Lookin at Lucky’s co-owner Mike Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert have made the decision to give their horse a rest. Preakness winner Lookin at Lucky has run four big races back to back, and rather than risk an injury, he will have a chance to recover. So he has been withdrawn from the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in the Triple Crown.
However, Baffert called Monmouth Park on Sunday to tell officials he would see them for the $1 million Haskell Invitational, according to the Star Ledger. The Haskell will be run on Sunday, Aug. 1.
With Super Saver trainer Todd Pletcher also having reserved the maximum number of stalls for the Monmouth Park meet, a rematch could well be in the offing between the Preakness and Kentucky Derby winners.
“I think the Haskell is in a very strong position,” Monmouth Park Vice President and General Manager Bob Kulina said. “Now we have to hope the winner of the Belmont is a trainer we have a history with so we can get all three winners [of Triple Crown races].”
Ugly Duckling Turned Swan
Lookin at Lucky wasn’t always such a lovely horse. According to BloodHorse magazine, he was considered a bit of an ugly duckling when he was younger. At the Keeneland yearling sale in 2008, the bay colt was a $35,000 buyback, when offered by Taylor Made Sales Agency.
He was a late foal, born in May, and had X-rayed with some OCDs (osteochondritis dissecans lesions), as well as mid-saggital ridge erosions in his front ankles. There were no takers for him at the sale.
After training, his good mind and ability began to show through. He was entered in the 2009 Keeneland April sale of two-year-olds in training, by Bailey’s sales agency. He was working very well in his morning work outs. A swan began to appear.
Baffert purchased him for $475,000, a purchase which in hindsight is a testimonial to Baffert’s ability to see something nobody else could see.
We will have no Triple Crown winner again this year, but possibly, if the Haskell is able to match the winners of each jewel of the Triple Crown, we could have an opportunity for an excellent race.