Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Lucky Number 7: Lookin At Lucky Wins the 136th Preakness Stakes

Posted by Brian Appleton on May 16, 2010

The Preakness Stakes was a story of redemption in its truest form. In the 2010 renewal of the Kentucky Derby on May 1st Super Saver may have proven to be the best horse of the day, but this day belonged to Lookin At Lucky and he proved that the best horse lost the Derby this year. Given a perfect trip and ride for the first time since his 2010 racing debut Lookin At Lucky broke from the lucky number 7 post and put all the Derby naysayers to silence with an impressive display of heart, class and true grit while posting the biggest win of his career to date.

When the field for the 136th Preakness Stakes broke from the gate it was Kentucky Derby champion Super Saver with

Lookin At Lucky

Calvin Borel up to take the lead but before the field entered the first turn First Dude came flying up on the outside to show the way. Lookin At Lucky had a perfect break and new jockey Martin Garcia guided him into sixth place entering the back stretch. Nick Zito trained Jackson Bend meanwhile was exactly where his giant-slaying trainer had hoped he would be. Right behind the pacesetters in third on the rail and running well within himself. Dublin had the worst start of the entire field breaking from the 12 post and darting straight for the outside rail, then veering in sharply for new jockey Garret Gomez to settle behind the field in last position. On the front end First Dude was rattling off a rapid pace of :22.91 for the opening quarter and :46.47 for the half mile with Super Saver glued to his side by about a half length. Settled comfortably behind was Jackson Bend and Caracortado to his outside with Ywanna Twist just behind those. Approaching the far turn Lookin At Lucky kicked it into high gear on the outside and moved in tandem with Caracortado to catch the frontrunners. Super Saver began to rapidly fall back as the field came on, blocking the running path of Jackson bend while Dublin came flying up from dead-last on the outside. First Dude was still leading the pack out front, running the race of his life. Entering the homestretch Lookin At Lucky swept to the lead with Caracortado fighting back gamely on the inside while Jackson Bend swung around horses behind and began to kick it into high gear. Lookin At Lucky surged to a half length lead over First Dude on the inside while Caracortado slowly dropped back. It looked like Lookin At Lucky was home free when suddenly First Dude found another gear and came on again, actually heading Lookin At Lucky mid-way down the stretch. With the crowd screaming wildly in their ears both jockeys went to work on their colts, urging them on with all their will-power. Lookin At Lucky proved the best horse in the end, surging forward yet again to win by ¾ of a length while Jackson Bend came flying late to seize third place, a head behind First Dude.

Waltzing under the wire to the roars of delight that poured from his hosts of fans Lookin At Lucky galloped into the backstretch with ears pricked, looking like a colt who had just come back home. This year post position number 7

Lookin At Lucky

really was lucky number seven. This marks the seventh lifetime victory for the very talented son of Smart Strike and it looks like many more could be in store for him this year. Not enough can be said for both the second and third place finisher’s performances in the Preakness this year. First Dude hung on all the way down the backstretch and even managed to launch another strong run in the homestretch to try and catch Lookin At Lucky after relinquishing the lead. Jackson Bend rewarded the confidence that many of us have had in him since last year by finishing third in yet another gutsy performance that proved he is one of the top 3-year-olds this year. I think the questions about his so called distance limitations have been answered beyond any doubt now.

Bob Baffert has now equaled the record of 5 Preakness Stakes wins after his star pupil captured the second jewel of the 2010 Triple Crown, this was his first win in the Preakness since his victory in 2002 with War Emblem.

Kentucky Derby champion Super Saver faded badly entering the homestretch to finish a dull 8th. Dublin after his poor start put in a terrific run from last place to register a 5th place finish. The Belmont looks like it might be a good fit for the chestnut colt if trainer D. Wayne Lukas elects to continue down the Triple Crown trail with his charge. Ywanna Twist finished 4th, Dublin 5th, Paddy O’Prado 6th, Caracortado 7th, Super Saver 8th, Schoolyard Dreams 9th, Aikenite 10th, Pleasant Prince 11th and Northern Giant 12th.

So now the big question to ask is this; who will advance to the Triple Crown finals in the Belmont Stakes? Bob Baffert rarely skips the last leg of the triple if he has a good horse that runs well in the first two and with Lookin At Lucky’s impressive win in the Preakness on Saturday May 15th I seriously doubt he will bypass the Belmont unless there is an issue found with the horse in the next couple of weeks.


6 Responses to “Lucky Number 7: Lookin At Lucky Wins the 136th Preakness Stakes”

  1. Insightful and your writing gives me the feeling like I was at the Preakness the 3rd Saturday in May today! Bravo Rail

  2. Brian,

    ‘LUCKY goes and wins. I thought him a TRIPLE CROWN threat so there’s no reason to skip the Belmont if he’s healthy. Baffert did the same with POINT GIVEN. I think that a Belmont S. win would erase any doubts as to who the top 3y.o. is at the midway point in the year. Then a rest, the Haskell and Travers before another freshening prior to a two race sequence culminating with the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

    What a race the BC Classic could be: QUALITY ROAD, ZENYATTA, RACHEL, RAIL TRIP, BLAME, BATTLE PLAN, MISREMEMBERED, LOOKIN AT LUCKY, SUPER SAVER, ICE BOX…who else did I miss? That may be worth a trip to Churchill Downs ;-)!!!

    • Seems I’m not Nostradamus…’LUCKY is going back to Cali for a little R&R before traveling to Mth for the Haskell. Baffert’s got BC Classic as a serious long term goal with this plan.

      • I heard that too. I’m disappointed he’s not heading for the Belmont Stakes, but I’m sure Baffert knows what he’s doing and I’ll be looking forward to his return in the Haskell. Without him in the Belmont I’ll be curious to see what kind of race a well rested Ice Box can produce.

  3. Another great article, Brian!!! (I like how you tied it all together with the “lucky number seven.” It’s my lucky number. LOL.)

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