09/22/2010 1:18PM

Lookin Good

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The season-ending injury to Travers winner Afleet Express, which denies him the opportunity to run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders' Cup, probably clinches the 3-year-old championship for Lookin At Lucky.

Lookin At Lucky's Grade 1 double this year of the Preakness and Haskell will now be hard to top by any other 3-year-old because now, almost all of the 3-year-olds who would have been position to challenge him with another key win this fall are sidelined. Before Afleet Express went bye-bye, Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer were already on the shelf until next year.

Unless I am overlooking someone, at this point there are only two 3-year-olds who could possibly deny Lookin At Lucky another divisional Eclipse Award this year (don't forget, he was also champion 2-year-old male last year). And both would be reliant on Lookin At Lucky laying an egg in the Indiana Derby and in the Breeders' Cup. They are:

Sidney's Candy - He did win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, beating Lookin At Lucky (Lookin At Lucky had a terrible trip, but Sidney's Candy was going to win that race no matter what), and if he beats older horses in the Oak Tree Mile with the same type of brilliant performance he delivered when he won the La Jolla in his turf debut, and then wins the Breeders' Cup Mile over Goldikova, then he would have a case. But even then, he would require some out-of-the-box thinking by Eclipse Award voters, a group not always known for that.

Fly Down - That nose he was beaten in the Travers by Afleet Express is huge because it means he just hasn't accomplished anywhere close to enough so far this year to be in the running. But if he is able to complete a double of the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders' Cup Classic, then how could he be ignored? Then again, that double for Fly Down is, to put it nicely, highly improbable.

Like I said, Lookin At Lucky is looking pretty good right now.

