D. Wayne Lukas, still the Breeders’ Cup all-time leading trainer with 18 victories, also set another record when he saddled the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile three consecutive years in the 1980s. It’s the only time a trainer has won the same race three years running.
This year, Bob Baffert, a distant third to Lukas with seven Breeders’ Cup victories (Shug McGaughey is second with nine), can tie Lukas’ mark by winning the Sprint for a third consecutive year after finding the winner’s circle with Midnight Lute the past two Breeders’ Cups. He’ll saddle Zensational, who figures to go postward as one of the choices if not the favorite, this year.
Baffert also has a solid shot at two more Breeders’ Cup victories with Lookin at Lucky in the Juvenile and Indian Blessing in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Indian Blessing ran a strong second behind Ventura in last year’s Filly and Mare Sprint and the two figure to hook up again this year on Nov. 6 at Santa Anita’s Oak Tree meet.
Two other Baffert runners, Richard’s Kid (Classic) and Always a Princess (Juvenile Fillies), also could find the winner’s circle with any sort of good fortune and pull Baffert closer to Lukas, the man who introduced the white-haired trainer during his Hall of Fame induction this summer.
Lukas saddled Capote, Success Express and Is It True for Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victories from 1986-88.