2024 Preakness: Seize the Grey gives Lukas another classic

May 18th, 2024

Forty-four years after winning the Preakness (G1) for the first time with Codex, trainer D. Wayne Lukas added to his own legend and rewrote the history books when Seize the Grey led gate-to-wire to capture the $2 million middle jewel of the Triple Crown over a muddy Pimlico strip on Saturday.

It was the seventh win in the Preakness for the 88-year-old Lukas, who became the oldest trainer ever to saddle an American classic winner. "Sunny" Jim Fitzsimmons was 82 when Bold Ruler won the 1957 Preakness, giving Fitzsimmons 13 total classic wins.

Seize the Grey's victory as a 9-1 chance was Lukas' 15th in a classic. In addition to Codex, his first classic winner, Lukas has also saddled Tank's Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995), Charismatic (1999), and Oxbow (2013) to victory in the Baltimore fixture.

Breaking sharp and sent to the lead by first-time Preakness rider Jaime Torres, Seize the Grey received little pressure on the front end, setting fractions of :23.98, :47.33, and 1:11.95.

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mystik Dan, the 2-1 favorite, received another favorable ground-saving trip as he did at Churchill Downs. Tipped outside Seize the Grey at the top of the stretch, Mystik Dan took his run at the eventual winner, but fell a couple of lengths short while narrowly edging Catching Freedom for the place.

Following Catching Freedom under the wire were Tuscan Gold, Lukas trainee Just Steel, Uncle Heavy, Imagination, and Mugatu. Muth, the morning line favorite when the Preakness was drawn on Monday, was scratched earlier in the week after falling ill following his arrival from Southern California.

Owned by the micro-share syndicate MyRacehorse, Seize the Grey covered 1 3/16 miles in 1:56.82 and paid $21.60 to win. MyRacehorse syndicate manager Michael Behrens said there are 2,570 individual shareholders in Seize the Grey.

The Preakness was the fourth win in 10 starts for Seize the Grey, who has now won two consecutive stakes. He recorded a similar 9-1 upset in the Pat Day Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard May 4. His other stakes placings include thirds in the Skidmore S. at Saratoga last summer and the Jeff Ruby (G3) at Turfway Park in late March.

Bred in Kentucky by Jamm Ltd. and sold for $300,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, Seize the Grey is by the late Hall of Famer Arrogate, the champion three-year-old colt of 2016, and the stakes-placed Smart Shopping, a Smart Strike half-sister to Grade 1 winner Power Broker.