaking of which, we all remember what Arazi did after a winter break and minor surgery prior to the Derby, er didn't do. I'll wait to make my Derby assessment on Dublin until this colt makes two more starts....

30 Jan 2010 11:52 AM
marktoothaker

I had the good fortune of working for Wayne over 20 years ago and would love nothing more than to see him back in the winners circle on Derby Day.I hope this is the horse for him to do it with but if not hope one comes along. Growing up near Oaklawn had the chance to see a lot of good horses come through there and go on to Churchill. When track is tight at Hot Springs it is a lot like CD and horses seem to thrive down there.

30 Jan 2010 1:39 PM
christy tate

mr. lukas know how to win the derby, so count me back on Dublin's bandwagon. would love to see Lentenor go too.hope they all stay healthy and safe.

30 Jan 2010 4:30 PM
Greg

Even if dublin don't perform well in the 3 prep. races expect squeeze them dry Lucas to have him in the derby.

30 Jan 2010 6:27 PM
Junie Wise-Rocky Road Farm

I hope D.Wayne will get to the Derby one more time...The Sport needs Trainers like him, Zito, Baffert, Pletcher to get there...He has always been one of the Sports BEST Salesman!!!! We need him now more than ever!!!!!

30 Jan 2010 8:15 PM
Tim G

Yes see the negative nabobs come out as soon as Jason leaves.

Do some of you just lay in wait to spew your venom, not enough gumption to do it when Jason is here?

Wayne was in the Derby last year FP had a tough go but proved he was worthwhile in the Preakness. He's back in training and should run soon. Luv Guv performed WAY above what anyone thought he would, he's still running.

I just cannot believe you people it's getting tiresome. Go post somewhere else if all you have is negativitiy. Same people EVERY time.

Coldfacts, you have NO facts.

Greg, it's DOESN'T not DON'T in that context.

You guys run your horses where you want, the rest of us will run ours where we want and trust our trainers to know what that is.

30 Jan 2010 9:51 PM
LDP

Coldfacts,

    Two TC winners to have sires that ran well in the TC are War Admiral and Secretariat. Bold ruler and Man o War, both won in the TC races.

30 Jan 2010 10:37 PM
Footlick

Billy D- the minor surgery was chips taken out of his knees, which the trainer, Francois Boutin, didn't want done.  You never know how a horse is going to handle that, and Arazi was an excitable and nervous horse.  Then, he didn't recover as quickly as hoped in France, and as I understand it, Arazi was running in the Derby with or without Boutin.  Boutin didn't want to lose him.  He could only get one race into him, and the horse didn't have the foundation under him for the Derby and never recovered from that race.  He ran a whacked out internal 3 furlongs in the Derby to get in contention at the top of the stretch, then understandably flattened out.  The horse had talent and doesn't need to be disparaged.  He ran the legs off our best two-year-olds being past his peak since his season was already over and the Breeder's Cup an afterthought.  

31 Jan 2010 12:00 AM
RJPPDP

I love that Dublin is training well. I would love to see some success from 3 year olds that had success as 2 year old i.e. Dublin or Lookin at Lucky. Do not be afraid to place a small exacta wager on Lukas and Baffert. Then again you may also add Zito with Jackson Bend in his Barn. A simple tri wheel might pay huge for thoroughbered legends racing stable.

I love DWL. If Dublin looks live and he is at a price he does sound like a Derby winner.

31 Jan 2010 12:11 AM
weekendstorm

Coldfacts - I think you should research your "facts" .... Mr. P was represented by a Ky Derby winner in 2000, Fusaichi Pegasus!

How quickly one forgets

31 Jan 2010 1:57 AM
carlaen

Lukas hasn't won a Derby in 10 years. He loves to be on the big stage whether he has a horse that should be there or not. Forget Lukas. Those breathing surgeries don't usually seem to help a horse the way people hope they will.

31 Jan 2010 8:58 AM
walaa

Does anyone know what is going on with Macias? He was an entry at first for the Cal. Derby, then I saw he wasn't in it, but never heard why. is he okay? racing soon? Thanks

31 Jan 2010 9:03 AM
Bill Rink

It's a long way to the Derby, but if Mr. Lukas thinks he's that special it will be a lot of fun to watch this big colt progress. Best of luck to a Master Trainer, and all involved.

31 Jan 2010 9:07 AM
SusanW

I'm sticking with Dublin. Believe it or not, my sister had the same thing (for years). What a change in HER after her fix. Hope the same for Dublin.

31 Jan 2010 9:08 AM
Smittytoo22

I wish DWL luck with Dublin, but until he runs and shows me something in a race he`ll remain off my radar.  I think Cool Bullet will ship up from the FG and take the short stretch Southwest in a couple of weeks.

Geaux Saints!!

31 Jan 2010 9:32 AM
Rachel

Tom D, racing on Lasix or any the other race day "meds" is not "au naturel"..or maybe someone can explain how losing 25 lbs of fluid right before a race is natural, or taking weeks to recover from the exertion of racing dehydrated is beneficial...I'll include shock wave therapy, firing, etc...ahh, the things mankind can find to do to "improve" a horse...race day bute to mask the pain...

