Anne M. Eberhardt

Draw-Day Omens for Preakness Hopefuls?

Super Saver and Lookin At Lucky will break side by side in the Preakness.

WinStar Farm’s Super Saver  and Watson, Pegram, and Weitman’s Lookin At Lucky , winner and beaten favorite, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), drew side by side for the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course.

Neither camp seem bothered by the May 12 post draw: Super Saver drew post 8 and Lookin At Lucky post 7 in a field of 12. Members of the crowd at the draw let out a laugh or two when Lookin At Lucky, who has been unlucky in his last two starts, drew lucky 7.

“Maybe seven, that’s an omen,” trainer Bob Baffert said.

Lookin At Lucky will be ridden in a race for the first time by Martin Garcia, but the California-based rider is no stranger to the Smart Strike colt. He replaces Garrett Gomez, who will ride Dublin from post 12.

“Martin has been on that horse more than Garrett,” Baffert said of Garcia working Lookin At Lucky. “A lot of top riders called about the mount saying, ‘You’re crazy, dude.’ Martin’s a great athlete. He has got that talent in him and he listens to me.”

Lookin At Lucky and Super Saver were two of about 20 horses that arrived at Pimlico May 12. Todd Pletcher, who trains Super Saver, indicated the trip went fine, and that Super Saver appears ready to take the next step.

“Physically, he has made a nice transition from a 2-year-old to a 3-year-old,” Pletcher said of the Maria's Mon colt. “He’s putting it all together. All the physical signs we’ve seen so far have been great.”

Just before the late-afternoon draw, it poured at Pimlico, leading WinStar’s Elliott Walden to wonder about omens. Super Saver won the Derby on a sloppy track.

“He’s ready to go,” Walden said. “He’s tactical, and I think (jockey Calvin Borel) can place him where he wants. I don’t think post really matters in a 12-horse field. I guess we wouldn’t have wanted to be in the 11 or 12, but I don’t think it really matters.”

The forecast calls for some rain Thursday and Friday of Preakness week, but drier conditions Saturday. Baffert said the weather isn’t as important as the track condition, and how the horses handle it.