Preakness Winner SEIZE THE GREY: Born, Raised, and Sold at Mill Ridge Farm

SEIZE THE GREY wasn’t expected to win the May 11, 2024 Preakness, much less lead the race wire-to-wire. But the performance was no surprise for the horse’s winning lineage of caretakers, from renowned trainer D. Wayne Lukas back to the team at Mill Ridge Farm, the Kentucky horse farm that raised the Thoroughbred.

A Race Day to Remember

SEIZE THE GREY pulled into the lead right out of the gate, giving jockey Jaime Torres a great position through the first turn. At the half-mile pole, SEIZE THE GREY was running as strong as the start, even looking stronger after the first turn. 

That was when Lukas said to his wife, “We’re home free.”

After the half-mile pole, race day favorite MYSTIK DAN made a bid for the front but could never make his way past SEIZE THE GREY.

ESPN reported, “Going off at 9-1 as one of the longest shots on the board, SEIZE THE GREY moved to the lead immediately out of the starting gate and never looked back, finishing in 1:56.82.”

Post-race interviews showed  Lukas’ hope that SEIZE THE GREY would take advantage of muddy conditions on the familiar track where he’d won six times before.

Following the race, he said the horse met and exceeded his expectations, “I thought his action down the backside was beautiful, and I knew that he was handling the track. I said, ‘Watch out, he’s not going to quit.’”

Did SEIZE THE GREY Come out of Nowhere?

SEIZE THE GREY may not have been top on commentators’ minds going into the race, but he wasn’t at the Pimlico Race Course racing in the Preakness by chance. The colt by ARROGATE out of SMART SHOPPING, was bred, born, and raised at legendary Mill Ridge Farm. He was also mated by Nicoma Bloodstock, Mill Ridge’s consulting arm for the Audie Otto family. Then he was sold by Mill Ridge as a yearling in the Saratoga Select sale in August 2022. Now owned by over 2500 shareholders through MyRacehorse, SEIZE THE GREY is part of a new trend in Thoroughbred racehorse ownership.

Nature & Nurture

Mill Ridge Farm has a legacy of success, having bred, raised, and/or sold 39 Grade 1 winners at their beautiful 900-acre Kentucky farm since 2000. 

Mill Ridge and its consulting firm, Nicoma Bloodstock, have a long history of success in Kentucky horse racing. The operation’s impressive results include three Horse of the Year winners, three Kentucky Derby winners, and 10 Breeders’ Cup winners. 

The farm has 50+ years of experience boarding mares and raising foals, weanlings, and yearlings, preparing them for future racing careers. Their driving philosophy is to let horses be horses, allowing plenty of time to grow and play in large rolling pastures where their natural herd and competitive instincts have ample time to develop. 

The farm offers visitor experiences for anyone interested in seeing world-class Thoroughbred racehorses up close. 

Pedigree for Success

SEIZE THE GREY is a son of ARROGATE, a pillar of recent Kentucky racing history. ARROGATE won the 2016 Breeder’s Cup Class (G1), 2016 Travers Stakes (G1), 2017 Pegasus World Cup (G1), and 2017 Dubai World Cup (G1) winner. 

Those high-profile wins made ARROGATE more than a big name in Kentucky racing history; he’s the all-time leading earnings winner among North American runners, earning $17,422,600 over his career. 

ARROGATE’s lineage survives through SEIZE THE GREY, 2023 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner ARCHANGELO, and 2022 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner SECRET OATH.

Trained by the Best

Starting with a winning pedigree and championship-caliber upbringing, D. Wayne Lukas was a key step in getting SEIZE THE GREY first over the finish line, especially running in Baltimore.

In the 149-year history of the Preakness, Lukas saddled more horses than any other trainer (48 since his 1980 debut) with seven victories.

Jockey on the Rise

After his victory, SEIZE THE GREY’s jockey, Jaime Torres, told reporters, “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like a movie, but in real life.”

Saturday’s win in Baltimore was Torres’ first time in a Triple Crown race. In fact, Torres began his love for racing in 2019 after seeing a horse race on television for the first time in his native Puerto Rico. By 2022, he was jockeying his first thoroughbreds. 

Chosen by D. Wayne Lukas to pilot SEIZE THE GREY in his maiden race last July, Torres also raced to victory with the grey colt in the G1 Pat Day Mile on Derby weekend at Churchill Downs.

Up Next for SEIZE THE GREY

Coming off the big win, Lukas said SEIZE THE GREY recovered “remarkably well.” He plans to compete at New York’s Belmont Stakes on June 8, giving the horse a shot at two of this year’s coveted Triple Crown races.

SEIZE THE GREY and his ownership group at MyRacehorse will work with trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, on what’s next. They are currently considering the  September 28 California Crown (G1) at Santa Anita Park and the Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park in January 2025.