31 Jan 2010 10:47 AM
Elizabeth

The "write Lukas off at your own peril" meme has become laughable.  We hear that every time he makes a little noise on the Derby trail but that doesn't change the fact that it's been a decade since he won a Triple Crown race.  Not to mention his 4 win Derby record may seem impressive until you take into account the fact that he has a 90+ percent LOSE rate in that race and a mediocre 14% win rate overall.  

By contrast take at look at Carl Nafzger's Derby record for one example.  He may not start many Derby horses but when he does he wins 2 out of 3 times.  That's the type of trainer that you write off at your own peril.            

31 Jan 2010 1:07 PM
Tim G

Carl is all but retired. Trains for two people, Ian has taken over the rest.

Funny the people who ARE in racing and who actually are IN the game, say the same thing about Wayne, up to and including Carl (who is a good friend)

Dublin proved he was the real deal with the Hopeful. A little setback and we give up on them? Maybe you guys out there who talk about the game, not those of us who have those horses running.He's got some nice horses running at 4, 5 and 6 now.

Get off the horse, if you don't like him, don't like Wayne fine. But you all look ignorant speaking about the leading money winner, leading TC winner and 4 time Derby winner.

Go ahead ignore him he's having great fun and if you haven't noticed he is much more easygoing and just enjoys the game. Oh that's right you negatories are just talking out of your .....

31 Jan 2010 5:17 PM
tcc

Walla:

Macias just had a 6f workout today'

1-31.

31 Jan 2010 6:38 PM
Deborah

I hope Dublin will make a big return. By the way, what has happened to Smarty's Backtalk?  Does anyone know the status of this colt now?

Deborah

31 Jan 2010 8:23 PM
Greg J.

Jason,

   First, Thanks for the interview with Mr. Lukas, Wish nothing but the best for Dublin and Mr. Lukas this Spring.  Second, Hope you had fun at Gulfstream, Nice wins by Drosselmeyer and Bickersons.  Any idea why Pulsion was a scratch?, Thanks...

Elizabeth,

     Please, You say Mr. Lukas' four Derby Wins MIGHT seem impressive? Regardless of any way you want to spin it,  A little education for you, It IS damn impressive!  Now people are saying four Derby wins is less then impressive?, I have now officially heard it all, lol...

FYI,

    I just read that Mr. Matz did an interview over the weekend on XM Radio, He said they plan to run Lentenor in an allowance race on the turf(There is 1 1/8 race on Feb.17 at Gulfstream on the Turf), followed by a dirt race, and then maybe a dirt stakes.  He also said he thinks the Derby is almost 100 percent out of the question, but he did say the Preakness could still be in the picture.  While bummed out about the Derby, If true, It would be incredible if he were to be in the Preakness...

Finally,

     Kudos to the Jockeys at Penn National and Maggi Moss(Just remember Maggi, negativity is a sign of jealously!) for standing up and speaking out against that scumbag, Michael Gill!  Hey Gill, Why don't you do everyone a favor and just disappear?  I am positive that the only two that will miss you are Don Nickerson and New Holland...

31 Jan 2010 9:14 PM
Ted from LA

I've met D. Wayne several times on various Derby weekends.  He is always friendly and willing to give tips to amateur handicappers (guys like Jason).  I'd like to have a 15% Derby win ratio.  Elizabeth, isn't that like criticizing someone for only winning ONE lottery when they played it hundreds of times?

31 Jan 2010 10:13 PM
GunBow

Hoofprintsandhorseplay:

John Sheriffs won the 05' Derby w/ Giacomo.

31 Jan 2010 10:34 PM
GunBow

We saw evidence today that it is not nearly as difficult as some have suggested for horses to go from synthetic to dirt or vice versa.

Bickersons anyone?  Shipped in for the Forward Gal from Cali, Bickersons clearly demonstrated that the early pace of a dirt race was not too much for her to handle.  In fact, Bickersons was right up on the pace in the Foward Gal and just kept running, destroying the field by 7.

What, a Cali "plastic" horse dominating Eastern horses on dirt?  One thing that suggested that Bickersons could handle a dirt pace is that her last race before the Forward Gal, the Hollywood Starlet, was not a typical synthetic race.  First, it came at Hollywood, which was playing very similar to dirt during the Fall/Winter season.  Second, the Hollywood Starlet had a very demanding pace, unlike the majority of two-turn synth races.

A third reason why Bickersons' romp was not shocking is that the Hollywood Starlet was definitely the strongest two turn juvenile race last race. I've written many times that Blind Luck's winning Beyer of 95 for the Starlet doesn't come close to doing that race justice.  Blind Luck would have beaten any 2 year old, male or female, that day. The strength of the Starlet has been validated by the subsequent starts of the also-rans. Starlet 3rd place finisher, Amen Hallelujah, returned to win the gr.2 Santa Ynez in very good time. Rose Catherine won a listed stakes at Santa Anita by a wide margin. And now Bickersons has won the Forward Gal across the country in an absolute romp. Only Miss Heather Lee, who ran out of the money behind Rose Catherine in the listed stakes, has failed to fire a bullet following the Starlet.  Another Starlet also-ran, Beautician, is currently ranked by Steve Crist as the #3  3 year old filly.

