With the Kentucky Oaks today and the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, this is high season for horse racing. Secret Oath kicked off the meet with an impressive win in the Oaks. Earlier this year, there was some speculation that she would race in the Derby, but after a rough race and a third place finish against the boys in the Arkansas Derby, trainer D. Wayne Lukas made a good call aiming her at the Oaks. The filly, ridden by Luis Saez, was unstoppable.
The 3-year-old filly is from the first crop of racehorses sired by champion Arrogate. Starting from the number one post position, she ran off the pace at the beginning of the race, hugging the rail and settling into eighth place while finding her stride. As expected, Yuugiri and Echo Zulu set the pace. Coming around the far turn, the filly came five wide to start her run, catching Echo Zulu at the top of the stretch. She just kept coming and was able to fend of the late rush of favorite, Nest, by two lengths.
“Being in the one hole we didn’t have much choice on what to do. I told Luis (Saez) that down the backside to get into position. When I saw him moving around the turn and I turned and hugged my wife and said ‘here we go.'”
This is the fifth time that 86-year old D. Wayne Lukas has trained the winner of the Kentucky Oaks. The victory may take some of the sting out of the scratch of Ethereal Road in tomorrow’s Derby.
Secret Oath was born and raised at Briland Farm. Robert and Stacy Mitchell, who own the farm, said they didn’t originally plan to keep her. They put the horse up for sale, but she didn’t draw any interest.
“We’re very blessed that the clouds and heavens work out just right and she didn’t sell for a reason,” Stacy Mitchell said.
There’s a possibility that Secret Oath will run in the Preakness. After a race like today, it would be interesting to see how she fairs against the colts, without having to navigate a 20-horse field.