D. Wayne Lukas' impact on the Derby trail this year has not exactly been typical for the four-time Kentucky Derby winner. He's won two stakes so far, the Tropical Park Derby at Calder on the grass and the Whirlaway Stakes on Aqueduct's inner track. He's also finished second in the Golden Gate Derby and third in the Santa Catalina Stakes. Boston Park
, wire-to-wire winner of Saturday's Whirlaway, ran a gutsy race to turn back several challenges, including a final stretch bid by the undefeated Grey Comet
. But the son of Boston Harbor was scoring only his third victory in 11 career starts, and was coming off a pair of dismal efforts at Gulfstream and Hoosier Park. Prior to that, he had a third in the Sapling Stakes and a fourth in the Iroquois, while running poorly in several other stakes.
Talking about horses coming off the grass, Lukas will be sending his recent maiden winner on grass, Deep Shadow
, to Fair Grounds for the Risen Star, and is sending Mike Smith to ride him. The son of Cape Town tired in both his dirt sprints, but turned in a powerful move after stretching out to a mile on the grass, winning by 3 lengths. This looks to be Lukas' secret weapon this year, so keep a close eye on him at Fair Grounds next weekend. The Risen Star is coming up very tough, and if this colt can handle himself against a talented bunch of locals, it will be a huge step for him. Lukas also has Scrimshaw
and Ozzie Cat
sharp for the Hutcheson and Fountain of Youth, respectively.Whywhywhy
, winner of the grade I Futurity Stakes and grade II Sanford Stakes, is scheduled to ship to Gulfstream on Wednesday for the Fountain of Youth Stakes or Hutcheson.
When looking at potential Kentucky Derby pedigrees, most everyone relies strictly on the dosage index, or they'll look at the horse's sire. If you do that with Whywhywhy, you'll be convinced immediately that he has no shot of getting a mile and a quarter. After all, he's a son of Mr. Greeley and has a dosage index of 5.00.
But, he also has one of the most interesting Derby pedigrees you'll ever see. Of the 14 different stallions in his first four generations, 10 of them either won the Kentucky Derby, finished second in the Kentucky Derby or sired a Kentucky Derby winner. To be more specific, Mr. Prospector, Fappiano, Quiet American, Raise a Native, Bold Ruler, and What a Pleasure all sired Derby winners. Secretariat won the Derby; Dancer's Image finished first in the Derby, and is a Derby winner by most people's standards; and Arts and Letters and Honest Pleasure finished second in the Derby. Of the four remaining stallions in his pedigree, Gone West sired Belmont winner Commendable and Reviewer sired Coaching Club American Oaks winner (when it was 1 1/2 miles) Ruffian. In addition, Equal Change, his third dam in his tail-female family, finished second to Ruffian in the CCA Oaks, giving the great filly a run for her money. Maybe Whywhywhy can't get a mile and a quarter. But if he can't, he's certainly in the vast minority compared to the rest of his family.