Also proving that switching from dirt to synthetic is not impossible was Gabby's Golden Gal in the gr.1 Santa Monica Cap'.  Actually, Gabby's Golden Gal has made a career bouncing between synthetics and dirt.  She started last year breaking her maiden and running 2nd in an allowance on Santa Anita's synthetic.  She then romped by 13 on dirt in the Sunland Oaks before being overmatched by her sister, Rachel Alexandra(both are by Medalgia d' Oro), in the Kentucky Oaks.  As has been well documented by the Rachel-Zenyatta debates, Gabby's Golden Gal emerged from the Kentucky Oaks to win the gr.1 Acorn on dirt at Belmont.  After a disappointing run as the favorite in the La Brea, many questioned whether Gabby liked synthetics as much as dirt.  However, her impressive win in the Santa Monica suggests that her poor effort in the La Brea was more the result of pace(much faster than the Santa Monica) and the fact it was her first start in 6 months.

With the Santa Monica, Gabby now has 2 career grade 1 wins, one each on synth and dirt.  Remember when in the immediate aftermath of the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose, some claimed that Rachel had defeated poor competition in those races? Well, Gabby from the Oaks and Flashing from the Mother Goose are both now DUAL gr.1 winners.  It's hard to believe that Rachel won 2 races by 20 lengths facing MULTIPLE gr.1 winning horses!

31 Jan 2010 11:09 PM
Paseana

im G, good for you!  Love him or hate him, D Wayne Lukas is a giant in this sport.  Is he what he was 20-25 years ago? No, but he's still the all-time leading Breeders Cup trainer, a winner of 4 Kentucky Derbys, and saddled the winners of 6 Triple Crown races in a row, and Editor's Note's win in the Belmont gave him 7 for 8 (Zito broke up that rampage with Louis Quatorze in the 1996 Preakness).  For me, 6 Triple Crown Classics in a row is every bit the equal of the 5 consecutive Belmonts won by Woody Stephens, but for some reason, it's not remembered in the same way.

I went through some periods when I hated Wayne Lukas.  I basically boycotted his horses, refusing to bet on them, thinking that I was somehow making a statement?  Yeah, right....how big an idiot did I make of myself, and how much money did I lose by taking that moronic stand?

The fact is that racing needs Wayne Lukas.  In this time, when the history of our sport is slowly degrading, he is still there.  His profile is a shadow of what it once was, but he is still D Wayne Lukas, and tossing any horse that he enters in the Triple Crown races into the garbage bin is foolhardy.

And one other thing.....it makes me absolutely crazy when people can't spell his name correctly!  It's not just here on this thread, but all over the place.  He's a Hall Of Fame trainer who has had a huge impact and influence on the training game, and the sport as a whole.

It's Lukas, people!  How hard is that!

01 Feb 2010 1:48 AM
Fran Loszynski

If you look at Dublin's long lankey legs, you think of Barbaro-if you look at Dublin's colors-reminds you of Secretariat- and if you look at his heart;you think of Afleet Alex. I think Dublin or Afleet Express are going to give us a show this year at the Derby.  Hmmm what color hat should I wear!

01 Feb 2010 8:30 AM
slyder

draynay,

I'm with you all the way on your last post. It's interesting to point out that nobody in Minnesota is expressing a hatred for Favre, they are appreciating the great season he and the team gave us. There always is going to be "haters" no matter what happens in any sport. This time it's Jason and Co. playing that role.

I'm also looking forward to watching Dublin and his progression this spring. If the breathing was the only problem he certainly has shown he's got talent.  

01 Feb 2010 8:55 AM
mz

Hey, Coldfacts: I'm a little confused on your positive/negative thingy re: Afleet Alex.  How can it be a negative that Northern Dancer won the Kentucky Derby (Triple Crown race winners are moderate sires) but it be positive that his dam's line includes Northern Dancer?

BTW: the Dancer did sire a Triple Crown winner - just not in the States: the last British TC in 1970.  And he's been a pretty good sire anyways, right?

Re: the subject of this blog - I remember getting really, really bored because the same trainer kept winning EVERY SINGLE BREEDERS CUP race I ever saw (in the 80's).  I don't think you can ever count any trainer that good out, no matter whether he's had some dry few years or not.  Throwing out horses simply because of their trainer is not smart - anyone wanna talk MTB?

01 Feb 2010 11:31 AM
street sense

my early derby pick is super saver back to back calvin bo-rail and todd.p finally breaks through

01 Feb 2010 11:46 AM
Irish Horseplayer

Glad to hear there was a reason for what can only be called a disappointing and shocking fall. Go Dublin!

01 Feb 2010 3:28 PM
Householder

Perhaps Lukas has some advice for his student Pletcher which will allow him to get over the hump.  It's apparent that the Lukas school of thought (I never saw a horse that should not be entered into the Derby) has not payed dividends.  Now Pletcher has 4 of the 12 "Top" prospects?  Dunkirk=Houston.  Hype hype hype!  

01 Feb 2010 3:39 PM
Mike Relva

Dublin is a nice horse,but I believe within a couple months he will be off the Derby radar.

01 Feb 2010 5:49 PM
Greg

Mr. lucas will run any horse that he can find to run in a triple crown race,because its about him & not the horse.He will never miss a camera opportunity.

