Vale of York and Lookin At Lucky , the one-two finishers in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), share the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2009 Experimental Free Handicap, released by The Jockey Club and available at jockeyclub.com.
Eclipse Award winner Lookin At Lucky (Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me) won five of his six starts last year for earnings of $1,243,000. Owned by Karl Watson, Michael Pegram, and Paul Weitman, Lookin At Lucky won the CashCall Futurity (gr. I), the Norfolk Stakes (gr. I), the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I), and the Best Pal Stakes. (gr. II). He was bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Farms.
Irish-bred Vale of York (Invincible Spirit—Red Vale, by Halling) scored a head decision over Lookin At Lucky in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing (lessee) in his only North American start. Bred in Ireland by Stock Vale Ltd., Vale of York won three of his six races in 2009 for earnings of $1,151,186.
The 126 pounds assigned to Lookin At Lucky and Vale of York is the standard impost for top Experimental colts and equivalent to the assignment on last year’s high weight, Midshipman.
Lookin At Lucky and Vale of York are weighted two pounds higher than Noble's Promise (Cuvee—The Devil’s Trick, by Clever Trick), a winner of three of his six starts in 2009, including the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) and the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes. He earned $733,500 for owner Chasing Dreams Racing 2008.
Kingfield Stables’ Buddy's Saint (Saint Liam—Tuzia, by Blushing John), winner of the Nashua (gr. II) and Remsen (gr. II) Stakes by a combined 16 3/4 lengths, is weighted at 123 pounds. He won two of his three starts on the year and earned $218,600.
Pounced won two of his four starts in 2009, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) in his only North American start. He earned $668,454.
Super Saver also won two of his four starts last year, including the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), and earned $171,232.
In the filly division, the 123 pounds assigned to Blind Luck (Pollard's Vision —Lucky One, by Best of Luck) and She Be Wild (Offlee Wild—Trappings, by Seeking the Gold) is the standard impost for top Experimental fillies and a pound less than the assignment on last year’s high weight, Stardom Bound.
Bred in Kentucky by Fairlawn Farm, Blind Luck won four of six starts last year, including the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) and Oak Leaf (gr. I) Stakes. She also finished third by three-quarters of a length to She Be Wild in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She earned $709,050 for owners Mark DeDomenico, John Carver, and Jerry Hollendorfer.
Nancy Mazzoni’s She Be Wild, the champion 2-year-old filly, won four of her five starts in 2009 and earned $1,311,040. In addition to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, She Be Wild won the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (gr. III) and was beaten a half-length when second in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I). She was bred in Kentucky by Mazzoni and her husband, Mike.
Blind Luck and She Be Wild are weighted 2 pounds higher than Grace Stables’ Hot Dixie Chick (Dixie Union--Above Perfection, by In Excess). Hot Dixie Chick’s three wins from four starts included the Spinaway (gr. I) and Schuylerville (gr. III) Stakes. Hot Dixie Chick earned $285,685.
Beautician posted one victory from six starts in 2009 but placed second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Spinaway and Schuylerville. She earned $486,625.
Negligee won two of her four starts last year, including the Darley Alcibiades, and earned $348,007.
Among sires of Experimental horses, Bernstein tops the list of colts and geldings with five representatives, while Tiznow heads the fillies’ list with four representatives. Combining the two lists, Roman Ruler is the leading sire with six representatives. Of the 175 juveniles weighted, 108 were bred in Kentucky, 34 in Florida, and five each in California and Pennsylvania.
The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. This year’s weighting committee of racing secretaries was composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association, and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
The committee weighted a total of 93 males and 82 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2009 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added value of at least $75,000, run in the continental United States.