The only luck that Lookin At Lucky encountered in 2009 was the bad luck he suffered in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), breaking from the 13 post and losing a ton of ground on both turns. Despite his misfortune, he just was beaten a head in the only defeat of his 2-year-old championship campaign.
Yes, there was good luck as well, but that pertained to his owners, Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman when they shelled out $475,000 for the son of Smart Strike —Private Feeling, by Belong to Me, at the Keeneland April 2-year-old sale.
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Lookin At Lucky turned into a methodical winning machine who knew how to beat you without expending much energy. He was the baseball team that was content to win by a score of 3-1. He was the professional poker player who would rather beat you with a pair than a full house. That was Lookin At Lucky. Why decimate his opponents in fast times when he can get the same result by beating them by a length and leave enough in reserve to come back and do it over and over?
And that is just what he did, winning five races by a total of five lengths. His smallest margin was three-quarters of a length and his biggest margin was 13⁄4 lengths. By winning the Del Mar Futurity, Norfolk Stakes, and CashCall Futurity, all at different tracks, Lookin At Lucky became the first North American 2-year-old male to win three grade I stakes since Tejano captured the Arlington-Washington Futurity, Cowdin Stakes, and Hollywood Futurity in 1987. Two of those races (the Arlington Futurity and Cowdin) no longer are grade I events.
If not for his bad post and horrible trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he likely would have four grade I triumphs to his credit. Many will agree that, despite his three big wins, his lone defeat was his best performance.
First-place vote totals: Lookin At Lucky, 209; Vale of York, 17; Buddy's Saint, 2; Noble's Promise, 2; D' Funnybone, 1; Jackson Bend, 1.