01 Feb 2010 9:23 PM
Horswld

Loved this horse from jump.  Knew he wasn't getting his breath in his losing efforts.  The way he backed off was apparent that there was something wrong. Glad he's back and hope that he return to his winning form. My is he a looker too!

01 Feb 2010 9:26 PM
Coldfacts

Tim G, your quote:

“Coldfacts, you have NO facts”

I am not sure how to respond. The facts in my quote can be verified. The opinions are mine and they are just that ‘Opinions’ I am sure you have a few of your own. I sincerely hope you are not confusing opinions with facts. If you wanted an informed response you would have done the correct thing and specify fiction in my post and I would be happy to concede any errors. Sadly you have not provided this opportunity with your vague statement.

02 Feb 2010 12:05 AM
Coldfacts

LDP,

I am a bit confused at your post below:

‘Two TC winners to have sires that ran well in the TC are War Admiral and Secretariat. Bold ruler and Man o War, both won in the TC races’

The TC races are the KD, Preakness & Belmont as you are aware. Now, I posted that the winners of TC races have moderate to poor records as derby winning sires. I have been accused of having no facts so let put the facts on the table regarding derby winners sired by winners of TC races in the last 50 years:

2009 Mine That Bird – Birdstone (Belmont winner)

1999 Charismatic – Summer Squall (Preakness winner)

1996 Grindstone – Unbridled (KD winner)

1984 Swale – Seattle Slew (Triple Crown winner)

1973 Secretariat – Bold Ruler (Preakness winner)

1963 Chateaugay – Swaps (KD winner)

1962 Decidedly – Determined (KD winner)

In the last 50 year only 7 winners of the Kentucky Derby have been sired by a stallion that has a Triple Crown race on his resume. There have been some great winners of TC races during this period and they have not delivered a Derby winner. In fairness to Afleet Alex, two horses on my chart that won the Preakness & Belmont went on sire derby winners. War Admiral sired by Man O War and Kauai King sired by Native Dancer. Could he emulate these sires? Certainly! But I doubt it. The latest interval of 10 years between these stallions siring the derby winner does not look encouraging for Sir Alex.

Twenty 27 horses have won two legs of the Triple Crown in the last 50 years and of the possible 20 that had a 3YO crop to race, none have sired a derby winner. Swale, Sunday Silence, Funny Cide, War Emblem, Alysheba and Big Brown have been excluded for various reasons. Will Afleet Alex succeed where the likes of Northern Dancer, Damascus, Spectacular Bid, Pleasant Colony, Silver Charm etc., have failed?

02 Feb 2010 12:26 AM
Coldfacts

Weekendstorm, your post:

‘Coldfacts - I think you should research your "facts" .... Mr. P was represented by a Ky Derby winner in 2000, Fusaichi Pegasus’

I am at a loss as what your post represents. I have revisited my post just to be sure I did not make an error. Below is an extract from the third paragraph of my post:

‘Horses from Mr. P’s line have accounted for the winners of 30 TC races’

This statement though incorrect would obviously include Fusaichi Pegasus. What am I missing? The horses directly linked to Mr. P have accounted for 32 victories in TC races.

Mr. Prospector sired a winner of each leg of the TC i.e. Fusaichi Pegasus, Tank Prospect and Conquistador Ceilo. This feat was equaled by his grandson Unbridled (Grindstone, Red Bullet and Empire Maker) Mr. P’s sons have sired 3 KD winners; his Grandsons 5; his great grandsons have sired no winners of the great race; his great, great grandson 1. Horses directly linked to Mr. Prospector have won 10 Derbies, 11 Preakness and 11 Belmonts

02 Feb 2010 12:39 AM
Coldfacts

Greg J,

below is an extract from another of Jason's blog. It represents my response to your post that Piscitelli was still running after his last place finish in the Holy B.ull

"I am not one to provide excuses but something must have gone wrong with this colt. Kent would not have stuck with after the BCJ if he didn't think he had a lot of ability. This is the worst performance he has delivered. There could be a host of reasons why this colt finished last so I reserve judgment until then"

Well it has been published that the colt sustained an injury in the race and will beout for 90 day.

02 Feb 2010 12:53 AM
Householder

Tom D.  If Lady's Secret was "juiced" in the Whitney than it is safe to say all of the boys were as well.

02 Feb 2010 1:52 PM
Greg J.

   Such depressing news about Winslow Homer, Feel terrible for Mr. Porter and Winslow's connections, Just glad they found it now. Hope he heals quickly and look forward to him running this summer...

02 Feb 2010 4:31 PM
SteveStan

Householder, Like Wayne says, "I taught Todd everything he knows, I just didn't teach him everything I know."

Tongue in cheek of course.

You made that same comment before, then backtracked on it when called. If Wayne thinks that way why has he been absent so much, recently?  He still has had 40+ horses even at his lowest point. You guys just don't get the pressure that owners put on trainers to get their horses to certain races.

Anyone who signs on with Wayne or Bob has the Triple Crown and more specifically the Derby as their ultimate goal. That's why they pick the guys who have the most wins. By the way Wayne has won 13 Triple Crown races. Most guys would be thrilled with ONE.

