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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
CARACORTADO VS. LOOKIN AT LUCKY IN SAN FELIPE STAKES?
It could be David versus Goliath come March 13. That’s when undefeated and unsung Caracortado could square off against Kentucky Derby Future Book favorite Lookin At Lucky in the Grade II, $150,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.
Caracortado (it means scarface in Spanish) won his fifth straight race Saturday, posting a one-and-three-quarter length triumph in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes under regular rider Paul Atkinson. Trainer Mike Machowsky has the San Felipe targeted for Caracortado, a California-bred gelding he bred and owns a part of, along with Mr. and Mrs. Don Blahut.
Lookin At Lucky is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the San Felipe. The $475,000 son of Smart Strike has five wins from six starts, his only defeat coming by an unlucky head in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He already has bankrolled $1,243,000.
“That’s the plan right now,” Machowsky said Sunday morning, referring to the San Felipe for Caracortado. “I’m going to see how he reacts and how (promising maiden winner) Nextdoorneighbor runs in the Sham (Stakes on Feb. 27), and go from there. But the spacing would be good. Three weeks after the San Felipe is the Santa Anita Derby (April 3), and if everything goes well, it gives you a month after that to the Kentucky Derby (May 1).”
Meanwhile, Machowsky was still on Cloud Nine less than 24 hours after Caracortado’s victory. “I’m still pretty pumped up,” he said. “I woke about 1:30 (Sunday morning) and couldn’t sleep anymore. I watched the replays about 10 times and read all the articles about the race.”
Lookin At Lucky worked four furlongs on Pro-Ride in company Sunday with El Martillo under jockey Martin Garcia. Lookin At Lucky was timed in :48.20, while El Martillo was given :48.60.
“Nice” is how Baffert described the move, while Garcia said he went “really good.” Baffert was forthright in his praise for Caracortado. “He’s a good horse,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby. “Every year there’s a surprise horse like him among the 3-year-olds, like Georgie Boy and Brother Derek.”
BOB BLACK JACK NEARS RETURN IN SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS
Bob Black Jack, sidelined since winning the Grade I Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, 2008, worked six furlongs at Hollywood Park Sunday in 1:11.40 as he prepares for next Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs. Regular rider David Flores was aboard for the drill.
“We plan on running as long as the horse comes out of the work good and has a good week,” trainer Jim Kasparoff said.
Bob Black Jack, who established a then-world record of 1:06.53 for six furlongs in winning the 2008 Sunshine Millions Dash, could meet 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Dancing in Silks in the San Carlos. Like Bob Black Jack, Dancing in Silks is also a California-bred, who won the Sprint by a nose at 25-1. He finished third as the 9-10 favorite in the Palos Verdes Handicap in his 2010 debut on Jan. 23, carrying 123 pounds and breaking from the rail for trainer Carla Gaines.
FINISH LINES: Veteran jockey Martin Pedroza is the proud father of Brian Pedroza, who won his first race Sunday at Gulfstream Park for trainer Wesley Ward. The 18-year-old apprentice jockey won by 4 1/4 lengths on 8-5 favorite Fast n’ Clear in a 5 ½-furlong dash for $16,000 maiden claimers. “I’m very, very proud,” the elder Pedroza said. “He’s got a good seat on a horse and when Wesley asked him if he was interested in riding, I told Brian to make the decision. He’s 18. I can give him advice, but he’s old enough to make up his own mind.” His son is named for the late trainer Brian Mayberry, with whom Martin enjoyed considerable success during his career . . . Trainer Mike Mitchell is considering either the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap against males on March 6 or the Grade I, $250,000 Santa Margarita Handicap on March 13 against unbeaten Zenyatta for St Trinians’ next race. The English-bred mare remained perfect in four U.S. starts by winning the Grade II Santa Maria Handicap Saturday, defeating Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Life Is Sweet in the process . . . Eoin Harty said American Lion came out of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in good order, but “nothing is set in stone” for his next race. “I’ll have to talk it over with the owners first,” he said . . . Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, said Blind Luck came back “perfect” after her desperate nose victory as the 2-5 favorite in Saturday’s Las Virgenes Stakes. “She went the last quarter in :22.40, not too bad,” Ward pointed out. The Grade I, $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks on March 6 is likely to be the next race for the three-time Grade I winner . . . Agent Brad Pegram reports that Mike Smith rides Norfolk Stakes runner-up Pulsion for Patrick Biancone in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park next Saturday . . . Bob Baffert said he would not be at Oaklawn Park Monday to see undefeated San Rafael Stakes winner Conveyance run in the Grade III Southwest Stakes. “I’ll be there in spirit,” the trainer said . . . There will be special racing tomorrow, Presidents’ Day. The first 10,000 fans in attendance at Santa Anita will receive a free set of Santa Anita Pint Glasses with paid admission, while supplies last. First post time is 12:30 p.m. . . . ShowVivor II started with 3,763 contestants but was reduced to 1,488 going into Sunday’s races. -30-