D. Wayne Lukas

In detailing a career overflowing with record-setting, one quickly runs out of adjectives to describe the monumental achievements of D. Wayne Lukas.




1935, Antigo, Wisconsin







Racing Record


Win %


In detailing a career overflowing with record-setting, one quickly runs out of adjectives to describe the monumental achievements of D. Wayne Lukas.

Following a career as a teacher and basketball coach, the Wisconsin native emerged in the 1980s as one of the most successful and influential trainers in American racing history.

Beginning in 1983, Lukas was North America’s leading trainer in earnings for 14 of the next 15 years. He won his first race in the Triple Crown series with Codex in the 1980 Preakness and has won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness six times, and the Belmont four times. The Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Trainer in 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1994, Lukas was the first trainer to surpass $100 million and then $200 million in career purse earnings.

Three horses trained by Lukas — Hall of Famer Lady’s Secret in 1986, Criminal Type in 1990, and Charismatic in 1999 — were named Horse of the Year. Lukas has won a record 20 Breeders’ Cup races, including six editions of the Juvenile Fillies and five runnings of the Juvenile. Along with Lady’s Secret, Lukas also trained Hall of Famers Azeri, Open Mind, Serena’s Song, and Winning Colors.

Lukas has trained 25 champions: Althea, Azeri, Boston Harbor, Capote, Charismatic, Criminal Type, Family Style, Flanders, Folklore, Golden Attraction, Gulch, Lady’s Secret, Landaluce, Life’s Magic, North Sider, Open Mind, Orientate, Sacahuista, Serena's Song, Steinlen, Surfside, Take Charge Brandi, Thunder Gulch, Timber Country, and Winning Colors. Fifteen horses trained by Lukas have won more than $2 million. 

Known as "The Coach," Lukas has mentored many top trainers, including Todd Pletcher, Kiaran McLaughlin, Randy Bradshaw, Mark Hennig, George Weaver, and Dallas Stewart.

Through 2023, Lukas has won 4,913 races (No. 9 all time) with purse earnings of $292,948,606 (No. 5 all time). 


Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer — 1985, 1986, 1987, 1994

North America's leading trainer in earnings — 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
North America's leading trainer in wins — 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 1988 Kentucky Derby — Winning Colors
Won the 1995 Kentucky Derby — Thunder Gulch
Won the 1996 Kentucky Derby — Grindstone
Won the 1999 Kentucky Derby — Charismatic
Won the 1980 Preakness Stakes — Codex
Won the 1985 Preakness Stakes — Tank's Prospect
Won the 1994 Preakness Stakes — Tabasco Cat
Won the 1995 Preakness Stakes — Timber Country
Won the 1999 Preakness Stakes — Charismatic
Won the 2013 Preakness Stakes — Oxbow
Won the 1994 Belmont Stakes — Tabasco Cat
Won the 1995 Belmont Stakes — Thunder Gulch
Won the 1996 Belmont Stakes — Editor's Note
Won the 2000 Belmont Stakes — Commendable 

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the 1985 Juvenile Fillies — Twilight Ridge
Won the 1985 Distaff — Life's Magic
Won the 1986 Juvenile — Capote
Won the 1986 Distaff — Lady's Secret
Won the 1987 Juvenile — Success Express
Won the 1987 Distaff — Sachahuista
Won the 1988 Sprint — Gulch
Won the 1988 Juvenile Fillies — Open Mind
Won the 1988 Juvenile — Is It True
Won the 1989 Mile — Steinlen
Won the 1994 Juvenile Fillies — Flanders
Won the 1994 Juvenile — Timber Country
Won the 1996 Juvenile — Boston Harbor
Won the 1999 Juvenile Filles — Cash Run
Won the 1999 Classic — Cat Thief
Won the 2000 Distaff — Spain
Won the 2002 Sprint — Orientate
Won the 2005 Juvenile Fillies — Folklore
Won the 2012 Juvenile Sprint — Hightail
Won the 2014 Juvenile Fillies — Take Charge Brandi 

Trainer Profile | D. Wayne Lukas | Equibase is Your Official Source for Thoroughbred Racing Information



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