Dublin is working like a beast and they're dropping like flies off the Derby trail.

Most of us figure Coach has at least ONE left in him. This colt has the look, the breeding and has shown ability.

He's probably the best spokesman the game has ever had. Those who dislike him? Jealousy as Carl once said. Respect him? Most of us do and as John Shireffs said once, he's always willing to help out.

He'll give advice if you ask, and sometimes an opinion even if you don't ask.

Is he the same as he was 10 years ago (I wouldn't say 20-25 years because he wasn't nearly as successful as he was just 15 years ago with TC races anyway)?

HE says he still trains them just the same, yes he's still at the track at 4 and still rides his pony out with his sets. Maybe the game has changed around him and maybe not for the better?

My bet is, he's still the most recognizable figure in the game and we should be hoping he succeeds, not wishing ill or talking bad. Because we can use all the help and exposure we can get.

02 Feb 2010 4:41 PM
LDP

GunBow,

    I've always thought horses going from synthetic to dirt did better than dirt horses moving to synthetic. I've heard theroies that the reason for this is because synthetic horses moving to dirt are moving to a surface they were bred to run over, while dirt horses moving to synthtic are moving to a surface that nobody really knows how to breed for. Also just a note on the race, She Be Wild ran on nothing but synthetics and ran fifth in her first dirt start. Not being smart, just playing the devils advocate.

02 Feb 2010 4:46 PM
Carlos in Cali

Greg J.

Why such hatred for Michael Gill?...

02 Feb 2010 6:37 PM
tcc

Dublin has bullet workout for Southwest.

02 Feb 2010 7:33 PM
Mike Relva

GREG

I totally agree,w/Lukas it's ALWAYS ABOUT HIM.

02 Feb 2010 8:29 PM
Matthew W

Tiz Chrome?....They eased back on him but they know what they had/have.....Baffert's holding a helluva one/two punch this year---and maybe three/four as well!

02 Feb 2010 9:42 PM
Matthew W

By the wat, don't count out anyone when the strong hand is out west/on pro-ride.....it's wide open, even though I continue to hear raves about Lookin At Lucky...Cannot wait for dirt to come back to Santa Anita--cannot wait for Rachel v Zen but there's no guarantee Rachel will duplicate her spectacular form for another year--if she does, I think she'll take Big Z in the prep but not the Classic....I look for Zenyatta to go back to back in the Classic, into her rightful place in historic perspective---at the top, where she belongs....

02 Feb 2010 10:48 PM
mike thies

Lucas performed this proceedure on Tanks Prospect in 1985 after a poor performance in the Derby,

TP went on to win the Preakness after the surgery.

03 Feb 2010 7:47 AM
Greg J.

Coldfacts,

     Yes, I remember you writing that, You called that one, I wish you had been wrong, though, And wish it was just a bad race for him, But, Good Call on Piscitelli. Take Control, Piscitelli, and now Winslow Homer, A shame...

Carlos in Cali,

     If you have to ask why the hatred, Then, You don't know what this guy is all about, I will leave it at that...

03 Feb 2010 10:55 AM
Carlos in Cali

Greg J.

Please elaborate.I don't know him personally,other than he's a been claiming genius for a while and has been cleared & absolved of any wrong doings recently.From what I've read,his 'troubles' have more to do with conflicting personal politics than ethical reasons.

03 Feb 2010 1:52 PM
Steve Stan

Come on. You guys that don't know Wayne sound like jealous school girls, someone who didn't get asked to the prom or a fan he ignored,and he never ignores fans no matter what their age is.

I know for a lot of the guys in the upper echelon or easily recognizable they take heat. Like he and Baffert both said once. If they don't answer questions or aren't visible they're uncooperative. If they are accessible and willing to talk about their horses then 'they never met a camera they didn't like'. That is such an old tag, come up with something new not something you heard 15 years ago and are repeating.

I really don't think you guys know enough about any person in the game to make those kind of personal judgements and are just parroting things about people you don't like. Why you don't like them is just your personal choice, which I've never understood from people who don't even know the person in question. Silly nonsense.

Think you guys are too old for that and seem to be better than that (at least you Mike)

03 Feb 2010 2:44 PM
Greg J.

Carlos in Cali,

    I have my reasons for despising this guy, I will just say, I know for a fact not to believe anything that comes out of his mouth. Now that he says he is getting out, For once, I hope he keeps his word and he honestly can't leave quick enough!  While this sport is very far from perfect, Getting rid of this guy is a start in the right direction! I wish a couple of his trainers would also follow his lead and disappear with him...

03 Feb 2010 3:02 PM
Matthew W

Coldfacts--Yes, there have been many who could not get that final leg---but where does it say 1 1/2 on the dirt is even relevant anymore? Which of the Triple Crown winners would you pick over Spectacular Bid at 1 1/4? One, or two--maybe...and you'd still probably lose your $$!!

03 Feb 2010 3:08 PM
It Aint Easy being good

You heard it hear first ron the geek is not going to be a factor in his next race he got lucky!

03 Feb 2010 3:12 PM
Householder

Now onto the Lewis (American Lion) and Las Virgenes (Blind Luck) this weekend.  Any thoughts?  

03 Feb 2010 3:18 PM
Mike Relva

GREG J

I haven't a doubt you're on point on this  one. Thanks as always for your opinion.

03 Feb 2010 5:33 PM
Footlick

I read an interesting article about Santa Anita.  All their troubles stem from how the first synthetic was put in.  Not sure if the track was not dug up correctly before the cushion track was put in, but there was too much sand and that didn't drain properly.  Then when they removed the cushion track and put pro-ride in, they did not get all the sand up, so that is in there with the pro-ride, hence the draining problems again.  The article also said that Santa Anita has never said they were definitely going back to dirt, but whatever thjey put in, the surface will be completely stripped this time.  It should have been done properly the first time.

03 Feb 2010 7:48 PM
Footlick

Matthew W- If I had to choose, I'd take Citation, Count Fleet, Affirmed, maybe War Admiral off the top of my head.  But you are right that it would be a battle.

04 Feb 2010 9:43 AM
Footlick

Matthew W- the fact that 12 furlongs have become irrelevant is more to do with the way we breed horses here in the US.  It should be relevant, it used to be relevant and it still is relevant in Europe, Japan and Australia/New Zealand, the three other major racing areas in the world.  

04 Feb 2010 9:47 AM
Steve Stan

Breeders are breeding for the conditions. Find a race at that distance in the U.S. on a regular basis.

I know you're interested in Euro racing Footlick, particularly England?

However those conditions aren't the same as ours and those kinds of races really aren't written. The Classic distance in the US is what we focus on.

As to superior training, non-race day meds, training methodology?

I'd say Wes went in there and tore that theory up. My guess is if more really set their sites on that arena they'd do just fine. Whoever is a good horseman will be able to train just as well as anyone else. That doesn't mean that the superior horseman will always win, but on a level playing field they'll hold their own.

04 Feb 2010 11:38 AM
Steve Stan

Wayne is too savvy to do a Q&A on here. Sad for Jason and everyone else who isn't negative without having any facts.

04 Feb 2010 11:44 AM
Footlick

SteveStan- yes, I am interested in Euro racing- French is my first preference actually, but I also follow British and when I can German.  I would have to say though that the US thoroughbred is really not even being bred for 10 furlongs, which is our Classic distance.  I think most of our horses are being bred to be superior at 8-9 furlongs, as speed seems to be the most important quality.  Mr Lukas is certainly well aware of that and I'm sure it is one of the criteria he looks at when he talks about shortening up our Classic races.  If we consider 12 furlongs obsolete in our dirt racing, then change the Belmont Stakes.  Europeans have never lost sight that you have to keep stamina in the breed, even in their sprinters.  They want a horse who can win the 2000, the Derby and the Arc.  Zarkava and Sea the Stars could run 7-12 furlongs.  We breed for speed.  People who say that it is not necessary to run 10 furlongs are probably right.  It is going to be the next distance that is considered obsolete?  Then we will have a group of 8-9 furlong races as our championship series.  If that's where racing wants to go, then so be it.

As for training methods and such, I have never thought a European trainer any more talented because they can't use meds.  Our trainers are just as talented.  Our jockeys just as talented.  Our horses just as talented.  Wesley Ward did a great job, and England toasted him.  But he did say that he went when he did because any two-year old pointing for the major Fall races and the 3 yr old classics probably wouldn't be there, and he had fast two year olds ready to run.  He was very realistic about it.  Nonetheless, he did a great job and England applauded him for it.  Contrary to maybe a popular belief, Europe loves it when American horses come over and run.  When Tom Rolfe ran in the Arc, they wrote glowing reviews of his race even though he didn't finish in the top four.  They correctly assessed that his optimum distance was 10 furlongs, and he was running against top 12 furlong horses.  But he was right there at the lead at 10 furlongs, and they applauded his effort.  They would love to see more American horses there.

Wesley should only be applauded.  I have never criticized American trainers.  They use meds because they can. There was a time when they could not.  And they did just fine.

04 Feb 2010 12:52 PM
Householder

The man was for racing in the 80's as was Willie Shoemaker was a decade or two earlier.  You may have never been to the track but you knew the "Shoe."  I really don't think racing has changed that much.  Rich owners of football and baseball teams have been traded in for record owners and wine barrons.  They all want their horses to win the big one despite pedigree or confirmation limitations.  I also understand that the trainers sometimes get caught in a bind between talking to the public and trying to keep the cash from the owners flowing.  It would be nice to hear now, what Lukas thinks about bombs like Houston.  Was he really dehydrated in the Santa Anita Derby or just beaten by a better/cheaper horse?  He seemed to end his career sprinting ala Pyro.  

04 Feb 2010 8:19 PM
Alex'sBiggestFan

I agree with Lukas on this one, if Dublin possesses that special agility and athleticism that "papa"

displayed in Preakness 2005, then look out.  And apparently Dublin has signs of it in balance and ability.  Alex was only one length, not many realize, from a Triple Crown; caught in traffic in the Derby and lost by a length in third.  I saw his Belmont in person and Alex did not even turn his head one inch in the post parade; I mean I stood right there and he did not flinch a muscle, straight and focused.  So glad Dublin had corrective surgery and is back.  Whatever the "it" factor is Dublin apparently has it and that is good enough for me.  My wish is that he is "the one" I am watching this year at the Belmont in New York!!!!!!!!!!  Good luck Mr. Lukas and Dublin!!!!!!!

