June 12, 2024

Seize the Grey upsets Preakness foes to give Lukas seventh win

Seize the Grey wins the 2024 Preakness S. at Pimlico
Seize the Grey wins the 2024 Preakness at Pimlico (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

MyRacehorse’s Seize the Grey made all the running in Saturday’s $2 million Preakness (G1), sprinting forward at the break to establish a clear early lead and dominating the rest of the way over a muddy track at Pimlico.

Overlooked as the 9.80-1 sixth choice in the eight-horse field, Seize the Grey provided Hall of Famer trainer D. Wayne Lukas with his seventh Preakness win and delivered Jamie Torres a coveted Grade 1 victory in his first Triple Crown mount.

“I thought when he was cruising down the backside, I turned to my wife and said, ‘I think we’re home free,’” Lukas said. “He was running over that ground so easy. I didn’t know how he’d handle (the track). It doesn’t get old. It’s still the same. In 1980, I (won with) the first one here I ever ran, and it still feels the same.”

Mystik Dan performed admirably following his Kentucky Derby (G1) upset two weeks earlier, coming up 2 1/4 lengths short after trying to reel in the pacesetter in upper stretch. Off as the 2.40-1 favorite, Mystik Dan gamely repelled Catching Freedom by a head for second late.

Seize the Grey, who was exiting his first stakes win, a gutsy score in the Pat Day Mile (G2) on the Kentucky Derby undercard, led by a half-length through an opening quarter-mile in :23.98 and stretched the lead to a couple of lengths while establishing splits :47.33, 1:11.95, and 1:37.53.

The gray son of Arrogate remained clear while drifting out late, finishing the 1 3/16 miles in 1:56.82.

Known as the “Coach,” Lukas became the oldest trainer to win a Triple Crown race. The most recent Lukas-trained Preakness winner, Oxbow, sprung a similar frontrunning upset in 2013, and the 88-year-old living legend also won with Charismatic (1999), Timber Country (1995), Tabasco Cat (1994), Tank’s Prospect (1985), and Codex (1980).

A $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase, Kentucky-bred Seize the Grey is the third foal produced from the stakes-placed Smart Strike mare Smart Shopping, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Power Broker. The 11-year-old mare has a reported 2024 filly by Life is Good.

Seize the Grey broke his maiden the second time out over a sloppy track at Saratoga. After opening 2024 with an allowance win at Oaklawn Park in mid-February, he followed with a third in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway and seventh in the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.

The improving colt has now earned more than $1.8 million from a 10-4-0-3 record.

Catching Freedom, the 3.70-1 third choice, loomed a threat behind runners on the far turn but lacked the necessary finishing kick to offer a serious challenge in the final furlongs. It was another six lengths to Tuscan Gold in fourth, and next came Just Steel, Uncle Heavy, Imagination, and Mugatu.

Seize the Grey earned a shot at the final leg of the Triple Crown, the June 8 Belmont (G1), which will be contested over 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga this year. Lukas counts four editions of the Belmont among his 15 Triple Crown race wins.

1 Comment on Seize the Grey upsets Preakness foes to give Lukas seventh win

  1. Thank you for the coverage. Natural speed is the name of the game, especially at a
    distance of ground

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