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D. Wayne Lukas
Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas is a four-time Kentucky Derby winner, and 43rd Derby starter in 2009. A four-time Eclipse Award winner (1985-87 and 1994), Lukas is the all-time leading money winner and the first to reach the $200 million plateau. Lukas has trained a record of 24 Thoroughbred champions and three Eclipse Awards Horse of the Year winners. He's tied with Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons for the most Triple Crown race victories, 13. Beginning in 1994 Lukas won a record six consecutive Triple Crown races.
Corey finished second in Kentucky Derby 137 aboard Nehro in his fifteenth Derby appearance. He has ridden two Kentucky Oaks winners, Lilt Light and Pike Place Dancer. Corey was a champion wrestler in high school and had his first experience with horse racing when his father stopped at Santa Anita Park on their way home from a wrestling tournament. Intrigued by the sport he began working on the backside as a hot walker and later learned to ride. He went to jockey school and after graduating in 1988, went to ride in Mexico where he rode his first winner in a dead heat aboard Blue King. He has won nine Breeders’ Cup races with My Miss Aureli, Regally Ready, Lit de Justice, Elmhurst, Reraise, Jewel Princess, Silic, Sweet Catomine, and Thor’s Echo. Corey ranks as one of the top 75 jockeys in the United States having won riding titles at Santa Anita Park, Hollywood Park, Del Mar, and Oak Tree. On May 29, 2006 he rode four winners at Hollywood park to achieve his 3,000th career win. Besides his riding skills, Corey is also a talented golfer and carries a three handicap.
Calumet Farm, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was established in 1924. The farm is most notable for its two triple crown winners - Whirlaway and Citation - and eight Kentucky Derby winners. In addition, the farm has bred and/or raced five horses recognized as "Horse of the Year". Brad Kelley became the farm's operator in May 2012, and almost immediately celebrated a Preakness win with his colt, Oxbow, also a Derby contender. Kelley was born and raised in Bowling Green, Kentucky and found much success following his teenage role as the secretary of his high school's Future Farmers of America club. Kelley pursued a career in manufacturing and land investment, and he is also very active in environmental and wildlife conservation. Kelley is recognized as the 4th largest landowner in the United States.
Colonial Empress is a late entry into the Kentucky Oaks and joins And Why Not in blueblood status being by Empire Maker out of the Pleasant Colony mare Colonella.
Empire Maker had a bit of success during his racing career, capturing the 2003 runnings of the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial before denying Funny Cide a Triple Crown sweep when taking the Belmont Stakes.
Since retiring to the breeding shed, Empire Maker has seen five of his crops hit the track. He was purchased by Japanese interests and took up stud duties in the Far East last season, the same year his daughter Royal Delta put together an Eclipse Award-winning campaign that culminated in Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic glory.
Empire Maker is also responsible for siring the likes of Grade 1 scorers Pioneerof the Nile, Mushka, Acoma, Country Star and Icon Project. Fellow Kentucky Oaks contender Grace Hall’s victory in the Spinaway Stakes last year added yet another top-level winner to his stats. His son Bodemeister became one of the leading Kentucky Derby contenders when taking the Arkansas Derby recently.
Empire Maker has seen an average winning distance of 7.8 furlongs from his progeny, and some have even successfully reached 2 1/16 miles.
Colonial Empress gets plenty of speed and stamina from both sides of her family, as her dam is by Pleasant Colony out of Irish champion Minstrella.
Pleasant Colony, winner of the 1981 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, has sired such top runners as Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Pleasantly Perfect; multi-talented champion Pleasant Tap, who placed in both the Classic and Breeders’ Cup Sprint during his career; and Kentucky Oaks runner-ups Pleasant Stage and Hometown Queen.
Colonial Empress’ fifth dam is renowned champion and producer Gallorette. Her star-studded female family includes Horse of the Year Saint Liam, who is the sire of reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, and farther back Triple Crown winner Omaha.
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