10/10/2008 12:00AM

Lucky Primo gives Litt a stakes win


ARCADIA, Calif. - The farther Joshua Litt gets from racing on a regular basis, the better he does in the game.

In his first try as a Thoroughbred breeder, Litt, a former trainer, is the co-owner of the stakes winner Lucky Primo, winner of the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last Sunday.

"I guess I had to stop training to get a good horse," he said earlier this week.

Litt had a public stable for nine years, until 2006, but admits it was never that successful or robust. He took over a horse transportation company in 2007, which he continues to operate through a partnership.

"I never had a lot of horses," said Litt, 38. "I never made a lot of money. I couldn't make a decent living.

"I really like owning horses, whether it's a piece or whatever. I wanted to get stabilized in something. I always want to stay in the horse racing field."

Litt trained Live Free or Die, the dam of Lucky Primo. He thought enough of the mare to try her as a longshot in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita in 2003. She was near the pace for the first half-mile of that race before fading to finish seventh. Live Free or Die was retired in late 2004.

"We won some races, but she had too many problems to keep running," Litt said.

Litt bred Live Free or Die to Atticus in partnership with his brother, Jason, and Dennis O'Neill, a bloodstock agent and the brother of prominent trainer Doug O'Neill. The mating was planned in 2005, when Litt was starting to wind down his training career.

Atticus, who stands for $5,000 at Magali Farms, was a Grade 1 winner in his career and earned more than $1.2 million.

From the time that Lucky Primo was born in January 2006, Joshua Litt was hearing favorable reviews about the colt, including from Tom Hudson, the Magali farm manager.

"Tom Hudson raved about that horse," Litt said. "I was always a little excited about it."

Lucky Primo was sent to trainer Marty Jones earlier this year. In his debut at Hollywood Park on July 13, Lucky Primo finished seventh against open company in a maiden special weight race. It remains the only disappointing race of his career.

Lucky Primo won a maiden race for statebreds at Del Mar on Aug. 15 and was a fast-closing third in the I'm Smokin Stakes at six furlongs for statebreds on Sept. 1.

In the California Cup Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles, Lucky Primo rallied from sixth in a field of 13 to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Triumphant Flight, winner of the Barretts Juvenile Stakes at Fairplex Park in September.

"I was pretty impressed and a little starry-eyed," Litt said of the win.

Lucky Primo has won 2 of 4 starts and $119,104. Lucky Primo is a candidate for the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 8.

"I've put a lot of faith in Marty and let him manage the horse," Litt said.

A start in the Real Quiet would test Lucky Primo against open company, although the race may not draw the toughest field. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Oct.o25 will draw some of the circuit's top


"That looks like a spot that would work for us down the road," Litt said of the Real Quiet. "He certainly looks like he could handle that."