03/28/2010 11:00PM

Lookin At Lucky staying home for Derby prep


ARCADIA, Calif. - Lookin At Lucky is happy and healthy, and he will stay home Saturday to face Sidney's Candy and Caracortado in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

Trainer Bob Baffert confirmed Monday that Lookin At Lucky will prep for the Kentucky Derby at Santa Anita, rather than in the Arkansas Derby one week later at Oaklawn Park. After Lookin At Lucky won the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 13, Baffert was tempted to keep him on a dirt surface.

"Ideally, I would run in the Arkansas Derby, but I want the extra week," Baffert said of the time between Lookin At Lucky's final prep and the May 1 Kentucky Derby.

By running April 3 at Santa Anita, Lookin At Lucky will have four weeks until the Derby.

"Looking at the really big picture - the Kentucky Derby - there are more positives than negatives" to staying home, Baffert said.

The negatives, he said, are running back three weeks after the Rebel and running on a synthetic track.

"The positives are the extra week and the weather is going to be cool," Baffert said. "He worked well enough [Sunday] to run him here. He's happy, and that's all that matters."

Lookin At Lucky worked six furlongs in 1:12 on Sunday and is expected to be favored Saturday under Garrett Gomez.

As of Monday, 10 starters were probable for the Santa Anita Derby, including the likely second and third betting choices, Sidney's Candy and Caracortado, who also worked Sunday.

Sidney's Candy, Grade 2 front-running winner of the seven-furlong San Vicente and 1 1/16-mile San Felipe on March 13, will try to stretch his speed to 1 1/8 miles in the Santa Anita Derby. He worked seven furlongs in 1:26.20.

"All systems go," trainer John Sadler said. "He went 23 and change the last quarter. We're ready to go."

Joe Talamo will ride Sidney's Candy.

Caracortado, whose third-place finish in the San Felipe was his first loss in six starts, worked five furlongs Sunday in 59.80 seconds. Caracortado galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40, which was his published workout time. Regular ride Paul Atkinson worked Caracortado.

Trainer Mike Machowsky hopes for quicker fractions Saturday than Caracortado chased in the San Felipe (six furlongs in 1:13.53).

"I think there will be a little more speed in this race," Machowsky said. "With this big of a field, somebody's got to."

It is unclear which horse that might be, although Golden Gate allowance winner Skipshot and comebacker Who's Up both posted quick five-furlong workouts Sunday at Santa Anita. Skipshot worked in 58.40 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, the fastest of 35 works at the distance. The work was significant because Skipshot is a notoriously slow worker.

"He had a huge workout," Hollendorfer said. "It was a really good workout. This horse has woken up. He got a hold of the track really well, and he looked like he did it fairly easy."

Skipshot won all three of his starts this winter at Golden Gate, including a nose allowance victory March 14 under Frank Alvarado that earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

Who's Up worked in 58.80 and will be making his first start for trainer Mike Puhich and first since winning the Grade 3 Generous on Nov. 28. He previously was trained by Kathy Walsh. Victor Espinoza rides.

A tepid pace would compromise closers Alphie's Bet and Setsuko, one-two finishers March 6 in the Sham Stakes. That Grade 3 was the first graded race for both. Alphie's Bet earned $90,000 and Setsuko earned $30,000.

The $750,000 purse for the Santa Anita Derby awards $450,000 to the winner, $150,000 to the runner-up, and $90,000 to third. To make it into the Derby field, horses generally must have approximately $150,000 in graded earnings. That means Alphie's Bet must finish in the top three, while Setsuko needs a one-two finish.

The prospective field for the Santa Anita Derby, in approximate order of likely odds, includes Lookin At Lucky, Sidney's Candy, Caracortado, Alphie's Bet, Setsuko, Skipshot, Thomas Baines, Who's Up, Cardiff Giant, and Posse Power. Two other possible starters are Stephen's Got Hope and Boulder Creek.

Line of David to get shot at Derby

Line of David, an improving colt trained by John Sadler who has won two straight on grass, will try to jump into the Derby picture April 10 in either the Blue Grass at Keeneland or the Arkansas Derby.

"He's probably going to get one shot on the main track," Sadler said, admitting to some uncertainty.

Line of David was a fast-working morning glory who disappointed in his first three starts, all on synthetic surfaces, until Sadler changed things around.

"Three things - surface, equipment and style," Sadler said. "We added blinkers, switched to turf, and put him front."

The result was a front-running maiden win on grass, followed by a 4 1/2-length turf allowance win.

A son of Lion Heart, Line of David worked the fastest six furlongs of the day Sunday, 1:11.60 under Rafael Bejarano.

"We'll give him one shot, and if doesn't work, he'll go for the 3-year-old turf series at Del Mar," Sadler said.

Distorted Dave eyeing Lexington

Distorted Dave will be considered for the Grade 2 Coolmore Lexington Stakes after winning a low-rated allowance race Friday. Distorted Dave won the 1 1/16-mile race by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:43.16, earning an 81 Beyer.

After the race, Sadler suggested Distorted Dave might try to "backdoor into the Derby" by running in the Lexington, which would be his first graded stakes. On Monday morning, Sadler said he will analyze the colt's Ragozin numbers.

"If it is real [subpar], I may reconsider," Sadler said.

Sadler-trained Dave in Dixie, runner-up in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis prior to finishing sixth in the San Felipe, worked six furlongs Monday morning in 1:13.40 and is headed for the Illinois Derby on Saturday.

* Baffert will autograph limited-edition jerseys for sale on Saturday at Santa Anita Park as a fundraiser for Old Friends Equine, a Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky.