LOUISVILLE _ The credentials of the most recognizable man in horse racing loomed beyond his right shoulder.
Two plaques in D. Wayne Lukas' green and white racing colors posted on Barn 44 advertise why a Kentucky Derby held without him has a hole in it_four Kentucky Derby winners and four Kentucky Oaks winners.
It used to be a big deal when a trainer turned up any 3-year-old worthy of running in the world's most famous horse race. Last year it was a bigger deal when Lukas didn't have one. This was the man who saddled a record five horses in the 1996 Derby, prompting the late trainer Charlie Whittingham to say, "He's got us surrounded."
The 2001 race was the first time since 1981 that the king of the backstretch didn't have a thoroughbred to saddle on the first Saturday in May. That made Lukas the highest-profile spectator at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, …