, Newburyport, MA


June 8, 2013

D. Wayne Lukas reflects on 4 Belmont Stakes wins

NEW YORK -- Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will be looking for a fifth Belmont Stakes win on Saturday when he saddles Oxbow and Will Take Charge.

One more win and Lukas ties Woody Stephens, who won the Belmont five years in a row starting in 1982. Lukas still has a way to go to catch James G. Rowe, Sr., the all-time leader with eight wins.

On a rainy Friday morning, Lukas reflected on his four Belmont winners: Tabasco Cat (1994), Thunder Gulch (1995), Editor’s Note (1996) and Commendable (2000).

Of the quartet, Lukas considers the Tabasco Cat victory his greatest Belmont accomplishment. And not only because it was his first win in the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

Tabasco Cat was a handful, a fiery colt. He broke free one morning in the Santa Anita barn area and ran wild. Jeff Lukas, D. Wayne’s son, was left with a fractured skull when the loose horse slammed into him.

“Thunder Gulch was a real warrior, he showed up every time,” Lukas said. “Tabasco Cat was mentally a very tough horse to train. Mack Miller, the Hall of Fame trainer, came by the day after the Belmont and said he watched that horse train all week and he didn’t think there was any way in hell he could win the Belmont.”

Lukas credited Editor’s Note with sheer persistence.

“He just ground them down,” he said.

Commendable stole his Belmont on the lead, setting a very slow pace that no closer could overcome. It was similar in many respects to Oxbow’s Preakness win, racing on the lead through dawdling fractions.

“I caught them all off balance with Commendable,” Lukas said.

The tactics will be similar with Oxbow, with the potential payoff much lower. Commendable pulled an 18-1 upset; Oxbow is 5-1 on the morning line.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Wrigley Field celebrates 100th birthday Phelps returns to the pool Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement
Special Features