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Lookin At Lucky wins Preakness
BALTIMORE (AP) — Change in jockeys, change in fortune.
So it was for trainer Bob Baffert and his Preakness-winning colt Lookin At Lucky, who stayed out of trouble with Martin Garcia aboard and held off First Dude to win by three quarters of a length Saturday.
Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver faded to eighth as the 9-5 favorite in the 12-horse field, squandering a perfect trip and foiling jockey Calvin Borel’s boast of a Triple Crown.
“When I asked him, he kind of just folded up. It happens,” said Borel, who didn’t ride the rail this time — his signature trip.
Jackson Bend was another head back in third.
Lookin At Lucky ran 1 3-16 miles in 1:55.47, giving Baffert his fifth Preakness victory, tying him with D. Wayne Lukas for second all-time. It was the Hall of Famer’s first Triple Crown win since 2002, when War Emblem won at Pimlico.
“When they turned for home, he can really finish,” Baffert said.
Lucky’s win means yet another year will pass without a Triple Crown champion. Affirmed was the last to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 1978.
Lookin At Lucky paid $6.80, $4.60 and $3.80 as the 2-1 second choice. First Dude returned $16.60 and $9.20, while Jackson Bend paid $6.60 to show.
Baffert made a gutsy decision when he replaced Garrett Gomez with Garcia after Lookin At Lucky finished sixth on a sloppy track as the Derby favorite two weeks ago.
At Churchill Downs, the bay colt was compromised by his starting position on the rail. He was immediately checked hard along the fence under Gomez, who rode Lookin At Lucky in his first nine races, including a troubled trip as the beaten favorite in the Santa Anita Derby.
For this race, he made his own luck.
Lookin At Lucky and Super Saver broke next to each other in the starting gate.
Garcia kept Lookin At Lucky clear and out of trouble while running mid-pack down the backstretch, behind pacesetting First Dude. He made a big move on the final turn to challenge the surprisingly stubborn First Dude, a 23-1 long shot.
Lookin At Lucky finally took charge in deep stretch.
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