12/20/2009 1:00AM

Lookin at Lucky back at top of the class

Benoit & Associates
Lookin at Lucky (center) and Garrett Gomez capture Saturday's Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Lookin at Lucky clinched an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male, set himself up to be one of the leading contenders for next year's Kentucky Derby, and gave trainer Bob Baffert his fourth win of the day, all with 2-year-olds, when he captured the on Saturday at Hollywood Park.

Lookin at Lucky ($2.60), under jockey Garrett Gomez, beat Noble's Promise by three-quarters of a length, with Make Music for Me another half-length back in third. The margin was deceptive, though, because Lookin at Lucky had to make several different moves during the race, then kicked clear at the top of the lane before coasting to the wire when the outcome was not in doubt. He covered 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:43.30.

"Hell of a day, huh?" Baffert said. "That was nice. He's getting better and better."

Lookin at Lucky was more anxious than usual in the paddock before the race, then was aggressive early in the race after starting from the rail. The Program, a Baffert-trained stablemate, led early, but was a couple of lanes off the rail, allowing Lookin at Lucky to come through inside as the field raced around the final turn.

Noble's Promise, meanwhile, was caught four paths wide on the first turn and three wide on the far turn, yet resolutely kept to his task to gain the place.

Lookin at Lucky, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, has won five times in six starts, his lone loss coming when beaten a head in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Baffert said Lookin at Lucky would get an extended break, and would have two preps before the Kentucky Derby next May.