On paper, Lookin At Lucky should have little problem winning the $500,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II) Oct. 2 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
A five-time grade I winner and the leading 3-year-old in the nation, Lookin At Lucky towers over his eight rivals in the 1 1/16-mile event. If there is a shadow of a doubt about his prospects of winning the Indiana Derby, it comes from his health.
Lookin At Lucky missed nearly a month of training after winning the Aug. 1 Haskell Invitational (gr. I) by four lengths at Monmouth Park. The Smart Strike colt developed an illness that trainer Bob Baffert said caused him to lose a significant amount of weight. He returned to the work tab on Sept. 8 and has had three more breezes since then, including a bullet move on Sept. 20 and a final five-furlong tune-up in 1:00 3/5 on Sept. 26. Both were at Hollywood Park.
Baffert has said his star has recovered from the untimely illness very well over the past couple weeks and is ready to go. Should he come out of the Indiana Derby no worse for the wear, Lookin At Lucky will be pointed toward his ultimate goal, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.
The bay colt shipped from California to Indiana on Sept. 29. He will be ridden by Martin Garcia, who was aboard for wins in both the Preakness (gr. I) and Haskell. The 5-2 morning-line favorite will break from post 6.
Lookin At Lucky has won three of five starts this year and eight of 11 overall. He has earned more than $2.7 million for Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman.
The main competition for Lookin At Lucky figures to be Worldly
—second in the Ohio Derby (gr. III)—and Thiskyhasnolimit
, the only other graded stakes winner in the field.
Jay Em Ess Stable’s Wordly has won just one of 11 career starts, but has been runner-up in his last three tries—the last two in graded company including the Ohio Derby when missing by a nose to Pleasant Prince. Trainer Paul McGee has assigned Francisco Torres to ride the son of A.P. Indy.
Bob and Cathy Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Thiskyhasnolimit (7-2) won the Sept. 6 Smarty Jones Stakes by two lengths for his third black-type triumph at Philadelphia Park. The Steve Asmussen trainee enjoyed his biggest victory in the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs.
Also in the field is Uareoutlaw
, making his first start in the United States. Trained by Mike Maker, the Brazilian-bred son of Christine’s Outlaw has three wins in six starts this year in his native country. Victor Lebron will ride from post 4 at odds of 4-1.
Post time for the Indiana Derby, slated as race 12 on the 14-race program, is 6:02 p.m. EDT.
The Indiana Derby will be aired on HRTV, with Peter Lurie and Zoe Cadman heading the coverage.
$500,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II, Race 12, 6:02 p.m.), 3YO, 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Dabossman (FL), N DeSouza, 115, M E Lauer
2. Thiskyhasnolimit (KY), J Theriot, 124, S M Asmussen
3. Worldly (KY), F C Torres, 115, P J McGee
4. Uareoutlaw (BRZ), V Lebron, 124, M J Maker
5. Indy Bull (IN), F De La Cruz, 115, M C Roberts
6. Lookin At Lucky (KY), M Garcia, 124, B Baffert
7. Litigation Risk (FL), S Bridgmohan, 121, R A Violette Jr.
8. Nacho Friend (KY), C H Marquez Jr., 115, K J Breen
9. St. Maximus Gato (IL), E O Nunez, 115, D F Hunt