After winning over $3 million on the track, Lookin At Lucky retired to Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky where he still stands today. (Photo courtesy of Coolmore)
The best colt of his generation, Lookin At Lucky lived up to the high expectations placed on him.
After selling for $475,000 in April of his 2-year-old year, Lookin At Lucky made his debut for trainer Bob Baffert three months later. While the colt wasn’t especially flashy in victory, he won his debut by three-quarters of a length before stepping up to graded stakes company and winning his next three races, including two Grade 1s.
Going into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Lookin At Lucky looked like the horse to beat. But for the first time in his 5-race career, he tasted defeat after a bad-luck trip in the Juvenile. Vale of York won the race by a head over Lookin At Lucky with Noble’s Promise in third.
The colt ended his year with a start in the CashCall Futurity, where he returned to his winning ways - again beating Noble’s Promise - by three-quarters of a length.
LOOKIN AT LUCKY AT THE TRACK AS A 2-YEAR-OLD
Photo by Eclipse Sportswire
It was little surprise that Lookin At Lucky was named champion 2-year-old male after winning five of his six starts that year. Nor was it a surprise when the colt won his 3-year-old debut while preparing for the Kentucky Derby. In normal Lookin At Lucky style, he cut it close, beating Noble’s Promise by a head in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
But in an ironic twist given his name, the colt watched his luck slip away in both the Santa Anita Derby and the Kentucky Derby when he encountered rough trips and finished third and sixth, respectively. Because of his Derby placing, Lookin At Lucky broke his streak as the betting favorite in the Preakness, going off as the second choice behind Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.
Lookin At Lucky raced in midpack until the field was nearly into the far turn. Martin Garcia, who was riding the colt for the first time, guided him to the outside and let him roll. Lookin At Lucky was four wide on the turn and collared the leaders as they completed the bend. But it wasn’t a cakewalk from there with pacesetter First Dude fighting back to challenge for the lead. Jackson Bend made a late move as well but Lookin At Lucky refused to give in, winning by three-quarters of length with First Dude a head in front of Jackson Bend.
2010 PREAKNESS STAKES
The win was the fifth Preakness Stakes victory for Baffert and first for Garcia.
“When they turned for home, he can really finish,'” Baffert told the Blood-Horse. “When I saw those red colors making that cruise, I thought, ‘Oh boy, he's running today.’ ”
After running four races in the span of two months, Lookin At Lucky received a break until the Haskell Invitational Stakes, and he returned at the top of his game.
In a similarly run race to the Preakness, Lookin At Lucky raced in midpack again with Garcia placing him on the outside. The far turn looked much like the Preakness with Lookin At Lucky making a powerful move. Super Saver attempted to stay with him as they entered the stretch but at the eighth pole it was clear that Lookin At Lucky had his running shoes on again. He drew away from the field to win by four lengths, the largest winning margin of his career.
LOOKIN AT LUCKY IS WALKED INTO THE HASKELL WINNER'S CIRCLE BY MARIO ANDRETTI (right)
Photo by Eclipse Sportswire
“I went outside to stay out of trouble,” Garcia told the New York Times. “I knew I had a super horse, and anytime I asked him, he was going to go on and win.”
Plans to run in the Travers Stakes were halted when Lookin At Lucky spiked a fever in early August, missing some training. Taking an unconventional route to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the colt returned to racing in October at Hoosier Park. While not as flashy as his Haskell victory, Lookin At Lucky won the Indiana Derby by 1 ¼ lengths. It was his eighth victory in which the winning margin was 1 ¾ lengths or less.
LOOKIN AT LUCKY WINS A MUDDY INDIANA DERBY
Photo by Eclipse Sportswire
Lookin At Lucky headed to the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs for his career finale. As the field raced down the stretch, it looked like Lookin At Lucky may be in position to go out with a win as he challenged Blame but as they entered the final furlong, Lookin At Lucky faded. Zenyatta and then Fly Down passed Lookin At Lucky, who finished a neck behind Fly Down in fourth.
A few weeks later, Lookin At Lucky was retired to Coolmore Stud’s Ashford division in Versailles, Ky. for a stud fee of $35,000 for 2011. The colt ended his career with nine wins in 13 starts and more than $3.3-million in purse earnings. After his dominant 3-year-old season, he also became the first colt since Spectacular Bid in 1979 to be crowned both 2-year-old and 3-year-old champion.
Even three years after retiring, Lookin At Lucky is one of Ashford’s most popular horses with fans.
“He won five Grade 1s, including the Preakness, so he was a very high-profile racehorse, and I think a lot of fans remember him because of his name, which has a good ring to it,” said Ashford’s Scott Calder.
Lookin At Lucky hasn’t had any horses hit the track yet - his first crop is two this year - but he has been very popular with breeders.
“Lookin At Lucky has been really well received by breeders, which is no surprise given his race record and pedigree. He has over a hundred 2-year-olds in his first crop that will be racing this year and has enjoyed continued support in subsequent years, so he’ll have plenty of representation on the racetrack,” he said.
LOOKIN AT LUCKY AT ASHFORD STUD
Photo courtesy of Coolmore
Even though it is early in Lookin At Lucky’s stud career, Coolmore is looking forward to seeing the impact he may have on the operation in years to come. He is one of three 2-year-old champions Ashford has, along with Uncle Mo and Shanghai Bobby, standing at the Kentucky farm.
“We are always trying to uncover the next big stallion, and we have a really good bunch of young sires that we hope will be making their mark in the coming years,” Calder said. “Lookin At Lucky has all the credentials to be a top sire and, with the support he has had so far from breeders, we think he has every chance of making it. It will be exciting to see his first runners hitting the track in the coming months.”
The best horse of his generation on the track, Lookin At Lucky is now looking to make another mark on the breed, this time as the sire of the next generation of champions.