by Kelsey Riley
If anyone knows how to prepare a horse for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it is three-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert. So when the Hall of Fame trainer is impressed with a workout 11 days out, it would be wise to take a second look.
Baffert sent out his two 2010 Derby hopefuls, Lookin At Lucky and Conveyance, for works over the Churchill Downs track at 8:30 a.m. April 21. Both colts rewarded their trainer with bullet moves: Lookin At Lucky covered six furlongs in 1:12.00, while Conveyance sizzled five furlongs in :58.60.
“Conveyance had Calvin Borel on him, he worked really well, we got a good work into him. He went out in 1:12,” said Baffert. “Lucky went in 1:12. I was happy with both their works, it looked like they went over the track really well.”
Lookin At Lucky, the champion 2-year-old colt of 2009, went to the track under exercise rider Dana Barnes following the renovation break. The son of Smart Strike – Private Feeling, by Belong to Me worked in tandem with stablemate Broken Tango, clocking six furlongs in a strong 1:12.00 and galloping out seven furlongs in 1:25.08.
The leading Derby contender by graded earnings with $1,480,000, Lookin At Lucky has been anything but lucky in 2010, but has still managed to turn in two impressive Derby preps: He won the March 13 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park after enduring a tough trip which saw him get bumped at the gate and brush heels with second place finisher Noble's Promise before closing four-wide on the turn to get up by a head.
In his most recent start, Lookin At Lucky was a hard-luck third in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) after being closed out on the rail nearing the quarter pole. A $475,000 purchase at the 2009 Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale by owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Lookin At Lucky has never finished off the board in eight career starts, including three grade I wins and earnings of $1,513,000.
Lookin At Lucky’s stablemate Conveyance went to the track at the same time, working on his own under Borel in a swift :58.60. The son of Indian Charlie – Emptythetill, by Holy Bull enters the Derby off a second place finish to Endorsement in the March 28 Sunland Derby (gr. III). Prior to that effort the Zabeel Racing International-owned colt strung together four consecutive victories, his two graded wins coming in the San Rafael (gr. III) and Southwest Stakes (gr. III).
Baffert said his Derby duo will work one more time before the Run for the Roses.
“So far, so good. I like the way they went today,” Baffert said. “They were really important works, and they handled them very well. They’ll breeze one more time.”
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