The Rise of Secret Oath: Potential Preakness Success After Kentucky Oaks Victory

The Success of Secret Oath at the Kentucky Oaks and Potential Future Races

The recent victory of Secret Oath at the Kentucky Oaks has opened up a world of opportunities for the talented filly. Trained by the legendary D. Wayne Lukas, Secret Oath displayed an impressive and workmanlike performance to take home the 148th Kentucky Oaks crown. Now, with multiple options on the table, including the prestigious Preakness Stakes, Lukas is considering the best path forward for this rising star.

Exploring Potential Races

D. Wayne Lukas is an experienced trainer who knows how to make strategic decisions when it comes to his horses. Regarding Secret Oath’s future, Lukas plans to consult with owner Rob Mitchell to discuss the available options. While the Preakness Stakes is a tempting choice, Lukas is also considering the Black-Eyed Susan, taking into account the significant difference in prize money and the opportunity for a second Grade 1 victory.

The 148th Kentucky Oaks served as Secret Oath’s first Grade 1 win, showcasing her exceptional talent and setting the stage for her promising future. Jockey Luis Saez, who partnered with Secret Oath for the race, describes the victory as an effortless one. At the half-mile mark, Saez noticed the leaders were far ahead, but within moments, Secret Oath swiftly closed the gap and emerged victorious.

A Masterful Ride

Luis Saez’s skillful riding played a crucial role in Secret Oath’s triumph at the Kentucky Oaks. Although the race appeared seamless, it was far from easy. As the race unfolded, Secret Oath found herself in eighth place, trailing by five lengths at the three-quarter pole. However, Saez skillfully maneuvered her five wide around the final turn, propelling her past her competitors, Yuugirl and Echo Zulu. Secret Oath seized the lead in the middle of the stretch and held off a strong finish from Nest to secure the victory.

D. Wayne Lukas expressed his satisfaction with the race and described it as picture-perfect. The plan he had discussed with his wife, Laurie, before the race had unfolded flawlessly, and he knew they were in a good position when Saez made his move down the backstretch.

Secret Oath’s Remarkable Journey

Secret Oath’s triumph at the Kentucky Oaks not only solidified her position as a formidable racehorse but also affirmed the decision made by her owners, Rob and Stacy Mitchell. They made the wise choice to withdraw Secret Oath from the September 2020 Keeneland Sale and keep her at their Briland Farm.

Rob Mitchell proudly shared that every foal they have ever raised was born on their own farm. This commitment to homebred horses has yielded successful results. They have never bought a racehorse; instead, they have acquired broodmares and raised their fillies, continuing the legacy of Secret Oath’s dam and grandmother, who still reside on their farm.

The decision to keep Secret Oath within the family has proven beneficial, evident from her outstanding accomplishments on the racing circuit. Not only is she a talented athlete, but she also carries a sense of homebred pride that resonates with fans and racing enthusiasts.

Securing a Promising Future

After her victorious run at the Kentucky Oaks, Secret Oath emerged from the race in excellent condition, according to D. Wayne Lukas. The filly’s third-place finish in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby against male competitors showcased her versatility and potential to succeed in various circumstances.

As Secret Oath moves forward, Lukas will carefully consider the best path to optimize her skills and capitalize on her success. The decision-making process will involve weighing the potential rewards and challenges presented by different races and analyzing how each option aligns with Secret Oath’s long-term development.

Record-Breaking Success at the Kentucky Oaks

Beyond Secret Oath’s individual triumph, her victory at the Kentucky Oaks made an impact on Churchill Downs itself. The race attracted a remarkable 100,188 fans to the iconic venue, setting a new attendance record for Oaks Friday. This significant turnout translated into record-breaking handle numbers.

Churchill Downs witnessed an impressive $74.6 million in handle, a substantial increase of 37% compared to the previous year and a remarkable 24% rise from the previous record set in 2019. The handle for the Kentucky Oaks alone reached $24.3 million, marking a staggering 40% surge from 2021 and a tremendous 25% jump from the previous benchmark set in 2019.


The victory of Secret Oath at the Kentucky Oaks has set the stage for an exciting future. Under the astute guidance of D. Wayne Lukas, Secret Oath has emerged as a rising star in the racing world. With multiple options ahead, including the possibility of participating in the Preakness Stakes, Secret Oath’s talent and potential will continue to captivate audiences. The commitment of her owners, Rob and Stacy Mitchell, to homebred excellence, has proven fruitful, with Secret Oath serving as a testament to their successful approach. As Secret Oath’s journey unfolds, racing enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the next chapter of her remarkable story.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Secret Oath expected to compete in the Preakness Stakes?

While the Preakness Stakes is under consideration for Secret Oath, the final decision will involve consultation between trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner Rob Mitchell. They will assess the various options available and weigh the potential benefits of participating in the race.

2. How does Secret Oath’s victory at the Kentucky Oaks impact her racing career?

Secret Oath’s victory at the Kentucky Oaks has solidified her position as a highly talented racehorse. It serves as proof of her abilities and opens up opportunities for participation in renowned races. Her success paves the way for further development and potential achievements.

3. What is the significance of Secret Oath being a homebred horse?

Secret Oath’s status as a homebred horse highlights the dedication and commitment of her owners, Rob and Stacy Mitchell. Their decision to keep Secret Oath within their family’s breeding program has yielded positive results, emphasizing the value of their approach to racing.

4. How did Secret Oath’s victory impact attendance and handle at the Kentucky Oaks?

Secret Oath’s victory at the Kentucky Oaks attracted a record-breaking crowd, with over 100,000 fans in attendance. This significant turnout contributed to a substantial increase in handle, with both overall handle and the handle for the Oaks race setting new records.

5. What are the expectations for Secret Oath’s future racing career?

As Secret Oath’s career progresses, expectations are high for her continued success. With her impressive talent and the guidance of trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Secret Oath has the potential to compete at the highest level and secure more victories in prominent races.

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Doug I. Jones

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