10/13/2010 3:41PM

Lookin At Lucky breezes a half-mile

Hoosier Park
Lookin At Lucky, Martin Garcia up, wins the Indiana Derby.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Lookin At Lucky bounced off the Hollywood Park racetrack on Wednesday morning after a half-mile breeze in 48.40 seconds.

Walking up an incline that led from the track to the barn area, the colt began to buck, surprising jockey Martin Garcia who was aboard for the workout.

“He was feeling good,” Garcia said.

The workout was Lookin At Lucky’s first since a win in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Oct. 2, and the colt’s first in the buildup to the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

Lookin At Lucky worked in company with Spectacular Slew, starting about three lengths behind that stablemate. Looking At Lucky trailed by as many as five lengths on the turn and rallied to finish in front of Spectacular Slew. One trainer watching the race from the backstretch timed Lookin At Lucky through the final three furlongs of the workout in 35.60 seconds.

Trainer Bob Baffert watched from the Hollywood Park grandstand and stayed there to watch his next set, which included yet another contender for the BC Classic in Richard’s Kid, the winner of the Pacific Classic and Goodwood Stakes in his last two starts.

Garcia was aboard Richard’s Kid, who worked in company with Sangaree, and finished a half-mile in 48.20 seconds.

Lookin At Lucky is perhaps Baffert’s best chance to beat the undefeated Zenyatta in the BC Classic. Richard’s Kid was sixth behind Zenyatta in the 2009 BC Classic at Santa Anita.

“He came out of his race with a lot of energy,” Baffert said of Lookin At Lucky. “They both went well. They’re on schedule. I’ve got to keep them like that for the next few weeks.

An hour after the Baffert runners were done with their workouts Zenyatta jogged and galloped nearly two miles on the main track, at times proving to be a handful for exercise rider Steve Willard. “She’s a little feisty,” trainer John Shirreffs said.

Zenyatta was scheduled to work on Thursday. Lookin at Lucky, Richard’s Kid, and Zenyatta are scheduled to stay in California until the start of Breeders’ Cup week.

Cecil hunts down a rider

Standing in front of the backstretch racing office on Wednesday morning, trainer Ben Cecil was becoming increasingly frustrated in an effort finding a suitable rider for Sebastian Flyte in Saturday’s $150,000 Oak Tree Derby.

“No one seems to want to ride him,” he said.

Cecil thought Corey Nakatani would ride Sebastian Flyte, but learned earlier this week that Nakatani had committed to Fantastic Pick, who was fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby in his last start on Sept. 5.

By late morning, Cecil was scouring the list of riders, searching for someone. A few hours later, he secured Garcia, who became available at the last minute.

“It’s fine,” Cecil said. “He’s a good rider.”

Sebastian Flyte has won 2 of 9 starts, and won his U.S. debut in an optional claimer over a mile on turf at Del Mar on Sept. 4. In Ireland earlier this year, he was third in the listed Nijinsky Stakes at Leopardstown on June 17.

Shortly after that race, Sebastian Flyte was sent to the United States but needed more time to acclimate than expected.

“We were hoping to run in the Oceanside,” Cecil said of the July stakes for 3-year-olds at Del Mar.

Through late summer, Sebastian Flyte showed improvement in training, Cecil said. “He worked good in the last week before the race,” he said of the Sept. 4. race. “I don’t think he was 100 percent in that race. He’s improved a lot.”

The buildup to the Oak Tree Derby has not been without sadness for the Cecil stable. Last Sunday, Sebastian Flyte was working on turf with the mare Soft Shoe Shuffle when she suffered a catastrophic injury and could not be saved.

The Oak Tree Derby lacks a standout. The two colts who combined to win the three turf stakes for 3-year-olds at Del Mar this summer for trainer John Sadler – Sidney’s Candy and Twirling Candy – were not entered. Twirling Candy was fourth in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes against older horses on Oct. 2. Sidney’s Candy was entered for the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile last Saturday, but was scratched because of a pending sale that had not been completed as of Tuesday, Sadler said.

The Oak Tree Derby field includes Make Music For Me, who was fourth in the Kentucky Derby; and Jairzihno and Royal F J, who were second and third in the Del Mar Derby.

J P’s Gusto gets in a work

J P’s Gusto, the winner of four sprint stakes during the spring and summer and the runner-up in the Norfolk Stakes on Oct. 2, worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 on Wednesday, preparing for the BC Juvenile on Nov. 6.

Working solo, J P’s Gusto went the last furlong in 11.85 seconds, according to trainer David Hofmans’s stopwatch.


In the Norfolk, J P’s Gusto was beaten by Jaycito, another candidate for the BC Juvenile.