Lukas Commits ‘Competitive’ Grade 1-Placed Bravazo To Saturday’s Risen Star

by | 02.13.2018 | 3:50pm
D. Wayne Lukas

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas considered cross entering Gr. II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes entrant Bravazo in Oaklawn Park's Grade III $500,000 Southwest Stakes on Monday Feb. 19, but the conditioner will opt to send the 3-year-old son of Awesome Again to the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for Saturday's race.

“I'm committing him to the race so I'm running down there,” Lukas said by phone from his Oaklawn Park base.

Owned by Calumet Farm, Bravazo made his 3-year-old debut a winning one last time when facing allowance company at Oaklawn Park on Jan. 13 where he was guided by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens.

“That was a really good race, he got a good number,” Lukas said. “I think we can be competitive. I feel like he's a competitive horse and a lot of the horses in the race have a lot have similar numbers. The race is fifty points (on Churchill Downs' Road To The Kentucky Derby) and I think that he merits a chance.”

As a 2-year-old, Bravazo broke his maiden going one mile over Churchill Downs' main track before a second-place finish in the Gr. I Claiborne Futurity behind Free Drop Billy. Stevens is named the rider aboard the horse for Saturday's race, however Lukas stated that Fair Grounds current leading rider Miguel Mena would pilot the horse on Saturday. He will break from the seven hole at odds of 8-1.

Lukas' other Risen Star entrant Kentucky Club (post eight, James Graham, 30-1) is “50-50 at best” and may stay with the trainer's string in Hot Springs, Ark. The son of Oxbow broke his maiden last time out by eight lengths for a $30,000 tag.

“I may leave him home and run him (at Oaklawn Park),” Lukas said. “He ran a huge race even if it was against claiming horses, but it would be a huge step for him and he's got a lot of options and still can run through his conditions. I want to see how the (Southwest Stakes) comes up. We'd like to try him a little longer at some point.”

Lukas has won two previous editions of the Risen Star with Exchange Rate (2000) and Open Forum (1997).

  • Ida Lee

    Would have loved to see a photo of Bravazo … nothing against Mr. Lukas ….

  • SteveD

    I sure hope DWL has a derby horse this year!
    Gonna be a tough race Saturday ;)

  • StrideBig

    Sad to see Gary Stevens won’t be riding him. I hope it’s because he’s committed to other horses on Oaklawns card that day.

    Ida Lee, I’m with you. I’d rather see a photo of the horse as well. Lol ~K

    • Scot Morley

      He is on three horses @ Oaklawn, but I’m sure he would rather ride a potenial derby
      horse then the 3 horses at Oaklawn. Not sure why he is not getting more mounts
      at Oaklawn either. I’m starting to think he is going to retire very soon.
      With the move to Oaklawn, I feel like it was his last resort to try to find a derby horse.

      • StrideBig

        I really hope he gets one more shot at the KY Derby before he retires. I’m making my first Oaks/Derby trip this year and would love to see him ride.

      • SteveD

        Quite simply, most of the leading trainers at Oaklawn have long-standing relationships with other jocks. Gary is getting long shot mounts as a result.
        That is all.

  • artistinwax

    Mr. Lukas has such a nice smile!

  • David Worley

    Wayne Lukas has somehow discovered the fountain of youth. It is amazing how long this guy has been working at a high level. The fact that he continues to train (a quite grueling vocation even with help) at his age is amazing; the guy is 82 years old!

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