Updated on 09/16/2011 9:46AM

Lockhart eyes third Oaks-Derby sweep


EAST BOSTON, Mass. - In the past decade the Kentucky Derby has been dominated by trainers such as Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas. In the world of the Massachusetts Derby, Lori Lockhart is the dominant force.

She doesn't have the high profile of the national titans, but what she does have are three wins and a second in the past 10 runnings of the $30,000 Massachusetts Derby for statebreds. She also will shoot for an unprecedented third sweep of the Massachusetts Oaks and Derby with the filly Little Time on Saturday.

Breeding is the key to winning a derby - both the Louisville and Boston varieties. Lockhart has locked up the Bay State version thanks to a family of solid broodmares and homebreds. The mare Ask a Question produced Iasku, who in 1993 won the Lockharts' first Mass. Derby. She's also the granddam of Little Time.

Nu Expense and Weepecket won both the Oaks and Mass. Derby, in 1997 and 2000, respectively.

The common trait passed down to all of these runners is resilience. Most years the Oaks and Derby are run close together on the schedule. This year Little Time has only a week to bounce back from the Oaks.

"I'm not a big fan of running right back, but this is the next logical race for a horse like her and we have to take a shot," said Lockhart. "It's worked for us in the past. You've got to run them when they're doing good, and right now she's doing good."

Unlike recent statebred stakes races, the Mass. Derby should be competitive. Stylish Sultan, who won two open stakes races last spring and beat Little Time in the Beacon Hill Stakes in May by 1 1U2 lengths, will be the favorite. Stylish Sultan comes off a second-place finish in the Second Episode Stallion Stakes off a layoff. A win would push his career earnings over $100,000.

To combat Stylish Sultan, Lockhart took a page out of the Lukas-Baffert playbook and entered three horses. Proper Gun, a filly, and maiden Billy Bart will be coupled in the wagering for Lockhart and her father, Lloyd. Little Time races in Lori Lockhart's daughter's name, Laurine Barreira.

Judge Nancy is also wheeling back from the Mass. Oaks despite finishing 30 lengths behind Little Time last week. Jill's Jumpshot, a half-brother to the impressive 2-year-old stakes winner Jill's Layup, seeks his first win from four starts at Suffolk this year. Polar Express, Jeremiah's Judge, and Maximum Reward round out the field.

Suffolk won't offer place or show wagering on the race and will maintain that policy for the balance of the statebred stakes schedule in the wake of the large minus pool created when Jill's Layup won the Amelia Peabody Stakes two weeks ago. Bridge-jumpers took advantage of the 10-cents-on-a-dollar minimum payoffs in Massachusetts, which cost Suffolk $24,000 in that race.

* Esteemed Friend was the unanimous winner of the James B. Moseley Horse of the Year award given out by the New England Turf Writers on Monday. He had already been named the region's top older horse and sprinter.

* Jockey Joe Hampshire won at least one race on each program last week to push his streak of consecutive days with a victory to 22.