ARCADIA, Calif. — Get used to it, folks.
Lookin at Lucky continues to win important races, and doesn’t mind throwing in a touch of drama in the stretch.
Sunday at Santa Anita’s Oak Tree meet, Lookin at Lucky extended his unbeaten streak to four with a vital win in the $299,000 Norfolk Stakes for 2-year-olds, the colt’s first start at 1 1/16 miles. The Grade 1 Norfolk was part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program for the BC Juvenile here on Nov. 7, a race in which Lookin at Lucky is expected to be favored.
Lookin at Lucky ($3.60) took the lead in early stretch of the Norfolk and won by 1 3/4 lengths over Pulsion in 1:43.19. The margin could have easily been several lengths, if Lookin at Lucky had not idled a bit through the stretch, according to jockey Garrett Gomez.
“I was more worried about the competition than he was,” Gomez said. “He did enough to keep them away.”
Trainer Bob Baffert said that Lookin at Lucky has developed the habit of making races closer than necessary. “He’s not going to let a horse pass him,” Baffert said. “If he was a speed horse, I’d worry about it.”
Gomez had Lookin at Lucky in fourth for the first six furlongs, moving off the inside to take a stalking position while racing two-wide on the backstretch. Sterling Outlook set an early pace of 23.23 and 47.54 seconds, but could not sustain the effort, fading on the turn.
Gomez moved Lookin at Lucky closer to the leaders on the turn and got a quick response reaching the front before the eighth pole.
Pulsion, an 18-1 shot who was making his stakes debut, closed from eighth to finish a half-length in front of 39-1 Gallant Gent. Jung Man Scott and John Scott finished in a dead heat for fourth in the field of 11.
The first three finishers are expected to start in the BC Juvenile.
Lookin at Lucky, by Smart Strike, races for Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman. At Del Mar, he won two sprint stakes — the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs and the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs. He has earned $483,000.