05 Feb 2010 8:32 PM
Tim G

Wayne has spoken at length and publically about any number of horses under his tutelage.  He has said he misjudged Capote in his 3 year old season. Hey we all have some misses. Some really expensive horses that should have, for all intents and purposes been great but weren't.  It's a crapshoot for sure and took nerves of steel back in the day, especially.

I say that Wayne really hit his stride as far as the TC in the 90's after Jeff's accident and some of the other misfortune the first couple years of that decade. Actually if you know him, he'll talk to you about most anything, in a very forthright manner.

Footlick I know what Steve Stan is saying. You can't get a race written in this country at a Belmont distance, on a regular basis. Why breed for races they won't write?

05 Feb 2010 10:10 PM
Coldfacts

Matthew W,

‘Coldfacts--Yes, there have been many who could not get that final leg---but where does it say 1 1/2 on the dirt is even relevant anymore?’ Why is the relevance of one leg of the Triple Crown an issue? The Triple Crown is comprised of three races therefore all legs are relevant.

My post indicated that 27 horses won 2 legs of the TC in the last 50 years. It does not mean that they all won the first two legs. For example; Thunder Gulch & Swale won the Derby and the Belmont. Tabasco Cat, Hansel & Point Given won the Preakness & the Belmont. Spectacular Bid won the Derby and Preakness.

‘Coldfacts - Which of the Triple Crown winners would you pick over Spectacular Bid at 1 1/4?’

I find the question odd as Spectacular Bid failed where every TC winner succeeded. Why should he be compared with TC winners?  It would be more appropriate to compare him the other 26 horses that won two legs in the last 50 years. That’s the category in which he belongs.

Well, would pick all as they achieved something the Bid failed to do. If I had to pick one it would be Seattle Slew was he is the only TC winner that completed the series of races undefeated. He also sires a Derby and a Belmont winner. The Bid failed to win the Triple Crown and failed to sire the winner of a Triple Crown race. This does not detract from his brilliance on the track.

06 Feb 2010 12:04 AM
Footlick

Tim- They don't write them because trainers stopped running their horses in them because they weren't bred to run that far.  Just like they stopped writing handicaps because trainers stopped running in them because they didn't want their horses to carry weight.  I believe in distance races because breeding for stamina means breeding stoutness into the breed.  We don't even breed horses to legitimately get 10 furlongs for the most part, let alone 12.  So let's start by breeding 10 furlong horses then instead of 8/9 furlong horses that we breed now.  And if you want to make 12 furlongs obsolete, then by all mean do so, but then change the TC to 8, 9 and 10 furlong race progression instead of 10, 9.5 and 12 furlong progression.  I don't want to see it change, but Mr Lukas has known for quite awhile that we are running horses at these distances who really aren't bred to do so.  Hence his wish to shorten the TC races.  But again, it's only my opinion.  I think breeding stamina is important, but if we don't need horses to run past 9 furlongs, then we don't.  I think it's a loss, but again just my opinion.  I know that there aren't many races written at 12 furlongs, but there is still one very important one, or at least I thought so.

06 Feb 2010 1:03 AM
Tim G

Well, guess you know more than the rest of us do about what the racing secretaries will write and why.

This started a LONG time ago.

Wayne has had several horses that excelled at the distance. But he's right, most of them who did are not studs in NA.  The Belmont HAS been run at different distances and THAT is the only race that he is seriously speaking of re a distance change. More or less he and a lot of us want a timeline that will keep more of the original fields in the races, draw a fan base to have a favorite horse to follow. Isn't that really an answer to those grousing because we don't keep them in the game longer?  It would allow the horses more recuperative time and insure better health and possibly less injuries.

Blasphemy! Then 'we' wouldn't be able to complain about trainers being hard on their horses, 'we'd' have to find something new to complain about.

07 Feb 2010 12:19 PM
Footlick

I remember when Mr Lucas first proposed changing the distances in the TC, and he stated that he thought the progression should be 9 furlongs, 9.5 furlongs and 10 furlongs.  If it has changed, and now the Belmont is the only distance he wants to change, I apologize for my ignorance.  I am not in the inner circle.

As far as the TC distances are concerned, the Kentucky Derby started as a 12 furlong race, and the Preakness as well as the Belmont have been different distances.  They were even run in a different order at one time.  But again, if I am wrong I apologize for my ignorance.

I'm sorry that I believe if we breed a horse that has more stamina influences, the breed might become a little less fragile than it is and be better equipped to deal with 10 furlongs and not have the TC knock so many horses out.  But again, since I'm not an insider, I have to bow to superior knowledge.

I have never stated I know more than anybody, and am obviously not the thoroughbred insider you are.  

From now on I'll remember to only post when I feel worthy.  But how could I possibly feel worthy of all those in the know.

09 Feb 2010 11:24 PM
Tim G

Come on. What you are trying to say is that we don't know what secretaries will write. Those races are hard to get written and have been for years. That is why the breeding changed. Changed to what types of horses would be able to get into races.

