Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem Feb. 28, 2022

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February 28th, 2022

Greetings everyone and welcome to the Monday Morning Message.  Hope your February is wrapping up well as March looms tomorrow. 

I was looking forward to March all winter long just because for the first time in my life I’m living in an area where Spring Training baseball is played and of course this is the year they’re on strike. Aw well. 

So another weekend of racing in the books and obviously lots of talk about Oaklawn Park’s Rebel day card from Saturday. Un Ojo was a shocking winner of the Rebel Stakes, just getting up over Ethereal Road to get the win at 75/1. Ethereal Road is of course trained by D. Wayne Lukas who almost made it a monster day as he earlier in the day took home the Honeybee Stakes with Secret Oath.  

And it’s Secret Oath and D. Wayne I wanted to talk about in today’s ‘Message.’ I’m not going to analyze the race because she was a 3 to 5 shot who walloped a field she was much better than. But it was her first try against graded stakes company and she’s clearly stamped herself as one of the top three-year-old fillies in the country as we get closer to the Kentucky Oaks on May 6th.

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Trainer D. Wayne Lukas after Secret Oath wins the Honeybee S. at Oaklawn Park.

I truthfully missed a lot of  D. Wayne Lukas’ heyday back in the 1980s and 1990s.

First of all, I was a little kid, but when Winning Colors won the Kentucky Derby, I was more concerned with who was going to win the Belle Roberts Distaff or the Longacres Mile. When my hometown track Longacres closed in 1992, I pretty much stopped watching horse racing all together for about ten years. So I missed all of the years of D. Wayne winning 250+ races and racking up seasonal earnings of over $15 Million for several consecutive years. I didn’t see Grindstone win the Derby or Cat Thief take home the Breeders’ Cup Classic.  

So my knowledge of this great trainer is mostly in what he’s done in the last fifteen years or so.

Which is still very impressive I should add. In that time he won the Preakness with Oxbow in 2013, won a few Breeders’ Cup races, and has had some great success. But nothing like the 'D. Wayne off the plane' years.

Of course I’ve read stories and watched the replays of those races, but I’ll admit it is kind of cool seeing him have a couple nice horses on the Oaks and Derby trails. In fact, he’s already half-way in earnings through these first 2 months of 2022 to his entire 2021 earnings total. I have to think with Secret Oath and Ethereal Road, he might pass that number from 2021 sooner than later. 

I remember the sportscaster Jim Rome once saying “time is undefeated.” In horse racing it seems very difficult to stay on top for a super long period of time.

Many times the top trainers and jockeys have runs of five or ten years at the very pinnacle but then gradually give way to younger horsepeople who begin to eclipse their successes. So to get a chance to see D. Wayne Lukas have another big day in the sun come May, would be pretty awesome.

Everyone have a great week!