INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 16, 2009) — Lookin At Lucky, an unlucky second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, will try to solidify his credentials as the best 2-year-old in the country with a victory in Saturday’s 29th running of the $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park.
The son of Smart Strike suffered his lone defeat in five starts when he drew the 13-post in the Juvenile and was forced to run wide while falling just a head short of Vale of York. Prior to that he won four straight races including three graded stakes — the Best Pal, the Del Mar Futurity and the Norfolk.
Lookin At Lucky is one of three Futurity entrants trained by Bob Baffert, who seeks a record fifth victory in the Grade I event after matching D. Wayne Lukas’ record of four when Pioneerof the Nile won in 2008.
Real Quiet, who became Baffert’s first Futurity winner in 1997, went on to win the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Point Given, the 2000 Futurity champ, won the Preakness and Belmont in 2001 and was named Horse of the Year.
Real Quiet is one of six Futurity grads to win the Derby. The others are inaugural starter Gato Del Sol, who won the 1982 Derby, Ferdinand (1986), Alysheba (1987), Thunder Gulch (1995) and Giacomo (2005).
Baffert, whose other Futurity win came with Captain Steve in 1999, will also send out Generous Stakes runner-up Marcello and The Program in the 1 1/16-mile event on Saturday. The eight-horse field will line up as follows from the rail out:
Lookin At Lucky, with Garrett Gomez up; Brady Blue Eyes, Joe Talamo; The Program, Victor Espinoza; Marcello, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Make Music for Me, Mike Smith; Noble’s Promise, Robby Albarado; Seattle Ruler, Martin Garcia, and Wildlee Special, Alex Solis. All carry 121 pounds.
Lookin At Lucky, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, could clinch an Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding 2-year-old with a victory Saturday. He enters the Futurity with earnings of $843,000.
Noble’s Promise, a son of Cuvee trained by Ken McPeek, led in deep stretch in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before settling for third beaten less than one length. He has won three of five starts including the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. He enters the CashCall Futurity with earnings of $583,500.
Baffert moves Marcello back to the main track after the son of Johannesburg finished second on turf in the one-mile Generous here Nov. 28. He will be making his ninth start, while The Program will be starting for the fifth time. The Program enters following a second in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race here Nov. 27.
Seattle Ruler is trained by Mike Harrington, who sent out Swiss Yodeler to an upset victory in the 1996 Futurity. The son of Roman Ruler won the Barretts Juvenile, finished ninth in the Norfolk and third in the Hollywood Prevue.
Make Music for Me, still seeking to break his maiden, ran second in the Best Pal and Del Mar Futurity; Brady Blue Eyes broke his maiden here Nov. 22, and Wildlee Special broke his maiden in his third start on Nov. 20 at the Meadowlands.
The Futurity will run as the ninth of ten races on Saturday’s ten-race program at Hollywood Park. First post is at 12:30 p.m.
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