09/06/2009 11:00PM

Another Futurity win for red-hot Baffert


DEL MAR, Calif. - Put the hottest trainer on the grounds in a race he has dominated, and the result seems almost pre-ordained. And so it was that on Monday, when trainer Bob Baffert won the Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity for a record ninth time, this time with Lookin at Lucky, who gave Baffert his third Grade 1 victory in the past two days.

Baffert won both the Pacific Classic and the Pat O'Brien Stakes on Sunday. Lookin At Lucky's victory gave Baffert wins in five of the nine Grade 1 stakes races run here this summer.

Lookin at Lucky ($4), the favorite, had to fight his way between horses at the top of the stretch after racing along the rail and behind horses for the first five furlongs. He hit the front inside the sixteenth pole and went on to beat Make Music for Me by one length in 1:22.85 for seven furlongs on Polytrack. Smiling Tiger, who led at the top of the stretch, was another half-length back in third.

Garrett Gomez was aboard, as he has been for all three of Lookin At Lucky s races, all wins.

"He's a serious horse," Baffert said in a voice hoarse from cheering on Sunday.

Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman own Lookin At Lucky, a 2-year-old son of Smart Strike who was purchased earlier this year for $475,000 at Keeneland. Those three men also owned Midnight Lute.

"I told them this horse is like Midnight Lute, a franchise horse," Baffert said.

Baffert said Lookin at Lucky would make his next start in next month's Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, then the Breeder' Cup Juvenile on Nov. 7.

* Earlier in the day, John Scott ($8) remained unbeaten with a late-running victory in the $100,000 Graduation Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds. He rallied from last to first in the 10-horse field under Victor Espinoza to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:10.26 for six furlongs on Polytrack. Daylight Storm was second and Tribal Face third. Yogaroo, the 2-1 favorite, faded badly, finished last, and was reported to have suffered from a breathing problem during the race by jockey Tyler Baze. John Scott, now 2 for 2 for trainer Carla Gaines, could race next in the Norfolk Stakes or the California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, according to co-owner John Harris.

* Briecat ($8) held off Hot n Dusty to win the $94,375 Adoration Stakes for older fillies and mares. Briecat won by a half-length in 1:38.08 for one mile on Polytrack. Martin Garcia rode the winner for trainer Vladimir Cerin. She is owned by David and Holly Wilson. Dawn Before Dawn was pulled up with what track veterinarians said was an injury to her right hind leg, either in a stifle or her pelvis.