D. Wayne Lukas

D. Wayne Lukas

D. Wayne Lukas in the winner's circle of the 2013 Preakness Stakes
Occupation Horse trainer
Born (1935-09-02) September 2, 1935
Antigo, Wisconsin,
United States
Career wins Quarter Horse racing: 739
Thoroughbred flat racing:
4,741+ (ongoing)[1]
Major racing wins
American Classics / Breeders' Cup wins:
Kentucky Derby
(1988, 1995, 1996, 1999)
Preakness Stakes
(1980, 1985, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2013)
Belmont Stakes
(1994, 1995, 1996, 2000)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies
(1985, 1988, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2014)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile
(1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, 1996)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint
Breeders' Cup Sprint
(1988, 2002)
Breeders' Cup Turf Mile
Breeders' Cup Distaff
(1985, 1986, 1987, 2000)
Breeders' Cup Classic
Racing awards
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer
(1985, 1986, 1987, 1994)
U.S. Champion Trainer by wins
U.S. Leading stakes-winning trainer (1985-1992)
U.S. Champion Trainer by earnings
(1983-1992, 1994-1997)
John W. Galbreath Equine Award (1998)
United States' Racing Hall of Fame (1999)
American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame (2007)
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer (1985, 1986, 1987, 1994)
Eclipse Award of Merit[2]
Significant horses
Trainer of 23 World Champion Quarter horses
Other Thoroughbred flat racing horses:
Azeri, Cara Rafaela, Corporate Report, Criminal Type, Dance Floor, Dynaformer, Effervescing, Farma Way, Go And Go, Golden Attraction, Grand Slam, Honour and Glory, Landaluce, North Sider, River Memories, Serena's Song, Sharp Cat, Southern Halo, Star of Cozzene, Tamarisk, Terlingua, Will Take Charge

Darrell Wayne Lukas (born September 2, 1935 in Antigo, Wisconsin) is an American horse trainer and a U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee. He holds the record for the most Triple Crown, has won twenty Breeders' Cup races, received five Eclipse Awards for his accomplishments, and his horses have won 25 year-end Eclipse Awards.

Background and career

Born and raised on a small farm, D. Wayne Lukas grew up with an interest in horses. Lukas graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a master's degree in education then taught high school where for nine years he was a head basketball coach. He began training Quarter Horses in California in 1968 and after ten years of considerable achievement that saw him train 24 world champions, he switched to training Thoroughbreds. The first trainer to earn more than $100 million in purse money, he has been the year's top money winner 14 times. Lukas got his big break in 1980 when he won the Preakness Stakes on Codex. His horses have won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness Stakes on six occasions, and have claimed victory four times in the Belmont Stakes, including winning all three of the Classics in 1995 with Thunder Gulch (Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes) and Timber Country (Preakness), making him the first trainer to sweep the Triple Crown Classic races with two different horses in a season. In 2013, he surpassed Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons for the most Triple Crown race victories with 14.

He has won Breeder's Cup races a record 20 times. Fillies Lukas has trained have won the Kentucky Oaks four times. Three of his horses—Lady's Secret in 1986, Criminal Type in 1990 and Charismatic in 1999—won the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. He has a total of 25 horses that have won various Eclipse Awards.[2] He has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer four times. In 1999, the same year his horse Charismatic came within 2 lengths of the Triple Crown, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007,[3] becoming the first person to enter both the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse halls of fame. In 2013 he was awarded the Eclipse Award of Merit for his accomplishments.[2]

In 2014, at age 78, in his acceptance speech for the 2013 Eclipse Award of Merit, he stated, "[w]hen they start giving you awards...they are trying to get you to retire. Well, you young trainers get ready because I'm not retiring. We're coming after you, so you'd better get up a little more early in the morning from now on. We're coming after you with a vengeance."[2]

Personal life

Lukas has been married four times. He had one son, Jeff (1957-2016), and two grandchildren, with his first wife. In December 1993, Lukas' derby contender, Tabasco Cat seriously injured Jeff Lukas, who worked for his father as an assistant trainer and was the elder Lukas' hard-driving right-hand man. In a shedrow accident at Santa Anita Park, the colt broke loose and when Jeff Lukas tried to stop him, the horse slammed into him, throwing him into the air and when Jeff landed on the concrete, he suffered a skull fracture which left him in a coma for several weeks. He suffered permanent brain damage; he had changes in personality, vision loss, and damage to his memory. By spring of 1994, he had recovered enough that he attempted to return to horse racing, but after a series of less-demanding jobs ending in 2003, it was clear he could not work safely around race horses. He also tried living and working near horse farms, but his disabilities were too severe for him to be safe around horses at all. He ultimately moved to Atoka, Oklahoma in 2007 to work for David Burrage, who had been the accountant and general manager for Lukas Racing Stables. By that time, Burrage was a banker and owned the First Bank in Atoka, which employed Lukas. His father bought him a home there and Jeff lived a quiet life until his death at age 58 in March 2016. [4][5]

Thoroughbreds trained with major wins

Kentucky Derby
Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes
Breeders' Cup Classic
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic
Breeders' Cup Mile
Breeders' Cup Sprint
Breeders' Cup Juvenile
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint


Further reading

External links

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