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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Lukas: Two Back in Belmont in Belmont Stakes


By Dick Downey

D. Wayne Lukas Lukas will send both Oxbow and Will Take Charge to the Belmont Stakes on June 8. The trainer attributed Oxbow's success in the Preakness partly to his post position draw.

“It’s always fun to win one of those and it’s what we all get up for and try to achieve,” said Lukas, who will turn 78 on Sept. 2. “It validated my belief in the horse, too. I always thought he had an unfortunate Spring with the way he kept drawing and getting parked outside. To see it all come full cycle, especially with Gary in the irons, it was really gratifying.”

Oxbow was in post position 4 in the Grade III Lecomte Stakes, which he won. All three of Oxbow's victories have come in front-running fashion.

The son of Awesome Again was in post 9 for the Grade II Risen Star Stakes (finished fourth); post 10 for the Grade II Rebel Stakes (second); and post 10 for the Grade II Arkansas Derby (fifth). With the scratch of Black Onyx, he broke from the inside in the Kentucky Derby.
Oxbow’s victory in the Preakness was the record 14th Triple Crown win for Lukas, who was previously tied with “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons. Lukas scored his 13th Triple Crown win in the 2000 Belmont Stakes with Commendable, who won at odds of nearly 19-1.
“I never dwelt on the record too much,” Lukas said. “I think the most significant thing for me was to be in the same company with Sunny Fitzsimmons. I found it interesting that he won his last one at 82. He meant so much to the industry, so to be with him all those years was enough for me.
“I think I enjoyed it every bit as much as my first and maybe more,” Lukas said. “It stirred up a lot of old relationships and friendships. I got hundreds of voicemails and texts. It’s special to have so many people come forward. There were a lot of people pulling for us.”
It was the ninth Triple Crown win for Stevens. It was a record 18th for Calumet Farm, now in the hands of Brad Kelley. Before Saturday, Calumet’s last Triple Crown came in the 1968 Preakness with Forward Pass.
“Our goal is to put Calumet back as a farm of prominence where it once was,” Lukas said.


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