01/10/2009 1:00AM

Good and Lucky turns tables


NEW ORLEANS - Good and Lucky's love affair with Fair Grounds continued Saturday when he won the $75,000 Louisiana Handicap by one length over Secret Getaway, reversing the exacta from the Nov. 29 Tenacious Handicap.

Secret Getaway had beaten Good and Lucky by almost three in the Tenacious, but while Secret Getaway was hung up in traffic around the far turn and into the stretch Saturday, Good and Lucky sailed along on a clear outside trip, and he had enough left to withstand a late run from Secret Getaway, who rallied well in the final furlong to finish 1 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Honest Man.

Good And Lucky ($20.80) now has won 4 of his 6 Fair Grounds starts, and is just 3 for 16 at other venues.

"I've always said that he loves this track," said Josie Carroll, who trains Good and Lucky for owners James and Alice Sapara.

Good and Lucky typically is placed on or near the lead in his route races, but in the Louisiana, he trailed pace-setting Honest Man by at least five lengths while racing in third. That's because favored Honest Man, coming back from a layoff, tore through an opening quarter-mile in 22.86 seconds, and a half in 46.65. Those are serious splits here, and Honest Man actually did well to hold third.

"It's what we needed to be ready for the next one," said Honest Man's trainer, Larry Jones.

Good and Lucky, Patrick Valenzuela aboard, closed in on the leader coming into the stretch, and seized command at about the eighth pole. Behind him, Secret Getaway was struggling to find a clean path for his run.

"He was stuck down in there the whole way," said trainer Mike Stidham. "I thought he should have won."

But without racing luck, Secret Getaway could not reach Good and Lucky, who stopped the timer in 1:43.46 for 1 1/16 miles.