Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Loving Lucky

It was announced on Friday afternoon that 2010 Preakness champion, Lookin At Lucky, has been retired and will stand at Ashford Stud for a fee of $35,000. It is likely that Lucky will be named the Champion Three-Year-Old when the Eclipse Awards are announced in a couple of months. I think that will be a deserved victory since he more or less dominated the three-year-old proceedings after the Kentucky Derby.

Yes, Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby, but he never won another race after that and was soundly defeated by Lookin At Lucky in both the Preakness Stakes and the Haskell Invitational later in the summer at Monmouth Park. I make the argument that if Lookin At Lucky had not been absolutely demolished the first time past the stands in the Derby, he might have done better than his sixth-place finish. Considering the trauma that Lucky had to fight through to get there, his Derby might have been the second-best race on the day, second only to Ice Box, who also had a world of traffic troubles en route to running second to Super Saver.

Another seminal performance for Lookin At Lucky was the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park. I realize that there really wasn't much in the way of competition for the Preakness winner running in the Hoosier State, but the effort was still tremendous as he overcame a horribly sloppy track and actually came from well off the pace to score a nifty victory. Lookin At Lucky was also a major player in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, where he ran fourth. He was right in the midst of contention in the stretch before Blame and Zenyatta put on their show and Lucky probably should have been third, but Fly Down got by him late.

I admit I was late jumping on the Lookin At Lucky bandwagon. I tried like the dickens to beat him last year in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and just happened to settle on the right horse among the many possibilities in Godolphin's Vale Of York. He won at 30-1, but Lookin At Lucky came back after that second-place finish to win the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park and clinch the Champion Two-Year-Old Colt honors. Lookin At Lucky will likely go down as the best of the three-year-olds this year and he certainly should. He had more staying power than Eskendereya, proved to be more versatile than Super Saver, and stood head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd.

Here is the link to watch Lookin At Lucky's 2010 Preakness victory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPJFs24BeDA. Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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