01/29/2013 4:08PM

Oaklawn Park: Lukas to stage another raiding party at Fair Grounds

Lynn Roberts
Oxbow will ship to Fair Grounds for the Risen Star with an eye to the Louisiana Derby.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas is planning another New Orleans invasion. He said at his Oaklawn Park base on Tuesday that Oxbow is among four horses he has pointing for each of the graded stakes to be run at Fair Grounds on Feb. 23.

“The races fit, and it’s a lot easier to take four down there than one,” said Lukas.

Lukas is 2 for 4 with his stakes starters this meet at Fair Grounds. Oxbow was an 11-length winner of the Grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte on Jan. 19, and last weekend Optimizer put up a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 100 for winning the Grade 3, $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley.

Oxbow is now going back for the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star, said Lukas. The 1 1/16-mile race is worth 50 points to the winner on the new system governing Kentucky Derby eligibility. Oxbow sits third in the latest standings, with 11 points. Jon Court, who rode Oxbow in the Lecomte, has the mount in the Risen Star, which could serve as Oxbow’s springboard to the richest race at Fair Grounds, the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 30.

“If he continues to have an affinity for that whole situation, he could end up going right back for the derby,” Lukas said of Oxbow.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Optimizer will run next in the Grade 3, $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap, while Lukas said Skyring is scheduled to join his stablemates on the trip to New Orleans to run in the Grade 3, $150,000 Mineshaft Handicap. Lukas also plans to bring a 3-year-old filly for the Grade 3, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra. At this point, he said it could be Broken Spell, the runner-up in last year’s Grade 1 Alcibiades, or Neith, fourth-place finisher in the $60,000 Dixie Belle at Oaklawn.

Court will have the mount on Lukas’s other stakes starters Feb. 23. All of the horses on deck for the rich program are owned by the Bluegrass Hall operation of Brad Kelley.

MoneyMarcus More than 1 year ago
what happened to the Lukas horse who beat Bradester by 10 lengths.
MoneyMarcus More than 1 year ago
John Murphy More than 1 year ago
Let me think of a catchy phrase. Thinking. Thinking. I've got it! You have to be in it to win it.
Tom More than 1 year ago
Rachel Harding More than 1 year ago
I hope he doesn't run this horse into the ground before the derby, the TC will be hard
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
Trust me Lukas knows what to do. Charismatic ran in more races leading up to the Derby than what Oxbow will have ran in his lifetime leading up to the Derby. I just don't understand why people want to baby these horses they're bred to run. He's not making a mistake with this horse like Optimizer.
Grazyna Mianska More than 1 year ago
Very well put.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Charismatic may not make the best example here...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
Since when did hoses need to be babied. Three preps is short in my mind. 4 was the standard 20 years ago, and they didn't breakdown as often. Lukas can train, just needs talent.
Zack Heflin More than 1 year ago
he is notorious for goin after these early purses...
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
So he enters all four in all four races...
violet johnson More than 1 year ago
if Dwayne has insurance on all four he should probaby run them in every race on the card so he can set another record. give those *hillbillys* at the FairGrounds something to talk about. btw Chad, is there a big HillBilly population in the great state of NC? VQ