Kentucky Derby: Lukas By-The-Numbers

Wayne Lukas still gets up at 4 a.m., climbs aboard his pony, and rides on over to the track to watch his horses train, whether for a leisurely jog, a gallop or a timed workout preparing for a debut, a maiden, an allowance, a local stake s or the Kentucky Derby.

D. Wayne Lukas – Photo Courtesy of

D. Wayne Lukas has won four Kentucky Derbies and is in racing’s Hall of Fame

Lukas has the routine down well – he’s been at it for 50 years as a thoroughbred trainer. And on May 4, he’ll send out Just Steel in a bid to win his fifth Kentucky Derby.

Here’s a Lukas by-the-numbers to give you an idea of why he’s a Hall of Famer who has been the mentor to such top trainers as Todd Pletcher, Kiaran McLaughlin, George Weaver, Dallas Stewart, and Mark Hennig.

Note: The number 4 seemed special, so we used it 3 times.

Lukas by-the-numbers

0 Triple Crowns

1 Derby winner filly (Winning Colors)

2 Hall of Fames (Quarter horse; Thoroughbred)

3 Derby starters four times

4 Derby winners (Winning Colors, Thunder Gulch, Grindstone, Charismatic)

4 Belmont winners (Tabasco Cat, Thunder Gulch, Editor’s Note, Commendable)

4 Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer

5 Derby starters in 1996

6 Preakness wins (Codex, Tank’s Prospect, Tabasco Cat, Timber Country Charismatic, Oxbow)

7 Triple Crown race wins in a row (1994-96)

10 Breeders’ Cup wins for females (6 Juvenile Fillies, 4 Distaffs)

14 Triple Crown race wins

15 Derby starters since last win in 1999

20 Breeders’ Cup wins

25 Years since last Derby win (Charismatic)

50 Derby starters (includes Just Steel)

88 Years old (born Sept. 2, 1935)

739 Quarter horse winners

4,927 Thoroughbred winners (as of April 18)

30,143 Career starters (as of April 18)

17,842,358 Dollars in purse earnings in 1988

294,994,671 Dollars in career purse earnings (as of April 18)


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