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April 1, 2010

GOMEZ SITTING PRETTY ON LOOKIN AT LUCKY IN SANTA ANITA DERBY

This is the time of year some jockeys are playing musical 3-year-olds, trying to land a mount for the Kentucky Derby. Not Garrett Gomez.

March 31, 2010

LOOKIN AT LUCKY DRAWS POST POSITION SEVEN FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY

Lookin At Lucky drew post position seven Wednesday morning in a field of 10 for Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles, the West Coast’s major steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby on May 1.

“It’s better than the 13,” Bob Baffert quipped when advised of the draw.

March 28, 2010

LOOKIN AT LUCKY ‘90 PERCENT SURE’ FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY

Bob Baffert said late Sunday morning he is “90 percent sure” that Lookin At Lucky will run in next Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, rather than the Grade I, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 10, after the male 2-year-old champion of 2009 worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track in 1:12 flat under Martin Garcia.

“I was waiting to see how he came out of the work, but right now, I’d say he’s 90 percent sure to run here,” the Hall of Fame trainer said before departing for Sunland Park,

March 27, 2010

SIDNEY’S CANDY ON FAST TRACK FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY

With front-running victories in the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes and the San Felipe Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth, Sidney’s Candy is the one to catch in the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles a week from today.

But that doesn’t mean the chestnut son of Candy Ride has to be on the lead to run his best race.

March 26, 2010

WHO’S UP DOING ‘SWIMMINGLY’ FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY

Who’s Up is scheduled to make his first start since winning the Grade III Generous Stakes at one mile on turf at Hollywood Park last Nov.

March 25, 2010

SOLIS EYES DERBY DREAM WITH ALPHIE’S BET

Alex Solis is a survivor. In a career that began in 1982, he has overcome a life-threatening injury, been denied access to racing’s Hall of Fame several times, and is still looking for every rider’s dream, victory in the Kentucky Derby.

He had a potential winner last year in The Pamplemousse, but the speedy gray colt was injured the day of the Santa Anita Derby, dashing Solis’ hopes.

March 24, 2010

TEAM CARACORTADO LOOKS FORWARD TO FIRST SANTA ANITA DERBY

If Caracortado runs in the Santa Anita Derby, it will mark a first for jockey Paul Atkinson and trainer Mike Machowsky. The 40-year-old Atkinson has never ridden in the West Coast’s major steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby, and the 44-year-old Machowsky has never trained a horse that’s run in the race, which will have its 73rd edition on April 3, so it’s easy to understand why both are looking forward to it.

“It would be very exciting,” Atkinson said of competing in the Grade I, $750,000 race at 1 1/8 miles.

March 21, 2010

BAY AREA INVADER SKIPSHOT JOINS SANTA ANITA DERBY LINEUP

The prospective Santa Anita Derby lineup grew by one Sunday with the announcement that Skipshot would invade from the Bay Area to run in the Grade I, $750,000 race at 1 1/8 miles on April 3.

“The horse is here and will breeze tomorrow morning,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said of the son of 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, who would be making his first start in a graded stakes.

“He’s won three in a row (at Golden Gate Fields) and he ran very well in his first route race (winning by a nose at one mile on March 14)

March 20, 2010

LOOKIN AT LUCKY COULD RUN IN SANTA ANITA DERBY

Bob Baffert advanced the chances of leading Kentucky Derby contender Lookin At Lucky running in the Santa Anita Derby Saturday morning, based on how the son of Smart Strike trains at his home base since his courageous and determined victory in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park last Saturday.

The Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles is April 3. Baffert’s other option is the Grade I, $1 million Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles at Oaklawn Park on April 10.

March 19, 2010

HIGH COURT DRAMA ON DISPLAY IN MARATHON SAN LUIS REY

Michael Baze was disappointed when High Court Drama didn’t qualify for the Santa Anita Handicap on March 6. But the Las Vegas native, who turns 23 on April 14, hopes to make up for that letdown when he rides the son of 1987 male turf champion Theatrical in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

“He’s a nice horse and he’s been running good,” said Baze, who will move his tack to Arlington Park when the Santa Anita meet ends on April 18. “I think he’ll run a great race.