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Kentucky Derby Favorite Profile

Lookin at Lucky

4/26/10

With the recent scratch of Derby Favorite Eskendereya, the spotlight is now on the new likely favorite, Lookin At Lucky. Here is our profile of the new favorite.

If there is one person that knows what it takes to get a horse ready to run on the first Saturday in May it is Bob Baffert. The wizard has won the Kentucky Derby 3 times with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, and War Emblem in 2002 to go along with numerous others who have made the field of 20 under Baffert�s training.

In 2010 Baffert has two runners to saddle in the Kentucky Derby with Conveyance and Lookin At Lucky, but there is no doubt which one Baffert is most excited about running. Baffert has been pointing the 3 year old son of Smart Strike towards this race since last summer and when Baffert is this high on a horse he is rarely wrong, and once again he is right on the money about Lookin At Lucky his �Franchise� horse.

It�s easy to see why he was so excited about this horse from early on with Lookin At Lucky winning his first 4 starts including the G2 Best Pal, G1 Del Mar Futurity, and G1 Norfolk. If not for starting from the 13 hole and having a bad trip in the Breeder�s Cup Juvenile he would have ended his 2 yr old campaign a perfect 6 for 6 including a win in the G1 Cash Call Futurity to close out the year. Even without winning the Breeders Cup Juvenile Lookin At Lucky still won the Eclipse Award for 2 year old colt making him the early Derby favorite coming into 2010.

After that grueling 6 race 2 yr old campaign Baffert gave his star colt a break after the Cash Call Futurity, and decided to wait until March to give Lookin At Lucky his 3 year old debut in the G2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park. This was Lookin At Lucky�s first start on conventional dirt, so there were a lot of question marks surrounding him going into this race, but once again he passed the test beating Derby contender Noble�s Promise right at the wire by a head after clipping heels earlier in the race

. Baffert decided to ship his colt back to Southern California for his final Derby prep in the G1 Santa Anita Derby, but things didn�t go according to plan. In the Santa Anita Derby Lookin At Lucky had a terrible trip getting shut off by a tiring horse coming into the stretch which killed any chance he had at winning. That wasn�t the ideal race for Lookin At Lucky to use to prep for the big one, but with that bad trip we can give him the benefit of the doubt and just draw a line through that race. Now with all his preps out of the way and all the serious pre Derby training just about over its time to look and see if Lookin At Lucky has what you want in a Derby horse. Can he get the tough Derby distance? Does he have the right running style? Is he coming into the race the right way and is he battle tested?

1. When you look at Lookin At Lucky�s breeding the first thing you notice is he is sired by the most versatile sire in the world Smart Strike. Smart Strike has foaled stakes winners from 6 furlong sprints on dirt to 12 furlong routes on the turf. Most notably he sired 2 time Horse of the Year Curlin who could run all day. He also sired 2009 Arkansas Derby winner and Derby contender Papa Clem and 2007 Breeder�s Cup Turf winner English Channel. If Lookin At Lucky does get beat in the Kentucky Derby it will not be because he has distance limitations.

2. Usually we prefer our Derby horse to be closer to the pace then Lookin At Lucky usually is, but we have seen in the past few years with horses like Street Sense and Mine That Bird that you can come from way out of it and still get the job done. Also, with horses like Sidney�s Candy, Line of David, and Conveyance there should be plenty of pace for Lookin At Lucky to run at.

3. When it comes to being battle tested Lookin At Lucky passes that test with flying colors. He had an amazing 2 yr old campaign winning 5 out of 6 races, and if it wasn�t for bad trips in the Breeder�s Cup and the Santa Anita Derby he very well could be heading into the Derby a perfect 8 for 8. Baffert realized he had asked his colt for a lot as a 2 year old which is why he only gave him two starts as a 3 yr old which means the Derby will be Lookin At Lucky�s 3rd race off the layoff which is normally where a horse runs his peak race. We aren�t crazy about him coming into the race off a 3rd place finish getting beat 6 lengths, but he had a legitimate excuse in that race. With his dazzling 6 furlong workout in 1:12 at Churchill Downs it looks like Lookin At Lucky is glad to be back on the dirt which Baffert says is his preferred surface, so we expect it to be all systems go for Baffert and his �Franchise� horse come May 1st.
 

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