(Trainer D. Wayne Lukas / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Very few people who follow Thoroughbred racing today even remember the name of Ben Jones.

Never mind he won the Kentucky Derby a record six times, and never had a positive test result once in those events. Never mind that he trained 13 Champions, before turning over his string of legends at Calumet Farm to his son, Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones, who also went on to become a Hall of Fame Trainer.

Nobody remembers. Or, shamefully, cares.

Very few people who follow Thoroughbred racing today even remember the days of the Derby Trial, which was first run at famed Churchill Downs in 1924. It was a 1-mile race, out of the chute, and was a week before the glorious Kentucky Derby. One week. Seven days.

The first edition was won by Black Gold, who came right back to win the  “Run for the Roses.” Citation, who was trained by Jones and went on to win the Triple Crown in 1948, won both the Trail and the Derby. Hill Gail, in 1952, won them both for Jones. Dark Star in 1953 won them both. Tim Tam in 1958 won them both.

Never mind that the likes of Whirlaway (another trained by Jones), Assault, Lawrin, Gallahadion, Ponder, Middleground, Determine and Iron Liege all lost in the Trail, but came back to win the Derby.

Never mind that as recent as 2005, Don’t Get Mad, who won the Trial, went on to run a game 4th to Giacomo in the Kentucky Derby.

Nobody remembers. Or, shamefully, cares.

Very few people who follow Thoroughbred racing today even remember that the “old-timers” — like Jones all the way to the great Woody Stephens — used the Derby Trial as the final prep in legging up to the 11/4-mile Kentucky Derby.

Nobody remembers. Or, shamefully, cares.

But this past Saturday, in the 149th Preakness Stakes, trainer D. Wayne Lukas once again gave his younger contemporaries an education on the racetrack and proved that “old school” — just like him — ain’t dead yet.

This past Saturday, Lukas — on the final furlong towards his 89th birthday — dug deep into his saddle bags and pulled out a rabbit who didn’t quit on the track and turned old magic into new legend.

This past Saturday, Lukas won the 149th Preakness Stakes with Seize the Grey, a 3-year-old colt who won the Pat Day Mile (which was formerly known as the Derby Trial) on Kentucky Derby Day (which it was moved to in 2015).

One plus one still equals two.

Cursive is still the right way to write.

Biology still means dissecting a frog in the classroom.

Reading, writing and arithmetic.

Old School is New Science.

It still works

And, so does running horses when they are ready to run.

Several years ago, for some damn reason, the sports world turned over its’ collective brainwork to some Ivy League brainiacs who don’t know how to tie on a pair of running shoes. Still, they convinced the powers-that-be that computers know more than humans and human instinct. They convinced the sports world that analytics is more correct than people who have spent their lives doing what they do because they are the best at what they do.

For some damn reason, the entire world of major league baseball now thinks that when a grown-man reaches 100 pitches in a single game, he is now in danger of throwing his pitching arm off his body. Doesn’t matter that the same man can throw a strike past a hitter on pitch 100. According to the computer, he can’t even muster a toss 60-feet and 6-inches at pitch 101.

Doesn’t matter any more who came up with that magic number of 100 pitches. Doesn’t matter that the likes of Hall of Famer’s Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale, Jim Bunning, Jim Maloney, Juan Marichal and many others used to throw many, many, many more pitches in a single game. Apparently, Artificial Intelligence has won out, at least for now.

For some damn reason, NFL coaches now call certain plays on certain downs because that is what the computer says must be done. Apparently, Artificial Intelligence has won out, at least for now.

For some damn reason, NBA coaches now substitute players at certain times because that is what the computer says has to be done. Apparently, Artificial Intelligence has won out, at least for now.

And, for some damn reason, some trainer — like Todd Pletcher — decided several years ago that the only way to train really good horses up to really important races is to give them 5, 6, 7 weeks of rest in-between official outings. Apparently, Artificial Intelligence has won out, at least for now.

Why? What’s the reason? Where are the statistics? Where’s the improvement? Is the sport any better?

Just because you may think this is best, doesn’t make it best.

Despite the fact that most MLB  managers pull pitchers today after 100 throws in a game, there are more arm injuries and surgeries than ever before. No doubt.

Despite the fact that NFL coaches now call plays based on analytics, the game is no better than when Bart Starr snuck into the end zone on New Year’s Eve to win the “Ice Bowl” over the Dallas Cowboys. No doubt.

Despite the fact that horse trainer deluxe — Pletcher — now leads the charge for more rest and less play, and others have blindly fallowed suit, horse racing is no better than when Citation won the Triple Crown in 1948 when he raced 19 times that season alone, and was later retired in 1951 with a record of 32-10-2 in 45 lifetime starts. No doubt.

All people are different. Some players can do more. Some can do less. No computer can judge that.

All horses are different. Some can do more. Some can do less. No computer can decide that.

Don’t know about you.

But I’m sick and tired of computers deciding what is best for the game, and for the horse.

I’m convinced it is time for trainers to be trainers again, and run horses when they think they are ready to run again.

Thank goodness for owners like Spendthrift Farm and MyRaceHorse.com; thank goodness for trainers like D. Wayne Lukas who decided it was OK to run Pat Day Mile winner Seize the Grey in the Preakness Stakes on two weeks notice.

Thank goodness that the connections of both Mystik Dan, who won the Kentucky Derby, and Catching Freedom, who was fourth in this year’s Derby, decided it was OK to run in the Preakness Stakes on two weeks notice.

Maybe even Pletcher should have considered running Fierceness in the Preakness. After all, the 2YO Champ didn’t do much running at all in the Kentucky Derby, just two weeks ago. Maybe he could have done some this past Saturday.

But thank God for Seize the Grey — who, once again, proved that “old school” is still left in our sport and can win the day.

On Saturday, Old School whipped the crap out of AI, the brainiacs, and the Ivy School whiz kids and the philosophy of Todd Pletcher.

On Saturday, D. Wayne Lukas and Seize the Grey seized the day.

Ring the bell.

It’s time for Old School to begin. Again.