While Sitting Out Derby, Lukas On Track With Quarter Horses

Even though Hall of Fame Thoroughbred trainer D. Wayne Lukas will miss Saturday's Kentucky Derby for the first time since 1980, the conditioner will have six Quarter Horse runners in the May 5 trials for the $392,900 Kindergarten Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos. Lukas' wife Laura trains the couple's American Quarter Horse runners.

Included in Lukas' trial horses is Check Him Out, a 2-year-old colt owned by Lukas in partnership with Zory Kuzyk. Check Him Out is one of two Quarter Horses sired by Thoroughbred stallion Hennessy, a grade 1 winning son of Storm Cat.

Hennessy's other Quarter foal is a full sister to Check Him Out, a 3-year-old maiden with eight career starts.

Also representing the Lukases is Hot As Hell, the $575,000 sale-topper from last year's Vessels/ Schvaneveldt Sale. Owned by D. Wayne in partnership with E.K. Gaylord II, Hot As Hell is a full brother to millionaire Corona Kool and finished second in his career debut. He will race in the third trial.

According to the American Quarter Horse Association, Hot As Hell and Check Him Out were introduced to the saddle at Calumet Farms in Kentucky. "Calumet Farms is just a beautiful place for a horse to be a horse," said Lukas. "After they work with the babies, they just turn them out and they get to run on acres and acres of green grass. It's really a great atmosphere for them."

The other Lukas horses in the Kindergarten trials are Bobcat Bob (8th trial), who won his debut on April 14 and is by Chicks Beduino; Justa Dance (1st trial), fourth in her only start and out of a Riva Ridge mare; Rare News (9th trial), second in his debut and by First Down Dash; and Border Law (11th trial), another by First Down Dash who was fifth in his debut.