09/26/2010 2:01PM

After false start, Lookin At Lucky gets to complete his workout

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Mark Wyville/Equi-Photo
Lookin At Lucky, winning last month's Haskell, had an eventful time on the track Sunday while working out for the Indiana Derby.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Officially, Lookin At Lucky worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

There was much more to Lookin At Lucky’s morning than that, however, for the star 3-year-old who won the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in his last start on Aug. 1 and is being prepared for the $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Saturday.

Lookin at Lucky actually had two workouts – one abandoned after a furlong when a horse was injured near the finish line and required transport off the track via an equine ambulance, and the official work about 10 minutes later.   Ridden by jockey Martin Garcia, Lookin At Lucky was about one furlong into a scheduled six-furlong workout at about 8:10 a.m. when an outrider moved his pony from the outside rail to the inside rail on the backstretch, an indication for all riders to cease working their horses. At the time, a warning siren was blaring across the racetrack. While the unidentified horse was removed from the track, Lookin At Lucky and a stablemate were walked on the backstretch before moving back into position for another attempt at the workout.

This time, there was no disruption. Starting at the five-furlong pole, Lookin At Lucky started two lengths behind his stablemate, moved alongside at the quarter pole and was a length in front at the wire, finishing five furlongs in 1:00.60. Trainer Bob Baffert timed the work in 1:12 for six furlongs.

The pair finished strongly after being urged to pick up the pace by Baffert’s assistant trainer, Jimmy Barnes. Barnes was positioned on a pony on the outside rail in upper stretch. As the pair went by, Barnes swung his arm in a windmill fashion – sort of like a third base coach coaxing a runner toward home plate – an indication to increase speed.

An hour after the workout, Baffert was not concerned about the mishap surrounding the abandoned workout.
“He had a good warm-up,” Baffert said. “He never really got into the workout. He went about an eighth of a mile. It worked out all right.”

Lookin At Lucky was sidelined by an illness in the weeks after the Haskell Invitational. Since returning to training in late August, Lookin At Lucky has had four workouts. He is scheduled to be flown to Indiana on Wednesday. The Indiana Derby is Lookin At Lucky’s final prep before the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

“He’s ready,” Baffert said. “I hope he’s ready.”

* In other works at Hollywood Park on Sunday, the unbeaten 3-year-old Twirling Candy worked seven furlongs in 1:25.40, preparing for the $250,000 Goodwood Stakes at Hollywood Park on Saturday. Twirling Candy won the Del Mar Derby in his last start on Sept. 5.

* J P’s Gusto, the winner of the Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs on Sept. 8, worked six furlongs in 1:12.80. He will start in Saturday’s $250,000 Norfolk Stakes, his first start over 1 1-16 miles.

* Eclair de Lune, the winner of the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park in August, worked six furlongs on turf in 1:14.40. She may start in Saturday’s $250,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes or the $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park on Saturday.

* Cost of Freedom worked five furlongs in 58 seconds, the fastest of 63 recorded works at the distance. He is being pointed for the $250,000 Ancient Title Stakes over six furlongs on Oct. 9.