Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas warmed up for his big Preakness upset with an impressive 1-3 finish in the G2 Dixie S. on the Pimlico undercard May 18. And he did it with a pair ENGLISH CHANNEL colts.

It was the Calumet Farm/Bluegrass Hall homebred Skyring, a 4yo colt from ENGLISH CHANNEL’s first crop, who led every step to win the $300,000 Dixie under Gary Stevens, who would go on to take the Preakness one race later with another Calumet runner in Oxbow. The win came exactly one year after Skyring won his first stakes, the James W. Murphy S., in the same wire-to-wire fashion at Pimlico. The Dixie was Skyring’s first graded tally, and pushed his earnings to $424,148.

Completing the trifecta was the always-tough Optimizer, another Calumet/Bluegrass Hall homebred who won this year’s G3 Fair Grounds H. and G3 Col. E. R. Bradley H. and who was coming in off a runner-up effort to Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic S.

ENGLISH CHANNEL is now the sire of four graded winners and nine stakes winners from his first crop! Among a deep group of third-crop sires, he is:

• #3 sire by cumulative earnings
• #3 sire cumulative stakes winners (9)
• #3 sire by cumulative graded winners (4)
• #3 sire by cumulative graded runners (7)
• #3 sire by cumulative stakes horses (18)

In 2013, meanwhile, ENGLISH CHANNEL the #1 NA third-crop sire by graded winners (3)!

In addition to Skyring and Optimizer, ENGLISH CHANNEL has also been represented this season by:

• Channel Lady, heroine of the G3 Suwannee River S. at Gulfstream. Todd Pletcher trains the 4yo filly for James Scatuorchio and J.J. Pletcher. Channel Lady was bred by Scatuorchio, Kaygar Stable, Wayne Morris and Bluegrass Hal
• Riverboat Queen, a 3yo James Scatuorchio homebred filly who ran a good third in the $90,000 Tweedside S. at Belmont for Todd Pletcher
• Red Wings, a 3yo Calumet/Bluegrass Hall homebred who placed in the Team Valor Rushaway S. at Turfway; he also ran third in the $100,000 Northern Spur S. at Oaklawn
• Star Channel, a 4yo colt owned by GDS Racing Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher who ran second in the Besilu Stables Turf Classic S.
• Satin Gold, 3yo filly who placed in the Spring Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge S. She was bred by Hazel B. Marsh and is owned by Kathy Stephens and Frank Nieschwietz

ENGLISH CHANNEL’s runners also include:

• Strait of Dover, crowned Champion 3-year-old Colt in Canada for 2012 after capturing the $1M Queen’s Plate in record-breaking time
• Blueskiesnrainbows, winner of the 2012 G2 Swap S. and runner-up in the G1 Santa Anita Derby
• Tres Aureole, winner of the 2012 Le Cle S. at Betfair Hollywood Park
• The Pizza Man, a two-time stakes winner and a winner of 7 of 10 lifetime starts
• Sunday Kit, winner of the A. Cemal Kura S. in Europe
• The graded performers Peruvian Lily, English Class, Ann of the Dance, etc.

Looking for a stallion who sires a perfect mix of durability and flat-out raw talent? Call or email Gemma Freeman or Jill McCully to discuss season options for ENGLISH CHANNEL!

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