Jim C. More than 1 year ago
Mike, Here is some "thinking outside the box": even assuming Lookin at Lucky wins the Indiana Derby, what if Twirling Candy wins the Goodwood and the Breeders' Cup Classic? Who would be the 3-year old male champion? And who would be Horse of the Year? Here's what I think, given that scenario: Twirling Candy would be the deserving 3-year old male champion. And Blind Luck, were she to win the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic, would deserve to be the Horse of the Year for her "body of work." Remember, in 2002, Azeri won Horse of the Year without having faced males. That year, Azeri won the La Canada, Santa Margarita, Apple Blossom, Milady, Vanity, Clement L. Hirsch, Lady's Secret (at Oak Tree), and Breeders' Cup Distaff. (Ironic, how a nearly exclusively West Coast-based filly stakes campaign was good enough to earn Horse of the Year in 2002). I am not sure Blind Luck's next start. She's been nominated for the Lady's Secret, but it's more likely she will run in the Cotillion (or maybe Beldame, which is more her distance). So under this scenario, Blind Luck will have won the Las Virgenes (G1), Fantasy (G2), Kentucky Oaks (G1), Delaware Oaks (G2), Alabama (G1), Cotillion or Beldame, and BC Ladies Classic (G1); and she will have finished third in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), and second in the Hollywood Oaks (G2). Under that scenario, I find it difficult to deny Blind Luck Horse of the Year. Of course, under this scenario, assuming Blame wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but loses to Twirling Candy in the Breeders' Cup Classic, an East Coast bloc will still form to vote Blame Horse of the Year. But let's assume Blame does not win the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Who will the East Coast writers flock to, out of sheer parochialism?
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
One more thing . For those that say horses can't go DIRT to synthetic how did Zenyatta do it twice. I hear you stammering folks.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Vince, Curlin won 3 of 5 U.S. starts and missed the board in the big one. DOMINATED. Dirt excuse again ? I was there . I watched him workout, he loved the synthetic . He ran the fastest 10 F of his life in the '08 classic at SA . He ran his race and made what looked like a winning move but he was to SLOW and couldn't sustain it ! Those are the FACTS, you can look them up. I have no beef with Curlin '07. The only filly ever ever was 8 of 8 , but didn't show up for any of the BC big ones because she couldn't have won any of them. If she was lucky she might have finished in front of Careless Jewel in the BC ladies. Her connects wanted no part of Life is Sweet , Music Note or Cocoa Beach. Much less Big Z and the field of males she beat at 10 F. I wish she would have ran in the Ladies , I would have got $40 on Life is Sweet if she had. Bullsbay was up the track in the maintrack mile if not dead last. No synthetic excuse for him please, he won a couple times over synthetic and hit the board in others. BTW Life is Sweet was 3rd in Rail Trip's Hollywood Gold Cup while Bullsbay was, you guessed it , UP THE TRACK. Oh , Zardana was in town but stayed in the barn for the Ladies Classic . I wonder why ? Point Given beat A.P. Valentine in his two biggest wins. Not exactly a household name, although I was fond of him for completing those exacta's. Especially the Preakness, but Disco Rico holds a fonder spot in my heart from that very very good day .(if you've got your money on Disco Rico go stand in the que was my mantra all day while fishing off Santa Barbara with my son. Power of positive thinking ?? ) Tiznow beat Sakhee and a bunch of other good ones in the BC Classic as well as winning the Big 'Cap .In case you don't know it the Big 'Cap is traditionally a little more prestigious than the SA Derby, Preakness or Belmont. Point Given had the standard trainers excuse for ducking. Now finally, Zenyatta has generally beaten a DIFFERENT group of horses OVER and OVER and OVER because most owners and trainers have enough sense to AVOID her after taking a drubbing once. Thats a FACT you can look it up ! Parroting the same old horses line is weak. It's a sign of denial and intellectual dishonesty. Most of those horses are of better quality than Songstress , Zardana ,Sarah Louise or that Smoke Glacken mare that was his 1st 10 f winner( at any level) of his long stud career siring sprinters. She was so memorable that I've forgotten her name within a months time.
Mick Gentry More than 1 year ago
LAL and Paddy O'Prado can fight it out for 3 year old champ, I feel, if right, the Queen is going to make history!
Tony More than 1 year ago
Quality Road is on a layoff going into the Breeders Cup Classic. The last two times he was on a layoff he broke track records. Lets see if Zenyatta can handle the fractions that one puts up, I sure know LAL wont be able to keep up.
kirk haywood More than 1 year ago
If Looking At Lucky wins the Indiana Derby and the Breeders Cup Classic, he will not only win the Eclipse for three year old champion, he must be seriously considered for Horse of the Year.
Kyle Stasierowski More than 1 year ago
I believe that LAL (Lookin At Lucky) could win the Indiana Derby, but I don't see him winning the Breeders' Cup Classic. The reason I don't see LAL (Lookin At Lucky) winning the Breeders' Cup Classic is because if she's good and she goes I don't see any horse that can beat the Queen and I'm referring to Zenyatta. Sincerely, a 25-year-old loyal TVG viewer, HRTV viewer, TVG Community member, and loyal Blinkers Off fan from New York.
racing fan More than 1 year ago
what if....and a big IF.....first dude wins the PENN. derby....and then the classic........
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Have been a Lookin' at Lucky fan from the get go. First on faith in his conditioner, who I think is unbelievably talented. Then the horse delivered EVERY time he was asked, compromised by bad trips or a jockey's miscue not withstanding. He's Three Year Old champ to me no matter what happens. I do think he will have quite a bit on his plate if he goes in the Classic and all pointed to it make it that far. Now if Nicky's horse had managed to change leads in the Travers it might be a different story, and I wouldn't have been able to get paid.
Blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Mike , I agree with you on LAL for 3yr old colt . Also I agree with those that say Paddy or Sidney is the second choice. I would say that eclipse award voters are often not only out of the box but off the planet. i.e. HOY in '08 and '09. Curlin couldn't out finish Tiago, Z's stable mate. No synthetic excuse please, thats weak. RA couldn't look Zardana Z's stablemate in the eye without blinking. Do you think Shireffs thinks Tiago could out finish Z ? How about Zardana ? LOL Point Given over TIZNOW ? That was funny !! PG could never have beaten Tiznow ,not even when he was on tranquilizers instead of Vodka. BTW I bet Point Given all 3 tc races 2 cold ex's and tri's to go with them. I know,I know, its not for the best horse its for the best campaign. Explain Ghostzapper over Smarty Jones then ?
Vince More than 1 year ago
Lets see Curlin DOMINATED horses all year on the dirt before losing the BC Classic. Rachel was 8 for 8 last year , beats boys in the Preakness and Woodward. Point Given , ran dominating races in every race but 1 ( Derby) Zenyatta beats the SAME HORSES over and over and over
JimC More than 1 year ago
Vince, I agree with you 100%. Personaly, I believe Zenyatta to be a very good horse whos existence was timed in a perfect storm of synthetic surfaces and terrible competition because of those surfaces. However, IF Zenyatta beats all comers on a real racing surface at CD going 1 1/4 miles, she deservedly goes down in history as one of the greatest handful of horses of all time.