Lukas Classic (Grade 3)- $400.000 Purse
CD- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
October 2, 2021
This race was not run last year, but that fact did not stop the last two winners of the race from going head to head. After nine furlongs, it would be the 2019 winner, Eclipse My Knowledge, winning the race for the second time for his 11th career victory. The 2018 winner, Having A Blast would not end up hitting the board. Eclipse My Knowledge won by half a length over our pick to win, Combat Wombat, who went off at 40/1 odds for some strange reason. It’s the second win in the race for trainer Nakamura Stables, and the first for jockey Ci Murphy. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:47.63, setting a new record for the race. Let’s take a look!
(½ Mile- :47.27)- Breaking sharply out of the gate, the unexpected longshot from Maxmillion Farm, Combat Wombat, is the early race leader with no one going up to challenge him. They are in the classic alignment behind him, with three stalkers, three in the middle of the field, and two at the back. Playing the stalkers role will be Eclipse My Knowledge, our eventual winner while running in the third lane, Having A Blast, running in the middle for Mb Stables, and Stolen, who rides the rail for D J C Racing Stables. The mid-pack three will be Charleys Latte (John Henry) on the inside, Broken Tap (Arindel) in middle, and Burning Approval (Mb Stables) on the outside. Marine One (Rock Creek) runs behind them, and it’s several lengths back to Express Majestic (Lindeman Prairie), who was probably intimidated by the big names around him.
(¾ Mile- 1:10.89)- Combat Wombat shows the way down the backstretch, and leads still as we go into the turn. Here, we see his lead start to shrink just a little as Eclipse My Knowledge makes progress along the outside and is almost within a length. Having A Blast is still right beside him, too. Next, it’s Stolen, keeping within a length of those two, followed by Broken Tap and Charleys Latte who are within striking range. Burning Approval loses some ground, and neither Marine One nor Express Majestic have begun to show anything.
(Top of Stretch, 1.8F To Go)- Combat Wombat handles the turn well, and is able to maintain his length or so advantage on Eclipse My Knowledge. Having A Blast keeps running right to the inside of his fellow Lukas Classic previous winner, and Stolen is there as well. Not much change otherwise through the field, so it didn’t seem like any surprises were coming from further back.
(Finish- 1:47.63)- Early in the stretch, the gritty Combat Wombat looked like he might hold on, and it was looking like if anyone was going to end up passing him, it would be Stolen. But around 0.7F to go, we saw an additional burst from Eclipse My Knowledge, and that would be all that he needed to be the one to get around Combat Wombat, who did fight valiantly, and get the win. Eclipse My Knowledge would be just a little better than the rest in the closing strides, and Combat Wombat holds off Stolen for second, as well as Charleys Latte who crept into the picture late, and that earns him fourth. Broken Tap, Having A Blast, Marine One, Burning Approval, and Express Majestic complete the running order.
About The Winner- Eclipse My Knowledge, trained by Nakamura Stables and ridden to victory by Ci Murphy, is a six year old gelding by Knowledge Geek, and is out of Blue Eclipse. He was bred in California by Nakamura Stables as a first quarter two year old, the only trainer for which he has ever known! Congratulations to the connections! The win is his 11 in 40 starts, his seventh stake win, and fifth graded win. His career earnings are now $1,656.540.
Time: :471 1:104 1:35 1:473
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 9 – 1 Paid 1,412.70
$1 Trifecta: 9 – 1 – 3 Paid 1,454.30
Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES