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Thursday, October 24, 2002
Contact: Notes Team (847) 385-7472/7473

D. Wayne Lukas Still Going Strong

There is only one trainer to have had a presence in every Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships since the event's inception in 1984 and that is D. Wayne Lukas. He continues the streak in this year's event with two horses in the Sprint, marking 19 years of competition at the highest level of Thoroughbred sport.

The streak, in itself, is an amazing accomplishment, but what is also interesting is that Lukas had only been training Thoroughbreds for six years prior to the creation of the Breeders' Cup. It wasn't until 1978 that Lukas, a former head coach of a high school basketball team, switched from training Quarter Horses to conditioning Thoroughbreds on a full-time basis.

In the very first year of the Breeders' Cup, Lukas was represented by five horses: one in the Juvenile, two in the Juvenile Fillies and two in the Distaff. Tank's Prospect, a longshot, was second in the Juvenile and Life's Magic also finished second in the Distaff. The following year, Lukas sent out 10 horses and scored his first two Breeders' Cup victories with Twilight Ridge in the Juvenile Fillies and Life's Magic in the Distaff.

Throughout the years, Lukas has had the most success with 2-year-olds. Of his record 16 Breeders' Cup wins, five were in the Juvenile and four were in the Juvenile Fillies. In 1994, he scored in both divisions with Timber Country (Juvenile) and Flanders (Juvenile Fillies). Both would go on to win Eclipse Awards as the country's top 2-year-olds.

In 1987, Lukas sent out a record 14 horses to compete in the Breeders' Cup and he had two winners. Sacahuista won the Distaff and Success Express took the Juvenile. The next year, Lukas accomplished a feat that no other trainer has been able to emulate: three of his trainees won Breeders' Cup races: Gulch, Open Mind and Is It True.

Lukas' various Breeders' Cup statistics are so far ahead of his closest competitors that it would seem nearly impossible to catch him. Through last year's event, Lukas had saddled an incredible 135 horses for Breeders' Cup races. The trainer with the second highest number of starters is Claude "Shug" McGaughey with 45. The same is true for money won. Lukas-trained horses have earned $18,015,600 in purses while the second leading trainer in terms of money won, Bill Mott, has sent out runners to collect $8,492,560.

And while Lukas has had 16 Breeders' Cup winners, McGaughey -- the second leading Breeders' Cup trainer in terms of races won -- has had just seven. Both Mott and McGaughey have come close to Lukas in one respect: Mott has participated in the Breeders' Cup for 15 years and McGaughey for 14 years.

Out of the 19 years that Lukas has run horses in the Breeders' Cup, he has saddled at least one winner in nine of them. He did not have a winner last year; his latest Breeders' Cup winner was Spain in the 2000 Distaff.

This year, Lukas will send out just two horses: Orientate and Day Trader in the Sprint. Lukas had one previous Sprint winner in Gulch. Having only two runners in this year's event equals his previous low number of entries in 1993, when he ran Tabasco Cat and Stellar Cat to third- and fifth-place finishes in the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies, respectively.

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