Darrell Wayne Lukas is a former educator who became one of the most successful horse trainers in American Thoroughbred horse racing history and a U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee.
Lukas graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a master's degree in education then taught high school where for nine years he was a head basketball coach.
Born and raised on a small farm, D. Wayne Lukas grew up with an interest in horses. He began training quarter horses in California in 1968 and after ten years of considerable achievement that saw him train 24 world champions, he switched to training thoroughbred race horses. The first trainer to earn more than $100 million in purse money, he has been the year's top money winner 14 times. Lukas got his big break in 1980 when he won the Preakness Stakes on Codex. His horses have won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness Stakes on five occasions, and have claimed victory four times in the Belmont Stakes, including winning all three of the Classics in 1995 with Thunder Gulch and Timber Country, making him the first trainer to sweep the Triple Crown Classic races with two different horses in a season. He is tied with Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons for the most Triple Crown race victories with 13.