I don't question your knowledge of the history of the game or the handicapping, following the horses.

I appreciate your posts and I've stated that. What I don't appreciate is people telling us what the reality of it is, when it isn't real at all and then talking down to us for expressing the reality as it hits us.

It's all opinion, but some is from a closer look. IF you don't talk down to me like I don't know what's going on? I'll return the respect.

We all know that the distances have changed and the order has changed over the generations, my point exactly.

Is it radical? Maybe, but maybe a necessary evil.

I just say that those who run horses know that it isn't just the breeders/owners who have altered the breed and the distances. It was foist upon us.

Mr. LuKas had a gripe about the distance, but his main issue is the timing of the races and 'holding the fields together'.

10 Feb 2010 2:21 PM
Householder

The mans a legend.  If the "Bald Eagle" can pull off a Derby win in his mid 70's perhaps Lukas can as well.  He'll just have to find a rider who is in his mid 50's for a repeat.  Loved the Shoe's ride on Ferdinand after he was pinched at the start.  Dead last around the first turn, picks off horses on the backside, goes to the rail, instead of around at the 16th pole.  You Tube that one!  

10 Feb 2010 7:50 PM
phil

Wayne has always been my favorite trainer, but he said the same things about Going Wild who was an embarressment in the Derby.

11 Feb 2010 10:06 PM
Tim G

Yes he said the same things about a number of horses. The man is positive about all of his horses and no owner would want it any other way.  GW was training well, performing pretty well and as we say they don't all pan out like we'd want.

However GW didn't win the way Dublin won the Hopeful.

Maybe it's resolved maybe it isn't right now he's working like a beast and what would people rather hear? 'Well I don't like his chances I'm prepping him for the Derby and wasting everyones time and money?'

Some owners are dumb, some aren't. Doubt anyone is going to try and pull the wool over the eyes of owners with a bunch of horses with them and a long term relationship.

Least of all someone as savvy as Wayne.

Heck why do you think he's so successful as a motivational speaker? Why do you think one of his golden rules of training is NO negativity? (well in a nutshell) He doesn't believe in doom and gloom and he can always find something to be positive about. Has worked out pretty well, so far.

12 Feb 2010 12:59 PM
Coldfacts

Jason,

I know you are high on Dublin and rightfully so as he appears to be a nice colt.  In my opinion he is not the likely 2010 derby winner. The Southwest will answer some interesting questions about his status after his surgery. Mr. Lukas estimates he was only getting 60% to 70% of his air supply prior to his surgery. Will he be 30% to 40% better? We will see.

I like a long shot in the Southwest. He is Cardiff Giant who has already made 10 starts. He was recently second in the San Rafael to the likely Southwest favorite Conveyance. I watch the San Rafael and was surprised to see Cardiff Giant equipped with a Visor, Shadow Roll and what appeared to be a figure eight. Who equip a young horse with so much equipment? In spite of the baggage he ran extremely well. I am hoping to see an equipment change for the Southwest.  While I have no confidence in the Storm Cat sire line, Cardiff Giant’s dam line is on the derby chart big time. His dam was sired by Stop The Music who was dam sire of 2005 derby winner Giacomo. His second dam was sired by Jacinto who was dam sire of 1982 derby winner Gato Del Sol. His fourth dam was sired by Tom Fool sire of 1958 derby winner Tim Tam. If this dam line that loaded with classic success cannot help a son of Storm Cat then the sire line is hopeless.

NB: This may no significance but Cardiff Giant is a chestnut. Some of Storm Cat’s best sons are chestnuts i.e. Giant’s Causeway, Cat Thief, Tabasco Cat etc.

14 Feb 2010 12:49 PM
Mister Brew

Always liked Lukas as he is a class act.  It's time for him to have a good horse again and Dublin might just be the one.  Lukas likes Oaklawn....just hope Dublin does too and can overcome the 10 hole in the short mile.  Lets beat the shippers!

14 Feb 2010 9:28 PM
Tom O.

After the Southwest I'm impressed. After a slow, stumbling start, and racing wide the whole trip; he was quickly catching up. More distance should also help. Mr. Lukas will have him ready,and settle on the right jockey. Love this horse.

22 Feb 2010 11:13 AM
Alex'sBiggestFan

Well guys, the Southwest proves it, Dublin is a serious contender and has what Alex has.  What Alex did in Preakness 2005 was noted in Sports Illustrated as him being one of the 25 most amazing animals ever. If you watch the race replay of Belmont Stakes 2005, the Southwest was very reminiscent whereby Dublin inhaled horses and came from behind about the same place as did Alex in the Belmont.

I don't like the blinkers and no son of Alex should need them! I wish they would get a steady jockey, and who better in this case than Jeremy Rose!!!!!  That would be great but I don't know if he rides for Lucas.  Dublin looks as though he has enough maturity, epiglottis surgery and all, to go the entire Triple Crown route.  I love the name Dublin but I do wish his owners would have kept the traditional Afleet name going (Afleet/Northern Afleet/Afleet Alex).  And Dublin made Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen list this week!  It's way too early to make a Derby choice on any of them, but...............................

23 Feb 2010 7:50 PM

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