01/15/2011 8:38PM

Santa Anita: Who needs Lucky?


Lookin at Lucky, the top 3-year-old of 2010, was retired in the fall and sent to stud. His departure seemed to leave a void in trainer Bob Baffert's 4-year-old division, at least until Saturday's Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes.

Baffert ran 1-2 in the San Fernando, with Indian Firewater ($13) and Tweebster. Indian Firewater prevailed by a n ose, and won his second stakes in the San Fernando, first at the graded level.

Neither Indian Firewater or Tweebster rank anywhere near the ability of Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational winner Lookin at Lucky, but they are suitable candidates for the $200,000 Strub Stakes on Feb. 5. In addition, there is little depth among the older horses, making Indian Firewater and Tweebster candidates for a race such as the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5.

Baffert watched Saturday's race from a sportsbook in the Pacific Ocean resort of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He took the win in stride, knowing that the scratch from the San Fernando on Friday of Sidney's Candy, a five-time stakes winner in 2010, greatly altered the race. "The whole key was the Sidney's Candy scratch," he said.