Jockey Martin Garcia, who climaxed a meteoric rise to stardom with a victory aboard Lookin at Lucky in the Preakness Stakes Saturday for trainer Bob Baffert, returned to Hollywood Park Sunday morning in quest of more glory.
Garcia hopes for another winning ride aboard Wynning Ride for Baffert in the $150,000 Grade II Milady Handicap this afternoon and has a tentative call on Concord Point, a 3-year-old colt that Baffert nominated to the $100,000 Grade III Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes here Saturday.
“I just picked him up at the airport and took him to the jocks’ room,” said agent Jim Pegram at 9:30 a.m. after the rider’s flight from Baltimore. “He’s just very happy.” Garcia, a 25-year-old Mexican native, rode in the Preakness for the first time.
“I watched the Preakness here from the Director’s Room,” said Pegram, brother of Mike Pegram, co-owner of the colt. “That’s where I was when Real Quiet (also owned by Mike Pegram) won (in 1998). I wasn’t going to change anything.”
Lookin at Lucky became the fourth winner of the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park to go on to capture the Preakness Stakes the following spring. Lookin at Lucky followed in the footsteps of two other Bob Baffert trainees, Real Quiet and Point Given, as well as the Mel Stute-trained Snow Chief.
Lookin at Lucky also became the sixth Preakness winner to come out of the CashCall Futurity (called the Hollywood Futurity from 1981-2006). Alysheba finished second and Tank’s Prospect was fourth in the Hollywood Park race, respectively, before winning the Preakness.
Bet against Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg on Preakness Stakes Day at your own peril.
Winner of the Preakness with Gate Dancer in 1984 and Alysheba in 1987, Van Berg saddled the longshot winner of a race Saturday at Hollywood Park that triggered a track-record trifecta payoff of $78,703.80 for a $2 bet.
“The jockey rode him like he’s supposed to; that was the difference,” said Van Berg Sunday, praising Brice Blanc for his patient ride aboard Fortunate Victory in the seven-furlong maiden race for $25,000-$22,500 claimers.
Blanc filled in the blanks for Fortunate Victory, a 6-year-old gelding winless in 29 previous starts, and Van Berg, who had been 0-for-20 at the current meet. Fortunate Victory, ridden for the first time by Blanc, rallied from 12th to win by a neck.
Fortunate Victory, a 34-1 shot, combined with Outrageous Fortune at 33-1 and Souvenir Summer at 42-1 for the record trifecta.
Blind Luck, winner of the Kentucky Oaks in her last start on April 30 at Churchill Downs, will return in the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks on June 6, trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer said here Sunday.
“She had a nice work in 59 and four here Friday,” said Hollendorfer. “The Hollywood Oaks is next.” The Grade II Hollywood Oaks is at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track.
A multiple stakes winner who solidified her claim to the rank of the nation’s top 3-year-old filly with the victory in Kentucky, Blind Luck won the Grade I Hollywood Starlet here last December.
Trainer John Sadler said that Crisp would also make her next start in the Hollywood Oaks after the filly worked four furlongs in 47.60 seconds Sunday. Crisp upset Blind Luck to win the Santa Anita Oaks but was unplaced in the Kentucky Oaks.
The $100,000 Grade III Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs Saturday honors the Hall of Fame trainer who conditioned Affirmed.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer hopes the race will also honor the memory of Skip Away, who died Friday in Kentucky, through his son, Skipshot.
“He worked seven furlongs in 1:24 and three this morning with the exercise rider (Marco Ramirez),” said Hollendorfer of the chestnut colt who won three straight races at Golden Gate Fields before finishing fifth in the Santa Anita Derby. Rafael Bejarano has the stakes call.
Other probable starters include Big Man Has a Sign (Martin Pedroza), Domonation (Joel Rosario), Smiling Tiger (Victor Espinoza) and Working Capital (Tyler Baze). Domonation worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:12.40 for the John Sadler stable.
Concord Point from the red-hot Bob Baffert barn heads a list of possibles that also includes stablemate Macias, Dixie Trouper, Gaelic Glory, Hawaiian Springs, Just Magic, Killer Bear, Leaving New York and Mr Tokyo.
Skip Away died of a heart attack at age 17 at Hopewell Farm, where he stood as a stallion. He won the 1997 Breeders’ Cup Classic here and the 1998 Hollywood Gold Cup en route to Horse of the Year honors. He won 18 of 38 starts and earned $9.6-million.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer plans to send out a powerful one-two punch of U R All That I Am and You Lift Me Up in the $60,000-added Fran’s Valentine Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares at one mile on turf next Sunday.
You Lift Me Up, a 5-year-old mare, worked six furlongs on turf in 1:16.80 here Sunday. She has won eight of 32 starts and earned $443,299. Her multiple stakes victories include the 2008 Audrey Skirball on the grass here. Joel Rosario has the call.
Rafael Bejarano will ride U R All That I Am, a 4-year-old filly coming off a victory in the B. Thoughtful Stakes here on April 24. She has won seven of 14 starts and earned $270,188. She completed drills with a five-furlong work in 1:01 Friday.
Other probable starters include Ruffled Feathers (Victor Espinoza), Woman Warrior (Mike Smith) and Ruination.
FINISH LINES—David Flores was back in the stable area Sunday morning after escaping injury when unseated by Loro before the fifth race Saturday and booking off his remaining mounts. “The horse got spooked by the pony boy,” said Flores, who underwent a precautionary MRI of his right shoulder following the spill…Scintillo, who was vanned off after finishing fourth in the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap Saturday in his United States debut, returned in good order, according to Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale. “Nothing was wrong with him,” said Drysdale Sunday. “He’s fine.”…Acclamation ended a minor drought for trainer Don Warren and owners Bud and Judy Johnston with a 14-1 upset in the Jim Murray by a record 7 ½ lengths. “I was so frustrated after going 0-for-4 on Friday,” said Warren. “We thought we were going out of business,” added Judy Johnston in jest. The 4-year-old colt gave the connections their first win of the meet and is expected to return June 5 in the $250,000 Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap…Apprentice Christian Santiago Reyes impressed Warren and the Johnstons with his ride aboard Acclamation in his next-to-last-day with his five-pound weight allowance. “He becomes a professional (journeyman) Wednesday,” said agent Tony Matos of the 20-year-old Puerto Rican native…Tuscan Evening, Horse of the Meet at Santa Anita, worked seven furlongs in 1:25.20 for the $250,000 Grade I Gamely Stakes on May 29…San Simeon Handicap winner Mr Gruff drilled six furlongs in 1:15.40 for the $250,000 Grade I Shoemaker Mile on May 31…Arkansas Derby winner Line of David worked four furlongs in 49.80 breezing for the $100,000 Grade III Will Rogers Handicap on June 20…Carl O’Callaghan worked Kinsale King, winner of the Golden Shaheen Stakes in Dubai, five furlongs in 1:00.40 for his next start in England at Royal Ascot on June 19.
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