Lookinâ€™ At Lucky and jockey Garrett Gomez win the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity, Monday, September 7 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.Â Â Â Â
(c) BENOIT PHOTO
Del Mar Stable Notes
Lookinâ€™ at Lucky Wins Del Mar Futurity
Even-money favored Lookin at Lucky, ridden by two-time Eclipse Award-winner Garrett Gomez, rallied between horses in the upper stretch to take command authoritatively and win the featured Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity, championship event of the summer season for two-year-olds.Â Before a Labor Day Monday crowd of 11,343, Lookin at Lucky scored by a length over the fast-closing Make Music for me, with Smiling Tiger third another half-length back. Fourth was Sterling Outlook.Â Supplying trainer Bob Baffert with his ninth success in the Del Mar Futurity and second in a row, Lookin at Lucky ran seven furlongs in 1:22.85 to remain unbeaten in three starts. After breaking his maiden at Hollywood Park July 11, the son of Smart Strike, a $475,000 purchase at Keeneland last April, won the Best Pal Stakes August 9.Â Lookin at Lucky, owned by Mike Pegram, Paul Weitman and Kathy Watson, returned $4, $3 and $2.40 while earning $180,000. The colt’s bankroll now is $303,000. Make Music for Me, who turned in a promising effort, paid $4.60 and $4, while Smiling Tiger returned $4.80 to show.Â Baffert, inducted into Racing’s Hall of Fame this summer, had a lock on the Del Mar Futurity for seven years, winning the race from 1996 through 2002. He broke a five-year drought last summer when Midshipman returned him to the Futurity winner’s circle. The trainer has won five Grade I stakes this season, including the $1 million Pacific Classic with longshot Richard’s Kid Sunday.Â In supporting features Monday, Briecat and jockey Martin Garcia won the $94,375 Adoration Stakes while John Scott and rider Victor Espinoza took the $100,000 I’m Smokin’ Stakes.Â Briecat, a well-supported second choice at 3-1, scored by a half-length over lukewarm favorite Hot n’ Dusty, with Victorina third in a field of six older fillies and mares. Briecat, a daughter of Adcat owned by David and Holly Wilson and trained by Vladimir Cerin, ran one mile on the main track in 1:38.08 and paid $8 after her sixth win in 16 starts. First money was $53,565. John Scott, owned by Scott Gross and Harris Farms and conditioned by Carla Gaines, rallied from last place in a field of ten California-bred two-year-olds to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:10.26 for the six furlongs. Daylight Storm was second and Tribal Face third. John Scott, a son of Bertrando scoring his second win in as many races, paid $8 while earning $60,000. With a carryover of $427,333 from Sunday, $1,780,391 was wagered Monday in the Pick Six for a total pool of $2,207,724. There were 27 six-winner tickets and each paid $53,143.
Richard’s Kid Stuns in Pacific Classic
Arnold Zetcher’s Richard’s Kid, a rank 24-1 outsider piloted by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, rallied widest of all entering the stretch, wore down Eastern invader Einstein in the final strides and won the 19th running of the Grade I $1 million Pacific Classic Sunday. In a Pacific Classic upset exceeded only by Dare and Go ($81.20 in l996) and Missionary Ridge ($51 in 1992), Richard’s Kid won by a neck over well-traveled Einstein, the 4-1 third choice ridden by Julian Leparoux, with Rail Trip, the lukewarm 5-2 favorite, third, another three-quarters of a length back. Fourth was another East Coast-based runner, Parading. Colonel John, a close second choice, also at 5-2, was fifth in the field of a dozen older handicap horses. Richard’s Kid, a four-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid trained by Bob Baffert for his second Pacific Classic success — he won with General Challenge in 1999, ran the mile and one-quarter in 2:02.39 for his sixth triumph in 19 starts. This season, he was seventh in the Eddie Read Handicap on the grass and was beaten a nose by Unusual Suspect in the mile and one-half Cougar II Handicap on the main track August 5. First money of $600,000 increased Richard’s Kid’s earnings to $759,370 and clinched a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita since the Pacific Classic is a “Win and You’re In” race. The horse also provided Smith with his second win in the Pacific Classic, having won in 2002 with three-year-old Came Home. Across the board, Richard’s Kid returned $50.80, $22.20 and $12.40. Einstein, the Santa Anita Handicap winner last winter who turned in another gritty performance, paid $6.40 and $4.80, while Rail Trip, the Hollywood Gold Cup victor, paid $3.80 to show. With no perfect tickets in Sunday’s Pick Six, there will be a carryover of $427,333 on Monday’s Labor Day program which features the Del Mar Futurity for two-year-olds.
Zensational Zips In Pat O’Brien Stakes
Zayat Stables’ lightning-quick Zensational, the 3-10 favorite under regular rider Victor Espinoza, clinched his spot in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint in early November at Santa Anita with another brilliant performance Sunday in the Grade I $300,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes at seven furlongs. __Fresh from an easy victory a month ago in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes, Zensational easily disposed of his four rivals Sunday, breezing to the wire 2 1/4 lengths in front of 7-2 second choice Noble Court who rallied well in the stretch but was no serious threat. Nikki’s goldensteed was third, with Talkin to Mom Roo fourth. Zensational, a three-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song trained by Bob Baffert, probably earned favoritism in the B.C. Sprint with his triumph in the O’Brien, a “Win and You’re In” race leading up to the Breeders’ Cup. The flashy colt, registering his fourth consecutive victory, took command shortly after the break, rated kindly for Espinoza through an opening quarter in :23.10, picked up the pace to race the half-mile in :45.37, the six furlongs in 1:09.66, and completed his task with a final time of 1:22.31. With only win and place wagering, Zensational paid $2.60 and $2.10, while Noble Court, who was ridden by Joel Rosario, paid $2.80 to show. Screen to Screen was withdrawn from the original line-up. The O’Brien marked Zensational’s fifth win in seven starts, third in a Grade I event, and first money of $180,000 increased his lifetime earnings to $609,300.
Rendezvous Upsets in Del Mar Derby
Third on opening-day in the Oceanside Stakes and second in the La Jolla Handicap, longshot Rendezvous got the job done Sunday in the $350,000 Del Mar Derby, nosing out 2-1 favored Battle of Hastings in the final jump. With leading rider Joel Rosario in the saddle for his third triumph on Pacific Classic Day, Rendezvous, sent postward at a generous 22-1, proved narrowly best in a photo finish at the end of the mile and one-eighth test for three-year-olds over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course. Battle of Hastings, piloted by Tyler Baze, appeared home free in deep stretch until the final strides where Rendezvous asserted himself. Acclamation finished third, three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up and a half-length in front of fourth-place Meteore, winner of the La Jolla three weeks ago. Rendezvous, a son of Victor Gallop owned by the partnership of Team Green, George Todaro and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, ran the distance in a fast 1:46.88 to claim first money of $210,000 with his fourth win in 13 starts. His career earnings now are $334,505.Â Â