Trainer D. Wayne Lukas brought former champion Azeri all the way back Saturday to capture the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) in smart front-running fashion over a strong field at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas hasn't given up on his chances of making this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), as he sends out Robert and Beverly Lewis' Hasslefree in next Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II). Lukas also plans on running the Lewises' Race for Glory in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II).
Champion mare Azeri worked seven furlongs in 1:24 3/5 at Santa Anita Friday, trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirming the move is in preparation for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park on April 3.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who did not compete in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) last year for the first time since 1979, will miss the West Coast's premier 3-year-old race again this year.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- The victories by Tabasco Cat in the 1994 Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were looked upon by the late William T. Young as his happiest moments in racing.
Tabasco Cat, who won the 1994 Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont (gr. I) Stakes as a homebred for William T. Young and David Reynolds, died at the Japan Bloodstock Breeders' Association's Shizunai Stallion Station in Japan.
Azeri breezed five furlongs in :58 3/5 Wednesday at Santa Anita under the watchful eye of owner Michael Paulson.
Feb. 18, 1995
Thunder Gulch at Gulfstream Park
D. Wayne Lukas said Sunday that he has been delighted with Azeri since the Hall of Fame trainer received the champion Dec. 28. Sunday, the 2002 Horse of the Year worked four furlongs in :48 3/5 at Santa Anita.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, had her first official workout in the care of her new trainer, D. Wayne Lukas Sunday morning, breezing three furlongs in :35 1/5.
It certainly wasn't the biggest race of the season, but Monday's $81,225 Fred "Cappy" Capossela had to be special to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas' New York operation. The winner, Quick Action is owned by longtime client Overbrook Farm, whose founder, William T. Young, died last week.
William T. Young, a major Thoroughbred owner-breeder who operated Overbrook Farm near Lexington, Ky., died Monday at his home in Gulf Stream, Fla. He was 85.
"This is a major, major loss to racing," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said upon learning of the death of W. T. Young, his longtime friend and business associate.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, arrived at D. Wayne Lukas' Santa Anita barn Dec. 28 to begin training toward a 2004 campaign. "She showed a lot of energy, so she went to the track and jogged lightly with the pony this morning," the Hall of Fame trainer said Monday.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year who suffered a tendon injury one week prior to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, will return to training for a 2004 campaign under Hall of Fame conditioner D. Wayne Lukas.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Friday morning he has received no confirmation from Azeri's owner, Michael Paulson, that the 2002 Horse of the Year would resume training under Lukas.
Azeri, who has not raced since Sept. 28 due to an injured tendon, could be going back into training and heading to D. Wayne Lukas' barn.
Be Gentle lost all chance right out of the gate in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). She won the $230,000 Golden Rod (gr. II) Saturday at Churchill Downs by getting out of the gate first and leading all the way. It just goes to show what racing luck can mean.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has already saddled more winners of the $200,000-added Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) than anyone at Churchill Downs, sends out the imposing duo of Be Gentle and Stellar Jayne in Saturday's 60th renewal of the race for 2-year-old fillies.
An injury suffered in a Tuesday workout has knocked Walter "Buddy" New's Scat Sam Man out of Saturday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds.
Eclipse Award-winning jockey Tyler Baze rode in his first Quarter Horse races at Los Alamitos Saturday night, winning aboard one runner and finishing second on the other.
Stellar Jayne, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, assumed the lead inside the final sixteenth of a mile – following a fatal breakdown by race leader Sweet Jo Jo – to win Saturday's $112,300 Pocahontas for 2-year-old fillies by 2 ½ lengths at Churchill Downs.
The scariest thing about trainer Bobby Frankel setting a North American single-season earnings record on Halloween is that there are still two months left in 2003.
Tom VanMeter II hopes he has the bases covered in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). A principal in Eaton Sales along with Reiley McDonald, VanMeter has sold many "home run" runners, but he has two of his own on deck for the $1-million race for 2-year-old fillies: Be Gentle and Victory U.S.A.
This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the Breeders' Cup, and only one trainer has saddled horses in each rendition of racing's biggest day. D. Wayne Lukas, in addition to his vast success in Triple Crown events, is by far the winningest Breeders' Cup conditioner.
The Herc, a 2-year-old colt whose 96-year-old owner Sam Longo died Thursday, became the first Oak Tree stakes winner for trainer Gary Stute in the $81,975 Sunny Slope Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita.
