Racing industry mourns the passing of Jeff Lukas

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TwinSpires Staff

March 24th, 2016

Edited Press Release

The racing industry on Thursday mourned the passing of Jeff Lukas, who died Wednesday in Oklahoma at the age of 58.

Jeff, the only child of legendary Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, suffered a disabling accident in 1993 when he was run over by Tabasco Cat while an assistant to his father in Santa Anita’s barn area.

Lukas told Daily Racing Form his son’s death was probably heart-related.

“It’s just a sad day,” said Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who won the Kentucky Derby twice for the elder Lukas, now 80, on Winning Colors in 1988 and Thunder Gulch in 1995. “It was a sad day when Jeff suffered that injury, and it feels the same way this morning.

“My heart goes out to Wayne and the whole family…It’s a really sad day and I know he’s in a good place now. God rest his soul.”

Trainer Gary Sherlock added, “Jeff was a great horseman. I think he would have succeeded Wayne, until he got hurt. That ruined his life. He was a good guy and a nice guy, but he also was a really good horseman.”

Santa Anita Racing Director Mike Lakow stated, “Jeff was one of the sharpest people I ever worked with, one of the sharpest guy’s I’ve ever been around. When I worked in New York he taught me so much in my job as stakes coordinator.

“I learned as much from Jeff as I did from anybody in the industry.”