10/31/2010 1:54PM

Lookin At Lucky ready for Breeders’ Cup Classic after drill

Deja Puglisi/Equi-Photo
Lookin At Lucky is among the favorites for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Lookin At Lucky zipped five furlongs in 59.60 seconds at Hollywood Park on Sunday, his final workout before the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

The nation’s leading 3-year-old male, Lookin At Lucky had stablemate Spectacular Slew as a lead horse, a setup similar to works between the horses in recent weeks. Spectacular Slew led by as many as five lengths in Sunday’s work, but Lookin At Lucky, ridden by jockey Martin Garcia, zoomed by him in the stretch and finished in front.

Lookin At Lucky’s time was the 11th fastest of 105 recorded works at the distance. Spectacular Slew was timed in 1:00.80. Trainer Bob Baffert described the workout as “beautiful.”

“He’s ready,” Baffert said. “The work was nothing for him. We have to play the waiting game now.”

Lookin At Lucky is expected to be one of the leading choices behind the undefeated 6-year-old mare Zenyatta, who will be seeking her 20th career win.

Baffert also worked A Z Warrior, who was timed in 49 seconds for a half-mile but actually worked five furlongs in a minute, the trainer said. A Z Warrior will start in Friday’s BC Juvenile Fillies.

“They both looked good,” Baffert said, referring to Lookin At Lucky and A Z Warrior.

One of the sharpest five-furlong works of the morning came from Crown of Thorns, a leading contender for the BC Dirt Mile on Saturday. Crown of Thorns was timed in 59.60, the fourth-fastest time at the distance.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Crown of Thorns was led by a stablemate and finished in front, going the last half-mile in 47 seconds, trainer Richard Mandella said.

“I couldn’t be more happy,” Mandella said. “I don’t think he’s ever looked this good. Everything has come together for him. I just wish we had one more race and we could go for the Classic.”

Nearly two hours later, the Mandella-trained Champ Pegasus worked five furlongs on turf in 1:01.60 for Saturday’s BC Turf under jockey Joel Rosario. Champ Pegasus went the first three furlongs 40 seconds and the last quarter-mile in 23 seconds, Mandella said.
Champ Pegasus won the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship over 1 1/4 miles on turf on Oct. 9 in his most recent start.

“That was the first time I worked him on turf,” Mandella said of Sunday’s exercise.
J P’s Gusto, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in September and three other sprint stakes in the late spring and summer, worked six furlongs in 1:13, the second fastest of 19 recorded works at the distance. J P’s Gusto was ridden by Iggy Puglisi in the workout and will be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela in Saturday’s BC Juvenile.

“He’s learning how to rate,” trainer David Hofmans said of J P’s Gusto. “I think he’ll be able to lay off the pace without a big hold. We’d like to draw the outside. If he gets the right trip, I think he can win.”