(from Santa Anita notes)
It could be Santa Anita's version of David versus Goliath come March 13. That’s when undefeated and unsung Caracortado could square off against Kentucky Derby Future Book individual favorite Lookin At Lucky in the $150,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles.
Caracortado (which means scarface in Spanish) won his fifth straight race Feb. 13, posting a 1 3/4-length triumph in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) under regular rider Paul Atkinson. Trainer Mike Machowsky has the San Felipe targeted for Caracortado, a California-bred gelding he bred and owns a part of, along with Mr. and Mrs. Don Blahut.
Lookin At Lucky is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the San Felipe. The $475,000 son of Smart Strike has five wins from six starts, his only defeat coming by an unlucky head in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). He already has bankrolled $1,243,000.
“That’s the plan right now,” Machowsky said on the morning following Caracortado's upset Lewis win in reference to the San Felipe. “I’m going to see how he reacts and ... go from there. But the spacing would be good. Three weeks after the San Felipe is the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I on April 3), and if everything goes well, it gives you a month after that to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I on May 1).”
Machowsky was still riding high less than 24 hours after Caracortado’s victory. “I’m still pretty pumped up,” he said. “I woke about 1:30 (Sunday morning) and couldn’t sleep anymore. I watched the replays about 10 times and read all the articles about the race.”
Lookin At Lucky worked four furlongs Feb. 14 on Pro-Ride in company under jockey Martin Garcia. Lookin At Lucky was timed in :48.20.
“Nice” is how Baffert described the move, while Garcia said he went “really good.”
Baffert was forthright in his praise for Caracortado. “He’s a good horse,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby. “Every year there’s a surprise horse like him among the 3-year-olds, like Georgie Boy and Brother Derek .”