Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Monday that Ram, who has won his last two starts, is being considered for the 146th Preakness on May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.
Lukas, 85, is a six-time winner of the Preakness, starting with his debut runner, Codex, in 1980. He has saddled a record 44 horses for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. His most recent Preakness horse was Market King, who was 12th in 2019. In addition to his six wins, he has two seconds and five thirds in the race.
“Pimlico is my favorite spot,” Lukas said. “I would love to come. We all think that Pimlico is the most fun of all the Triple Crown races, without a doubt.”
Ram, a son of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, is owned by Christina Baker and William Mack. The ridgling won the opening race on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby program at Churchill Downs. Lukas said he is considering other races for Ram as well and probably won’t make a decision on the Preakness until next weekend.
“There is an outside chance,” Lukas said. “We’ve talked about it and I don’t know how strong the owner is about it. We’ll take a look at the field and see who is going.”
Mack and Christina Baker’s late husband, Robert, have teamed with Lukas for about 30 years. Among the horses Lukas has handled for the partners are Grade 1 winners Strong Mandate, Dublin and Sporting Chance. Ram broke his maiden on April 16 in his eighth start and followed with the 3 ½-length allowance victory at a mile.
“He was one of my picks as a yearling and he was, what I like, a little bit feminine,” Lukas said. “He needed some time, but he had all the angles that I like. He’s been slow to develop, but he’s come along and he is really in great shape right now. If we manage him a little bit, he’s going to be a factor.”
Lukas, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999, operates a racing stable based at Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park. He has 34 horses in his care and said he typically spends four to five hours in the saddle supervising his runners during training hours.
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