12/16/2009 12:00AM

Baffert changes venue for work

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Benoit & Associates
Lookin at Lucky will try to strengthen his Eclipse Award credentials in Saturday's Grade 1 CashCall Futurity.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Bob Baffert had a dilemma on his hands. He needed to get important workouts into several horses Tuesday, but the horses were stabled at Santa Anita, whose main track had drainage problems that closed the track Sunday and curtailed training availability Monday.

So Baffert put those horses on a van Monday afternoon and sent them over here to Hollywood Park, where on Tuesday they worked over a track that has received rave reviews from horsemen through the recent wet weather. Included in Baffert's group was the top 2-year-old colt Lookin at Lucky, who prepped for the Grade 1, $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Saturday with a sharp, half-mile work in 47.20 seconds on Tuesday morning under former jockey Joe Steiner.

"He went beautiful, like a dream, like he always does," Steiner said. "The track feels really good. He likes this track. He's doing so good."

Lookin at Lucky is the leading 2-year-old based in North America. He won his first four starts, including the Del Mar Futurity and the Norfolk Stakes, before finishing an unlucky second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to British invader Vale of York.

Baffert, who lives just minutes from Santa Anita, said he "just waved" at that track Tuesday while traveling across town.

"The track was good there, but I didn't want to work there today," Baffert said. "I thought it was best to get over here and work."

Baffert will have three starters in the Futurity. In addition to Lookin at Lucky, he will send out Marcello and The Program. They worked in company Tuesday, with both receiving a half-mile time of 48 seconds. Baffert said he likely would pass on the Futurity with Conveyance, a recent allowance winner.

The Futurity, at 1 1/16 miles, also is expected to include Get My Fix, Make Music for Me, Noble's Promise, and Seattle Ruler. Noble's Promise, trained by Ken McPeek, worked a half-mile in 49.40 seconds at Santa Anita on Tuesday.

Baffert, McPeek in Starlet, too

Baffert and McPeek are scheduled to square off again Sunday in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet for 2-year-old fillies. Baffert will send out Miss Heather Lee, and McPeek counters with Beautician. Both worked Tuesday, with Miss Heather Lee going five furlongs at Hollywood Park in 59.40. At Santa Anita, Beautician, who most recently finished second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, covered a half-mile in 48.20.

Miss Heather Lee was not an original nominee to the Starlet, so owner Arnold Zetcher will have to put up a $20,000 supplemental fee - $10,000 enter, another $10,000 to start - in order for her to run.

"Use the Zardana money," Baffert said to Zetcher, referring to Zetcher's winner of the Bayakoa Handicap on Dec. 5 for trainer John Shirreffs. "She paid for it."

The 1 1/16-mile Starlet also is expected to include Amen Hallelujah, Bickersons, Blind Luck, It Tiz, and Suzanne. It Tiz, who finished third to front-running Bickersons in the Moccasin Stakes on Nov. 22, worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 on Monday morning.

"It seems like she's coming up to the race well," said Mark Glatt, who trains It Tiz. "By the look of things, the lack of early pace has me concerned. She's coming off a sprint, so she should show more speed than last time."

It Tiz added blinkers for the Moccasin, but Glatt said he did not like the way she performed with them, so they will be removed for the Starlet.

Of the seven likely runners, only It Tiz was an original nominee, meaning six horses will need to be supplemented. That will swell the Starlet's purse far beyond the original $300,000 guarantee.

Misremembered tunes up for Malibu

Misremembered, who comes off a terrific effort in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs last month, will turn back to seven furlongs for the Grade 1, $250,000 Malibu Stakes on Santa Anita's opening day, Dec. 26, according to Baffert, who bred and is co-owner of the colt.

Misremembered was among the Baffert caravan to Hollywood Park on Tuesday. He worked five furlongs in 59.60 with jockey Martin Garcia aboard.

"I want to be able to say I've bred a Grade 1 winner," Baffert said.

Santa Anita open for workouts

Horses were allowed to work on Santa Anita's main track Tuesday for the first time since Saturday. The track failed to drain properly Sunday morning, forcing it to be closed, and then horses were allowed only to gallop on it Monday.

On Tuesday, 80 horses worked on the main track at Santa Anita, including Join in the Dance and Kinsella, who both were tuning up for the Malibu for trainer Todd Pletcher. They each went five furlongs. Join in the Dance was timed in 1:00.20, Kinsella in 1:00.80.

"Touch wood, we were able to work those two and stay on schedule for the Malibu," said Michael McCarthy, Pletcher's California-based assistant. "The track was good late in the morning, so we went for it. It had a little life in it today."

Hollywood Park's track took the recent wet weather well, according to trainers based here.

"This track, the water went right through it," said trainer Marty Jones.

"The track is very safe," said trainer Humberto Ascanio. "They did a good job on it this summer. This track is very good."

In addition to Baffert, Eoin Harty brought horses from Santa Anita to work at Hollywood.

"My assistants tell me the track over there is good today, but I didn't want to take a chance," Harty said.