Ram conserves energy for Stakes debut in Preakness

May 14, 2021

BALTIMORE, Md.–Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent Ram to the track for light training Friday morning at Pimlico Race Course in preparation for a start in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1), later turning his attention to interviews with television and print reporters.

Lukas, 85, is aiming for his record-tying seventh Preakness victory with Ram, a son of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Ram, 30-1 in the morning line, drew the rail. Lukas made a splash in the 1980 Preakness, winning the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown with his first starter, Codex. His most recent victory was in 2013 with Oxbow.

Ram, co-owned by Christina Baker and William Mack, is trying stakes company for the first time.  He is running back in two weeks following a victory in an allowance race on the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1) program. 

“We tapered off a little today. We just went a mile,” Lukas said. “Tapered off and let him get his energy. He had a lot of energy, too. He was sharp today. He’s gotten better every single day on his energy level since we’re been here.”

Throughout the week leading up to the race Lukas has said his colt must improve in order to have a chance to finish in the top three. Handicapping the race, Lukas said he likes the chances of Midnight Bourbon, trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds.

“That horse, I think, is really dangerous,” Lukas said. “He looks good to me. And Concert Tour looks good to me.”

Ricardo Santana Jr. will ride Ram for the first time in the Preakness. Santana has ridden twice in the race. His best finish was a third on Tenfold in 2018. 

Maryland Jockey Club Press Release

Photo: D. Wayne Lukas after his win in the 2013 Preakness with Oxbow, Gary Stevens up (By Maryland GovPics – Flickr: The 138th Annual Preakness, CC BY 2.0 Wikipedia Commons)

@jonathanstettin Thank you. This is a truly beautiful tribute to a racing legend. Good to hear the true story of what happened that day.

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