11/10/2010 5:48PM

Lookin At Lucky's future up in the air

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Barbara D. Livingston
If Lookin At Lucky is not retired, he could run in the Dec. 26 Malibu at Santa Anita.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Lookin At Lucky has returned to Hollywood Park, where trainer Bob Baffert and the colt’s owners soon will decide the 3-year-old colt’s future after his fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Baffert was asked Wednesday if Lookin At Lucky will have a 4-year-old campaign.

“Right now, I’d say yes,” he said.

Baffert left room to wiggle.

“There have been serious inquiries concerning his stallion career,” Baffert said. “We’ll see how he comes back; our other option is the Malibu.”

The Grade 1, seven-furlong Malibu Stakes is the traditional opening-day feature of the Santa Anita winter meet that begins Dec. 26.

Lookin At Lucky won 4 of 7 starts in 2010, highlighted by the Preakness Stakes and Haskell. After winning the Grade 2 Indiana Derby on Oct. 2, Lookin At Lucky was the second betting choice in the BC Classic, but came up empty at the eighth pole.

“If I had to do it again, I would have gone back and worked over the [Churchill Downs] track.” Baffert said. “All my horses got really tired; it was a very tiring track. All my horses had the same comment at the eighth pole – ‘gave way.’ ”

Baffert said Lookin At Lucky may have been compromised by a minor infection and cough a week before the race.

“I had to treat him with antibiotics, and that’s hard on their system,” he said.

Although Baffert said he believes the surface and cough contributed to the disappointing effort, he was not fishing for an alibi.

“We had it cleared up, and I would have never have run him if I thought it was not. But antibiotics are hard on them.”

As for A Z Warrior, the Baffert trainee who finished last in the Juvenile Fillies, Baffert said she could run again this fall in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 11.

“If she’s training well, she can run in the Starlet,” Baffert said.

A Z Warrior came out of her 12th-place Juvenile Fillies finish with a foot problem that is not expected to be a significant setback. If she runs in the Starlet, A Z Warrior would be one of two Baffert trainees in the Starlet, along with Sharp Cat Stakes winner May Day Rose.

Harmonious will rest till next year

The Shirreffs-trained Harmonious will race next year, and figures to have a big season. The 3-year-old Harmonious finished 10th in the BC Filly and Mare Turf while racing over a course that she was slipping over. Harmonious will not run in the Grade 1 Matriarch this fall at Hollywood.

“We’ll just make sure everything’s okay, and get her ready for her 4-year-old year,” Shirreffs said.

Harmonious did not win a maiden race until her second start in May, and ended with a 4-for-7 record this season, including Grade 1 wins in the American Oaks at Hollywood Park and the Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland.

Sadler high on Sidney’s Candy

Sidney’s Candy, who set the pace in the BC Mile until inside the eighth pole before tiring to sixth, will race next year at age 4, trainer John Sadler said. Sidney’s Candy was expected to be sold privately prior to the race, but the deal never went through.

Sadler said Sidney’s Candy did not handle the Churchill turf course.

“We’ll get him ready for next year,” Sadler said.

Although Sidney’s Candy will be nominated to the Malibu, Sadler and owner Jenny Craig may be represented by just one starter.

Twirling Candy, who suffered his first loss from five starts in the Grade 1 Goodwood Oct. 2 at Hollywood, has resumed sharp works for Sadler.

“I really think he’ll be one of the ones next year,” Sadler said.

Twirling Candy has won 4 of 6, and is targeting a return in the Malibu.

The Sadler-trained Switch, runner-up in the BC Filly and Mare Sprint, will be pointed for the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies in late December at Santa Anita, according to Sadler.

Tell a Kelly, seventh in the BC Juvenile Fillies, could show up in the Hollywood Starlet.

Plans are undetermined for Hurricane Ike, who set a blistering pace in the BC Dirt Mile before tiring to ninth.

Mandella pair will return in 2011

Champ Pegasus, runner-up in the BC Turf, will be freshened for a 2011 campaign after winning 4 of 8 starts this year for trainer Richard Mandella. He won a maiden race in April in his fourth start, and ended with victories in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch at Hollywood Park and the Grade 2 Mar Handicap.

Mandella said Crown of Thorns, scratched from the BC Dirt Mile, also will race again.

“It was a flare-up of an old problem” that caused the scratch, Mandella said. “He’ll be back.”