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Lukas Recovering From COVID-19

"Wayne is on the road to recovery," his grandson tweeted.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Keeneland last year

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Keeneland last year

Keeneland/Coady Photography

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home, according to a tweet from his grandson, Brady Wayne Lukas.

Lukas, 84, has "not been at work for several days prior to the first symptom, so no one else at the barn is impacted," his grandson tweeted Aug. 12. "Wayne is on the road to recovery and looks forward to getting back to the track."

Friends and colleagues expressed their support on social media, including jockey agent Kiaran McLaughlin, a former assistant and longtime trainer, who replied, "Thinking of you all and sending lots of prayers."

Lukas could not be reached by phone early Wednesday afternoon.

The legendary trainer, inducted in the National Museum Racing and Hall of Fame in 1999, has won 14 Triple Crown races, the most recent of which was the 2013 Preakness Stakes (G1) with Oxbow . Seven months later, he received an Eclipse Award of Merit. The four-time Kentucky Derby (G1) winner also was awarded four Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer in 1985-87 and in 1994.

He underwent back surgery last fall but soon returned atop his pony for morning training. In addition to his own horses, he accompanied some of trainer Bob Baffert's ship-in horses this spring at Oaklawn Park, including Nadal, a winner of a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Oaklawn produced an inspirational video with Lukas this spring in which the trainer encouraged the racing industry to band together to combat COVID-19 and "realize how tough this opponent is."


This year Lukas did not travel as usual to Saratoga Race Course for its meet, which has been ongoing without fans as a safety precaution related to COVID-19. A winner of 4,837 races and more than $282 million in purses, he stayed behind in Kentucky overseeing his Churchill Downs-based string. Three of his stable's runners competed Aug. 8 at Ellis Park and he has five more entries there in racing Aug. 14-15.

His COVID-19 diagnosis comes during a summer period in which the state of Kentucky has seen a rise in positive tests. His age places him at increased risk.