Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Return Engagement

Lookin At Lucky has been sidelined for quite some time now since coming down with an illness in the wake of his convincing victory in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. The 2010 Preakness winner, trained by Bob Baffert, has been out of action since spiking a fever. Baffert says the goal for the likely three-year-old champion is the Breeders' Cup Classic to be run in November at Churchill Downs.

Lookin At Lucky started the long climb toward that goal with his first workout since being out of action with the health issue. He worked an easy half-mile in 49.40 seconds this morning at Del Mar over the Polytrack surface there. Baffert says that he doesn't have any specific races in mind to use as a prep for the Classic.

There are some scenarios for that warmup race for the Classic and that road has been made a little bit easier with the decision of the Quality Road camp to go directly to the Classic following his win in the Woodward at Saratoga last weekend. Baffert is certainly in no rush to get Lookin At Lucky back to the races, but since he is heading to Hollywood Park anyway, a cursory look at the Oak Tree schedule shows the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes on Saturday, October 2 to be a possibility and still leave more than a month to be prepared for the Breeders' Cup in Kentucky. There really isn't any other race to match Lookin At Lucky with during the Oak Tree season at Hollywood Park. Of course, if Baffert is in the mood to travel with the Preakness champ, he could go to Belmont park on the same day and run in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup as well. Either way, I see Baffert's options as very limited at this point.

Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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