Wayne D Lukas
- Category : Sports-Business-Coach-Manager-Owner
- Type : PE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Planning 3
American entrepreneur, horse trainer, owner and racer who originally started as a high school teacher and basketball coach. After receiving a Master's Degree from the Univ. of Wisconsin, Lukas was a social studies teacher, assistant football coach and head basketball coach; teaching life skills as a strict disciplinarian with incredible energy and passion. He was unable to reach his goals for the school that he had wanted to achieve. During his years as a coach, he stabled quarter horses, training and working with them on weekends and summers, his income from the horses parallel with coaching.
At age 31, frustrated with his coaching, Lukas made the decision to quit and become a full-time trainer. He was offered an assistant coaching position at Michigan State shortly after, but decided to continue his racing operation in Oklahoma. In 1974 and 1975 he led the nation in races in which he won and smashed nearly every record in quarter horse annuals. In 1978, he dissolved his quarter horse stable to immerse himself in thoroughbred racing.
Lukas has won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness five times and the Belmont four times. He is the only trainer in history to sweep a Triple Crown series with two different horses. His first Triple Crown came in 1980 and since 1983, has led the nation in earnings every year except 1993. More remarkably, his horses won six consecutive legs of the Triple Crown, 1994-1996. His focus changed drastically 12/15/1993, when his son, Jeff, was trampled by a colt, sustaining brain injuries, coma and on the brink of death for days. Jeff, who had been working as his dad's assistant for 11 years, was working with the colt when it broke free. He made an incredible recovery, but could no longer work as his dad's assistant. Jeff is working as an assistant trainer for Randy Bradshaw and doing administrative work. The stable went on to its consecutive victories, but was no longer the driving force in D. Wayne Lukas' life, mainly due to Jeff ‘s absence from his dad’s side.
Lukas is the second of three children, born to a construction working dad, who traveled to varying job sites in the children's early years. Raised in a 8 x 16 foot trailer, the family moved within four states from job to job until 1945 when they settled back in Antigo on a 10-acre farm. Lukas became an early entrepreneur by selling goats milk, raising rabbits, maintaining a paper route and competing in rodeos. His first horse, Queenie, became his constant companion and started his training interests young. Lukas married Janet, his first of four marriages and college sweetheart, in 1957, divorcing in 1971, with Jeff as their only child.
In the later ensuing years, Lukas started a hobby with his fourth wife, Laura, of training quarter horses; a return to his original adventures of youth.