Lukas Finishes Second in Derby
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Two weeks ago, D. Wayne Lukas was without a horse for the Kentucky Derby, a painful situation for a trainer who has won the race four times.
Then came Proud Citizen’s unexpected win in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland and a trip down Interstate 64 to the 128th Kentucky Derby. On Saturday, the horse finished second, four lengths behind winner War Emblem.
Proud Citizen jumped out and pestered War Emblem almost from the start, but could never get closer than a head at the top of the long Churchill Downs stretch.
``I couldn’t be happier with the way this horse ran,″ Lukas said. ``He beat some nice horses, and I think he’ll beat some more down the line. You’ll be hearing more from him.″
Lukas last won the Derby in 1999 with Charismatic, another horse that was not really supposed to be race.
``We’ve made a living entering where we don’t belong,″ Lukas said.
Lukas also won Derbys in 1988 with Winning Colors, in 1995 with Thunder Gulch and in 1996 with Grindstone.
Proud Citizen, who returned $24.60 and $13.40, gave Lukas his first second-place finish in the Derby, even though he has finished third five times. Lukas has started 39 horses in the Derby, more than any other trainer.
The Lexington Stakes was Proud Citizen’s only win of 2002 and only the second of his career. He had been clobbered in the Santa Anita Derby, finishing a lagging seventh.