07/21/2010 1:50PM

Lookin At Lucky works for Haskell


DEL MAR, Calif. – Lookin At Lucky worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 over the Polytrack at Del Mar on Wednesday, preparing for a start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 1. Lookin At Lucky is expected to meet Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and impressive Long Branch winner Trappe Shot in the Haskell.

The exercise left trainer Bob Baffert partly satisfied, although he said he was not thrilled with the final time, which he said was the result of a deep track.

“The track is like quicksand,” he said. “It’s slow.”

Unraced since winning the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 15, Lookin At Lucky worked with stablemate El Martillo. Ridden in the workout by jockey Martin Garcia, Lookin At Lucky started about six lengths behind his stablemate. Lookin At Lucky moved closer to El Martillo on the turn and quickened with a quarter-mile remaining. He finished under a hand ride. El Martillo was timed in 1:15 for six furlongs.

Baffert said the track was deeper than he expected Wednesday morning, which resulted in a strategy change.

“He was blowing pretty good, so he got something out of it,” Baffert said. “I was going to put a stiffer work into him. I told them cruise around there.

“I was going to work him further,” he said. “I was going to put a stiff seven-eighths, but I changed it to five-eighths, with a gallop-out to three-quarters.”

Wednesday’s workout was Lookin At Lucky’s first at Del Mar. He has worked at Santa Anita, sometimes with El Martillo, in recent weeks.

Lookin At Lucky is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, who were at Del Mar on Wednesday morning for the workout. The champion 2-year-old male of 2009, Lookin At Lucky has won 7 of 10 starts, including six stakes, and earned $2,113,000.

Crown of Thorns targets August return

Crown of Thorns, second by a nose in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita last fall, is finally nearing his first start of 2010.

Trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday that Crown of Thorns will be ready for a comeback in early August. The BC Sprint at Churchill Downs in November is a long-term goal for Mandella and owner B. Wayne Hughes.

After Crown of Thorns ran in the 2009 Sprint, a severe throat ulcer was diagnosed, requiring a layoff. When he returned to training earlier this year, Crown of Thorns developed soreness and was rested again.

“I turned him out, and he’s come back great,” Mandella said. “We’re getting within three weeks of running. We’re hoping he can come back as good as he was last year.”

Crown of Thorns, 5, has won 2 of 6 starts and $577,080.

Crown of Thorns was beaten in the BC Sprint by Dancing in Silks, who is also nearing a comeback. Trained by Carla Gaines, Dancing in Silks has not started since February and is expected to race at Del Mar, possibly in the $75,000 Pirate’s Bounty Stakes on Sept. 8, closing day.

Rosario gives Enriched a boost in Eddie Read

Joel Rosario, the leading rider at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting that ended Sunday, will ride Enriched in Saturday’s $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The Read will be Enriched’s first start in a Grade 1 this year, and trainer Doug O’Neill said Rosario’s presence already has him feeling like a winner before the toughest race of Enriched’s career.

“To get Rosario to stay on the horse is huge,” O’Neill said. “You feel like you won before you get him in the gate.”

Enriched will be tested in the Read, which will be his 19th career start. The Read has a projected field of seven, led by the Grade 1 or Group 1 winners Acclamation, Crowded House, The Usual Q.T., and Victor’s Cry. The stakes winners Dakota Phone and Loup Breton are the other expected starters.

“I think he belongs on numbers,” O’Neill said of Enriched. “He’s a horse that is definitely battle-tested. He’s right there every time.”

A 5-year-old gelding owned by a partnership, Enriched is a half-brother to Lava Man, the seven-time Grade 1 winner whom O’Neill trained to prominence in the last decade. Enriched was claimed for $32,000 last November and has since earned $175,676. This year, Enriched was second in two statebred stakes on turf at Santa Anita – the Crystal Water and Sensational Star handicaps – and was third in the Grade 3 Alysheba Stakes on the main track at Churchill Downs in April.

His last race, a 9 1/4-length win in an allowance race over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park on May 22, was his second victory for the partnership and O’Neill. O’Neill said he considered starting Enriched in the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 4, but when O’Neill dropped an appeal of a 15-day suspension for a total carbon dioxide overage in Illinois in April he opted to wait for the more prestigious Eddie Read Stakes.

“Now he’s even more of a fresh horse,” O’Neill said.