03/21/2010 11:00PM

Lookin At Lucky likely for Santa Anita Derby


ARCADIA, Calif. - Although he is notorious for changing his mind each day, trainer Bob Baffert said he is leaning toward having Lookin At Lucky make his final prep for the May 1 Kentucky Derby in the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 3.

The other race under consideration for Lookin At Lucky is the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 10 at Oaklawn Park, where Lookin At Lucky won the March 13 Rebel Stakes in his 3-year-old debut. That also marked his first start on dirt, and with blinkers.

Lookin At Lucky, last year's Eclipse Award winner as champion 2-year-old male, has returned to Santa Anita, and the prospect of remaining here, walking over from Baffert's barn to race, and then having four weeks to prepare for the Kentucky Derby is appealing to Baffert.

In addition, racing in the Santa Anita Derby would require Lookin At Lucky to ship just once, to Churchill Downs, instead of having to go to Oaklawn Park and then on to Louisville.

"He may stay here," Baffert said at Santa Anita. "I already know he can run with blinkers on, and handle dirt. I'll let him tell me."

Lookin At Lucky would be favored in either race, both of which are at 1 1/8 miles, a furlong shorter than the Kentucky Derby. If Lookin At Lucky stays here, the Santa Anita Derby would have a terrific, deep field, including such accomplished stakes winners as Sidney's Candy, who has won the San Vicente and San Felipe in his last two starts; Caracortado, who finished third in the San Felipe after winning his first five races; and Alphie's Bet, who won the Sham earlier this month.

Others likely for the Santa Anita Derby are Cardiff Giant, Posse Power, Setsuko, Skipshot, Thomas Baines, and Who's Up.

Baffert will be in action on two fronts this weekend. He has sent The Program to Fair Grounds for the Grade 2, $750,000 Louisiana Derby on Saturday, and the unbeaten Conveyance is headed to the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby on Sunday. Conveyance worked seven furlongs in 1:25 on Monday morning at Santa Anita