Lukas from 2007: “Hell, I’ve had 24 World Champions.”

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I have to admit, I’ve had fun going through the archives looking for new/old things to post here. I dug past three sets of old silks (Brandywine Stable, NSHA, Harbor View) and a box of curtains to find my old laptop, the iBook G4 that has archives from as far back as 2007. It looks like a VW van that climbed Mt. Washington, dings, dents and stickers all over it.

Last week, I found Jonathan Sheppard’s quotes about Storm Cat. Today, I went looking for the Calvin Borel interviews from Street Sense’s summer at Saratoga, obviously, in celebration of Borel’s induction to the Hall of Fame. Specifically, I was looking for the Toadie Taylor-nominated Quote of the Year when Borel said, “Me and my agent, we been up and we been down, but we always been consistent.” I know Calvin is in there somewhere, but for now, I found Wayne Lukas from Saratoga, 2007, when the Hall of Famer was in a slump. Here goes, in celebration of Lukas’ return to the Derby

If I can’t remember typing them, you can’t remember reading them…

“I’m a little bit of victim of my own success, with my young assistants. I’ve got 12 of them out there now, every one of them with my blessing have taken a little piece of the pie when they left. But now, looking back, I’d like to have those (owners) back.

“I’ve got slow horses, I’m getting the most out of them, but they’re playing as well as they can. I’m at the point of my career, I don’t wake up trying to prove I can train a horse, as you get older and if you’ve had good horses, you get more realistic and you handle it better. When you’re younger, you keep searching for that good one, but you don’t know if you can get him or if you have him, you’re in the gray area. As you get older, hell, I’ve had 24 world champions, I count my blessings and think maybe there’s one coming. If there isn’t, I’ll do the best job I can with what I have in front of me.”

Lukas bought three yearlings at Fasig-Tipton that summer, on spec.

“I’ve put two together and I’m working on the third. I’ve got some new people in and built some new interest. I felt like if I sit around and wait for the second coming of Bob Lewis to pick up the phone and say, ‘I’m going to do it with you,’ then I’m in trouble. The industry’s not going that direction either. I decided to help myself and it’s worked so far, and I plan on doing some more at the fall sale. As soon as I signed the tickets and made it public that I was going to do something with them, then boom, boom, boom, it fell into place. But, it was kind of ballsy to sign those tickets.”

Lukas took a three-day vacation to the Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, before the meet.

“I’ve never taken a vacation and all it did was heighten the fact that I couldn’t step back. I enjoyed it, I blocked out the barn, I shut off the cell phone but it also made me realize that I can’t one day, wake up and say, ‘You know, I think I’ll just play a little more golf, hang out with friends.’ I’m not wired that way. At least not yet.

“My health is real good, the game is a game of experience. There’s no how-to book, there’s nowhere to look it up in the library, ‘How to win the Derby.’ If your health is good and your energy is good, you should get better. Bill Young told me, ‘When I go in those board meetings, I never worry about these young guys in the three-piece suits, I worry about the old, quiet ones with gray hair at the end of the table.’ “