Lookin at Lucky to skip Belmont Stakes

Those hoping to parlay Lookin at Lucky’s win at the Preakness into a possible victory at the Belmont Stakes will have to look elsewhere. Because Bob Baffert says the colt won’t run on June 5 in New York.

From SI.com:

Baffert said Lookin At Lucky will also take a pass on the Belmont and return to Southern California to freshen up. His next start may be the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 1.

“I want to keep this horse around,” the Hall of Fame trainer said.

Their absences, combined with no Triple try in play, leaves the Belmont with little drama. Baffert will be there, though, saying he plans to saddle Game On Dude, partly owned by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre. First Dude finished second in the Preakness, and is likely a Belmont starter.

“It’ll be the Battle of the Dudes,” Baffert said.

It’s disappointing that neither Super Saver (the Kentucky Derby winner) nor Lookin at Lucky will run at the Belmont, but it’s understandable. The Derby this year was a grind, given that the conditions were poor and the traffic at the start was brutal. Super Saver looked beat at the Preakness and I’m sure Lookin at Lucky is gassed after winning.

First Dude might be installed as the favorite at the Belmont in two weeks. He was a 20/1 long shot entering the Preakness on Saturday, but surprised the field to finish second.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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2010 Preakness Stakes Predictions

All right, so I was a tad off in my Kentucky Derby predictions two weeks ago. Sidney’s Candy (the colt I predicted to win) ran out of gas down the stretch and I’m pretty sure Line of David (my prediction to show) still hasn’t come out of the posts yet.

That said, my choice of Paddy O’prado to place was partly correct as he finished in the money, but third instead of my prediction of second. Had he not tired down the stretch, he would have held off Ice Box for second place, but I was happy that at least one of my predictions finished in the money. I also noted that Conveyance would probably jump out to a big lead at the front – which he did – but tire down the stretch (which he also did). But that prediction doesn’t really count for anything; I’m just trying to make myself feel a little better considering the picks didn’t pan out.

I’ll try to do better today with the Preakness, as the second leg of the Triple Crown takes place at 6:15PM ET.

Win: Lookin at Lucky (3/1)
Lookin at Lucky was the favorite heading into the Kentucky Derby, but he fought traffic out at the start and finished a disappointing sixth. That said, he spotted the field over 20 lengths, battled through traffic and still managed to finish sixth. The last horse to pull off a similar feat was Curlin in 2007, who lost to Street Sense at the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby and then won the Preakness two weeks later. Had Lucky not drawn the awful rail position for the Derby, we might have seen a different outcome. But now that he is coming out of the No. 7 post, he shouldn’t have to battle as much traffic at the start and he can run his race throughout. If he does that, he beats the field.

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Calvin Borel: “I’m going to win the Triple Crown.”

At Churchill Downs on Saturday, jockey Calvin Borel reminded everyone who may have forgotten that he simply owns the Kentucky Derby.

For the third time in the last four years, Borel was the winning jockey at the Kentucky Derby after he rode Super Saver to victory on Saturday with a time of 2:04.45. He once again stayed close to the rail (his signature), made one move around a competitor and rode Super Saver to victory on a sloppy track.

The favorite, Lookin at Lucky, struggled out of the starting gates and wound up finishing six. Ice Box finished second after edging out Praddy O’prado, who wound up in third.

Outside of the fact that he’s won three of the last four Kentucky Derby races is that Borel won on a Todd Pletcher-trained horse. Pletcher’s struggles at the Kentucky Derby have been well documented, as he is 0-24 in nine Derby appearances. Outside of contest winner Glenn Fullerton, who won a sweepstakes that allowed him to put down a $100,000 bet on Super Saver, there may not have been a happier person at Churchill Downs on Saturday than Pletcher.

Following the race, Borel proclaimed, “I’m going to win the Triple Crown.” Seeing as how he has 4,748 wins in his career, I’m not going to argue with the 43-year-old jockey.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

2010 Kentucky Derby Predictions

We don’t cover much horse racing here at The Scores Report, but I always take upon myself to hand out predictions for the Triple Crown races because I know our readers depend on them. (What? They don’t? Well to hell with them then.)

It’s apparently going to be a sloppy track at Churchill Downs today, which means that it’s really anyone’s race. Last year, 50/1 long shot Mine That Bird shocked the field by winning on a sloppy track, so who knows what will happen this evening.

Here is my crack at the top 3:

Win: Sidney’s Candy (9/1)
Sidney’s Candy doesn’t have a lot of experience on dirt tracks, but he’s already beaten Lookin at Lucky (the Derby favorite) once this year and is coming off three straight wins. He reportedly looked great in workouts this week, which helps ease the concerns about his ability to compete on a dirt track. He’ll start from the No. 20 post position, which I’m indifferent about. I think he’ll lead at some point and my money is on him being ahead at the finish.

Place: Paddy O’prado (10/1)
Paddy O’prado has already competed in three races this year at distances of 1 1/8 miles, which will certainly help him at the Kentucky Derby. The only problem is that he finished seventh in his only dirt race, albeit on a sloppy track in poor conditions. He claimed victory at the G3 Palm Beach on March 6 and will be ridden by jockey Kent Desormeaux, who has three Kentucky Derby victories under his belt.

Show: Line of David (20/1)
This is my sleeper today. Line of David will start of the No. 5 post position, which has produced 12 Derby winners since 1900. He also went from allowance winner to a Grade 1 winner in a smoothness transition and seems like a breakout candidate after he upset the field at the Arkansas Derby. I don’t think he has enough to win wire to wire (which is almost impossible to do at the Kentucky Derby), but I like him to finish in the money.

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