Robert and Beverly Lewis' multiple stakes-placed Renaissance Lady, who was eased in the Sept. 28 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. II) in her last start, worked five furlongs in :59 4/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Saturday morning in preparation for what will likely be her next start in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Bobby Frankel and Jerry Bailey each established new North American single season records over the weekend and are on track to set other marks before the racing year is over, according to Equibase Company, the Thoroughbred industry's official database for racing information.
Thomas Van Meter II's Be Gentle took the early lead under Cornelio Velasquez and never looked back, romping to a decisive 5 1/2-length victory Friday in the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland Racecourse.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won his first stakes at Oak Tree since 1997 when Race for Glory captured the $80,850 Cavonnier Stakes for 2-year-old colts Wednesday by seven lengths at Santa Anita.
Randy Bradshaw has been hired as a farm trainer by Frank Stronach's Adena Springs operation.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has returned to Southern California, five months after dissolving his Santa Anita string and splitting it between New York, Kentucky and Chicago.
Saratoga Notebook: Pletcher's Travers Strategy; Samyn Sidelined; Lukas' New Wheels; Congrats for Shug?
Todd Pletcher may have been the only potential Travers trainer disappointed with the news that Empire Maker might not run. As the trainer of front-running Strong Hope, who beat Empire Maker in the Jim Dandy (gr. II), Pletcher knows that the presence of Peace Rules means unwanted company on the lead.
MSNBC, a network better known for tracking the stock market, points its attention to the racetrack with a one-hour program called "Thoroughbred: Stable to Stardom," which premieres Sunday, Aug. 24 from 10-11 p.m. ET.
Unbridled Beauty, a $750,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga's yearling sale a year ago, returns to The Spa in Monday's $150,000 Adirondack Stakes.
Business continued its upswing Wednesday night during the second of three sessions at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga yearling sale, with strong gains in gross receipts and average and a modest gain in the median price.
Saratoga Notebook: Lewis' Warhol Injured; Dandy Draws 6 Definites; Hennig Has Mares Ready; First 'Chase Mishaps
Warhol, a $4 million yearling recently purchased privately by Bob and Beverly Lewis from John Magnier and Michael Tabor, was injured Tuesday while leaving the Oklahoma training track.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Posse will be chasing his fourth straight stakes victory Saturday when he faces six top 3-year-old sprinters in the $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga.
Saratoga Notebook: Proud Citizen Sharp for Whitney, Says Lukas; Scrimshaw Tries Sprinting; Real Spa Horse Wins
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has a suggestion for people handicapping the Whitney Handicap (gr.I) on Saturday: don't overlook Proud Citizen.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is ready for the relaxed atmosphere at Saratoga, while trainers Nick Zito and P. G. Johnson prepare Bird Town and Volponi for their major tasks ahead.
Is it possible Saratoga will provide an early sneak preview of next year's classic scene, or are the heavy-duty arsenals of Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas merely today's weapons?
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas won the $110,900 Debutante Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs for the record fifth time when his trainees Be Gentle and Renaissance Lady ran 1-2 in the 103rd renewal of the race July 4.
Winchell Thoroughbred's unbeaten Cuvee, a dominating winner of the Kentucky Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, is the headliner in a battle of so far perfect 2-year-olds converging on Churchill Downs for $125,000-added Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III).
The Debutante Stakes (gr. III) has been run at Churchill Downs for more than a century. A win in Friday's 103rd renewal by D. Wayne Lukas would put the Hall of Fame trainer in very exclusive territory. Lukas will be shooting that day for an unprecedented fifth victory in the race.
Cuvee, a romping winner in the Kentucky Breeders' Cup (gr. III), looms as a heavy favorite in Sunday's 102nd running of the six-furlong race for 2-year-olds - but he will be challenged by some new faces.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will saddle three fillies in Friday's Debutante (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Baker, Cornstein and Mack's Proud Citizen, a disappointing eighth in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), turned in a sparkling five-furlong breeze Sunday in his first major training move since that race.
Grade I winners Aldebaran and Mineshaft expected to headline Saturday's contest at Churchill Downs, while Pat Day now has the mount on Perfect Drift.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas sounded a warning to those running in Saturday's 135th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes hoping to derail the Funny Cide Express to the Visa Triple Crown: "That sucker is ready."
Scrimshaw, trainer D. Wayne Lukas' entrant for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), arrived at Belmont Park at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
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