The Potential of Secret Oath: A Game-Changer in the Preakness Stakes
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is known for his bold moves in horse racing, and his latest decision regarding standout filly Secret Oath has caught the attention of savvy fans and horseplayers alike. Despite initially expressing no intention of running Secret Oath in the Kentucky Derby, Lukas has nominated her for the Triple Crown and may even unleash her against the boys again in the upcoming Preakness Stakes.
The Reason behind Lukas’ Decision
When questioned about his surprising nomination of Secret Oath, Lukas revealed that the May 21 Preakness Stakes was always on his radar. The earlier races were part of a strategic plan to prepare and optimize her chances for success in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
“That’s what the nomination was for,” Lukas stated. “If we have a big (Kentucky) Oaks, now we cut back in distance. We go to a 14-horse field versus 20. We go on a different surface, tight turns, where speed would be good. It changes the whole game when you go to the Preakness.”
With six Preakness wins under his belt, Lukas knows the intricacies of the race. He has achieved victories in this historic event, including his most recent win with Oxbow in 2013 and his first triumph with Codex in 1980. Clearly, Lukas is confident in the potential of Secret Oath in this challenging race.
Secret Oath’s Impressive Performance
Secret Oath, despite finishing a strong third in the Arkansas Derby, showcased remarkable talent and resilience. She crossed the finish line only 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Cyberknife. In a thrilling finish, runner-up Barber Road narrowly edged her out for second place just before the wire, leaving Secret Oath with a well-deserved third-place finish. Notably, she finished a remarkable 4 1/2 lengths ahead of fourth-place Doppelganger.
Her performance in the Arkansas Derby was part of a well-calculated plan. “We were running in the Arkansas Derby because that race was worth $1.25 million,” Lukas explained. “That, in itself, was the incentive. If she had won the Arkansas Derby, we’d have not run in the Kentucky Derby. We were pretty adamant that we were going to run in the Oaks and have the best filly in the country.”
Indeed, Secret Oath has showcased her talent in previous races, winning both the Martha Washington and Grade 3 Honeybee by an impressive combined margin of 14 3/4 lengths. Considering her outstanding performances and her lineage as the daughter of the late champion Arrogate, Secret Oath currently stands at 9/2 on offshore futures boards as a strong contender for victory in the Kentucky Oaks.
A Potential Game-Changer: Second Filly in Three Years
If Lukas decides to enter Secret Oath in the Preakness, she will become the second filly in three years to take on the challenge of the Triple Crown’s middle jewel. This feat hasn’t been achieved since Swiss Skydiver’s memorable victory in the midst of the pandemic-stricken year of 2020. Swiss Skydiver triumphed over eventual Horse of the Year Authentic in what many consider the best race of that year.
Lukas’ Unparalleled Success in Triple Crown Races
Aside from his potential success in the Preakness, it’s noteworthy to mention Lukas’s remarkable record in Triple Crown races. His six victories in the Preakness are complemented by four wins each in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. Such an illustrious career only adds to the excitement surrounding Secret Oath’s potential entry in the Preakness, as it brings a seasoned expert’s touch to the mix.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has surprised the racing world with his nomination of Secret Oath for the Triple Crown, despite initially stating his reluctance to enter her in the Kentucky Derby. With the Preakness Stakes on the horizon, Lukas sees an opportunity to utilize Secret Oath’s talents in a different setting, against a smaller field and on a unique surface that favors speed.
Secret Oath’s remarkable performances in previous races, her lineage as the daughter of the late champion Arrogate, and Lukas’s impressive track record in Triple Crown events all contribute to the anticipation surrounding her potential entry into the Preakness. Whether she can follow in the footsteps of Swiss Skydiver and triumph over the boys remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Secret Oath has the potential to be a game-changer in the upcoming Preakness Stakes.
1. What are the reasons behind D. Wayne Lukas’s nomination of Secret Oath for the Triple Crown?
D. Wayne Lukas nominated Secret Oath for the Triple Crown because he sees the Preakness Stakes as a suitable race for her. Lukas believes that by running Secret Oath in the Preakness, they can capitalize on her speed and the different surface, potentially giving her a competitive advantage.
2. How did Secret Oath perform in the Arkansas Derby?
Secret Oath finished a strong third in the Arkansas Derby, showcasing her talent and resilience. She crossed the finish line only 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner and finished ahead of several other competitive horses in the field.
3. Is Secret Oath a favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks?
Secret Oath is currently standing at 9/2 on offshore futures boards, indicating that she is considered a strong contender for victory in the Kentucky Oaks. Her previous wins in the Martha Washington and Grade 3 Honeybee demonstrate her potential as one of the best fillies in the country.
4. Has a filly ever won the Preakness Stakes?
Yes, a filly has won the Preakness Stakes before. Swiss Skydiver achieved this feat in 2020, beating eventual Horse of the Year Authentic in an unforgettable race.
5. What is D. Wayne Lukas’s track record in Triple Crown races?
D. Wayne Lukas is an esteemed trainer with an impressive track record in Triple Crown races. He has won the Preakness Stakes six times, the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes four times each, solidifying his status as one of the most successful trainers in the sport.