Scrimshaw is Lukas' Final Hope for Derby 129

Edited release from Churchill Downs
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has started more horses in the Kentucky Derby than any trainer in history and has won the "Run for the Roses" four times, but he is down to his final candidate for Derby 129 in Robert and Beverly Lewis' Scrimshaw.

The son of Gulch will run in Saturday's Coolmore Lexington at Keeneland and a big effort could earn the lightly raced colt a start in the Kentucky Derby -- but Lukas is taking nothing for granted.

"That's going to be a real competitive nice race," Lukas said. "It might be better than the Blue Grass."

The race is expected to attract a field that includes Midas Eyes, Ministers Wild Cat, Ocean Terrace, Trust N Luck and Most Feared. But a strong run by Scrimshaw could set the colt up for a strong run in the Derby, just as it did for the Lukas-trained Charismatic, who won both races in 1999, and Proud Citizen, who won last year's Coolmore Lexington and then ran second to War Emblem in the Derby.

"It's worked good for me twice," said Lukas. "Maybe it'll work for me a third time."

Scrimshaw was unbeaten in a pair of starts at Santa Anita at two, but finished third to Domestic Dispute in his 3-year-old debut in the Santa Catalina. He followed that effort with a distant fourth-place finish behind Lion Tamer in the Hutcheson on Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park. The colt has not raced since then, but Lukas said Scrimshaw underwent what he described as "minor throat surgery" after that race and he took his time with the colt after that race.

Lukas said that that Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Ten Cents A Shine, a disappointing seventh in the Toyota Blue Grass, came out of the race well, but is out of the Kentucky Derby picture.

"It's all mental with him," said Lukas. "We're going to try some different things with him. The horse has got a lot of talent. Physically, he's a picture - but mentally he's not there. He actually gallops faster in the morning than he ran the other day."