Lookin At Lucky, the West’s leading Kentucky Derby contender, is now listed as probable to stay home and run in the Gr. I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 3. A much-troubled winner of the Gr. II, 1 1/16 miles Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 13, Lookin At Lucky, who returned to trainer Bob Baffert’s Santa Anita base on March 18, was originally thought to be pointing for the Gr. I, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn on April 10.
“It depends on how he’s training,” said Baffert on Saturday morning. “If he’s training really well here, it (running in the Santa Anita Derby) would give him an extra week for the (Kentucky) Derby (on May 1). If he needed the extra week (following the Rebel), I’ll go to Arkansas. If he doesn’t need the extra week, I’ll stay here.”
Baffert has won the Santa Anita Derby five times, with Cavonnier (1996), Indian Charlie (1998), General Challenge (1999), Horse of the Year Point Given (2001) and Pioneerof the Nile last year. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times, but not since 2002, when War Emblem and Victor Espinoza posted a front-running tally at 20-1.
Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Sidney’s Candy, Joe Talamo; Caracortado, Paul Atkinson; Lookin At Lucky, Garrett Gomez; Setsuko, Rafael Bejarano; Thomas Baines, Joel Rosario; Alphie’s Bet, Alex Solis; Posse Power, no rider; Skipshot, no rider; Cardiff Giant, Christian Santiago Reyes; and Who’s Up, Victor Espinoza.
To be run for the 73rd time on April 3, the Santa Anita Derby has produced 15 Kentucky Derby winners, including 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Last year’s winner, Pioneerof the Nile, would go on to a second-place finish to longshot Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby.