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Secret Oath Will Run at Saratoga, But Only Once

If you want to see Briland Farms’ Secret Oath  at Saratoga Race Course this summer, you’re going to have to wait.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said his 4-year-old filly will be pointed to the $500,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) on Aug. 25, the day before the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1).

“She is really doing well, but we have made a decision to run her once here,” Lukas said July 19, sitting in his office at his barn on the Oklahoma Training Track.  “We’re trying to space her program so it leads to the Breeders’ Cup (Distaff, G1).”

Secret Oath, a daughter of Arrogate , was last seen finishing fifth in the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 10. That was her fourth start this year following a season-opening win in the Azeri Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park March 11 and seconds in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), also at Oaklawn, on April 15 and the La Troienne Stakes (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 5.

Secret Oath has faced the likes of Clairiere  and Played Hard , who are headed to the $200,000 Shuvee Stakes (G2) on July 23 at the Spa.

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Last year, Secret Oath won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and then went winless in five subsequent starts, all of them grade 1 events. She was second in the 2022 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Alabama Stakes (G1) at the Spa behind Nest , who is also running in the Shuvee.

“If you want to know the truth, she could probably take more, but we are not going to test that,” Lukas said. “If would be pretty easy to drop into the Shuvee and test the waters and see how she handles the track. We’re going to go for broke on the Personal Ensign.”

Lukas said that Robert and Stacy Mitchell, the breeders and owners of Secret Oath, want the path to the Breeders’ Cup to include the Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland as the final race after the Personal Ensign.

“They live in Louisville,” Lukas said. “The Spinster is like the Kentucky Derby to them. That is the program they asked me to follow and it’s not bad.”

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