03/13/2010 12:00AM

A determined Lookin At Lucky wins Rebel

Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Lookin At Lucky edges Noble's Promise in the Rebel.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Lookin At Lucky passed more tests than expected in Saturday's when, in his first start on dirt and his first race in blinkers, he also overcame being checked down the backside to pull off a head win over Noble's Promise. It was the first start since December for Lookin At Lucky, the champion 2-year-old of 2009.

"He had a little bit of a Kentucky Derby experience today, getting bounced around like that," said Bob Baffert, who trains Lookin At Lucky. "So, that was pretty big."

Lookin At Lucky ($4.20) settled in fifth early in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel, racing along the inside after breaking from post 2. He moved out down the backside and heading into the final turn was forced to check, jumping the heels of Noble's Promise, according to his rider, Garrett Gomez.

"I didn't know how a young horse would react to that, but mine dug back in like a real professional," said Gomez.

Lookin At Lucky proceeded to pick up rivals around the turn, and was diligent through the stretch to get up at the wire. He covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.06

"I've become a fan of his," Baffert said of Lookin At Lucky. "I like watching him run because I know - he's like Silver Charm - you know he's going to give you everything he's got. And what he did today, getting tripped up, the horse overcame came it. He showed that extra gear. He dug down deep. He's got that heart."

The Rebel was Lookin At Lucky's sixth win from seven career starts. His championship season last year included victories in the Del Mar Futurity, Norfolk, and Cash Call Futurity.

Baffert said plans for Lookin At Lucky have yet to be determined, with initial options being the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial on April 3 or the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 10. He races for the partnership of Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman.

Dublin finished third in the Rebel, three lengths behind Noble's Promise. The remaining order of finish was Uh Oh Bango in fourth, followed by Cardiff Giant, Pleasant Storm and pacesetter Royal Express.

Attendance was 36,298 here Saturday, and handle on the 11-race card from all sources was $6,492,673.

Honeybee: No Such Word wins stakes debut

No Such Word established herself as a 3-year-old filly to watch on Saturday, when she won her stakes debut in the . She stalked the pace, moved out in the stretch, and rolled to a 2 1/2-length win over favorite Beautician.

The Honeybee was the local prep for the Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy, and that April 2 race will be the next goal for No Such Word, said her trainer, Cindy Jones.

No Such Word ($15) settled in fifth along the inside early in the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee, as Decelerator led the field through fractions of 22.67 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 47.06 for the half-mile mark, and 1:12.28 for six furlongs. No Such Word moved off the rail heading into the final turn and closed well through the lane to cover the 1 1/16 miles on a track rated fast in 1:43.74.

Terry Thompson was aboard the winner, who was the third straight Honeybee champ from the Jones operation. Jones's husband, retired trainer Larry Jones, won the race in 2008 with Eight Belles and in 2009 with Just Jenda.

No Such Word had won an Oaklawn allowance in her two-turn debut, one start before the Honeybee. Tap Tap Tapping, who was second in the allowance, came back and ran third in the Honeybee, 4 1/4 lengths behind Beautician.