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D. Wayne Lukas Wins Two Consecutive Prep Races

Updated on June 19, 2013
The Fair Grounds in New Orleans
The Fair Grounds in New Orleans | Source

The Road to the Kentucky Derby is Wide Open!

D. Wayne Lukas has been one of racing’s finest trainers for decades. He’s won 13 Triple Crown races, which is tied for most all-time, and has sent 19 winners to the track in Breeders’ Cup racing. He hasn’t won a Kentucky Derby since 1999 (Charismatic), but he is off to a good start on the Derby trail this year, as he and veteran jockey Jon Court, have taken the last two prep races.

Last weekend at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Oxbow was a clear winner in the $200,000, Grade III Lecomte Stakes. Right out of the gate, Oxbow set the pace and was scarcely challenged. He did his best work at the final turn, holding a lead over Heitai, before breaking away for a ten length win. The victory was the first of the Kentucky Derby prep season for Lukas, who was pleased with effort; "The thing about him is, he has such an efficiency of motion, He has such a high cruising speed, which you always like with a horse going a mile and quarter and beyond.'' With the win, Oxbow receives ten points in the Kentucky Derby Championship standings, while runner-up Golden Soul gets earned four points and third place finisher Fear the Kitten picked up two points.

Only a couple of days passed between Lukas getting the win in New Orleans and then picking up another one at the Smarty Jones Stakes in Arkansas. Will Take Charge was a 12-1 bet when the gates opened and the colt was positioned on the outside post. He broke well and settled behind Avare and Texas Bling, another longshot at 18-1, around the first turns. Up the back stretch Will Take Charge moved up in the pack to challenge for the lead as Avare started to fade. In the final furlong Texas Bling and Will Take Charge were neck and neck for the lead with Always in a Tiz charging. At the wire Jon Court’s colt found a little extra and won by a head, leaving Texas Bling and Always in a Tiz in a photo finish for second. The win netted Will Take Charge ten points and now sits tied with eight others in the standings behind leaders Goldencents (24 points) and Shanghai Bobby (20 points).

It seems as though Lukas has announced his presence on the road to the 2013 Kentucky Derby with authority, but there is a lot of racing to be done before either one of these colts can be considered among the top favorites for the opening race of the Triple Crown. Oxbow, who has two wins in six starts, looks to be pointed towards the Risen Star Stakes, while the next destination for Will Take Charge has yet to be determined. These two colts could be a big factor this spring as the new three-year-old class has a long way to go before it sorts itself out. You can keep up with the point standings and the results of each race as the Road to the Kentucky Derby plays out at, where we not only do they specialize in Kentucky Derby tickets, but give you, the racing fan, articles and information you need as the first Saturday in May approaches!

Oxbow Takes The Lecomte Stakes!

Smarty Jones Stakes Goes to Will Take Charge


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