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Jockey Martin Garcia celebrates aboard Lookin At Lucky after winning the 2010 Haskell Invitational
The $1 million Izod Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) is the highlight race of the Monmouth Park meeting, featuring some of the top 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles over the main track in Oceanport, New Jersey. A crowd of 40,904 was on hand to witness one of the classiest Haskell fields in history. Lookin At Lucky was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 7, unraced since winning the Preakness Stakes (G1) in May. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Trappe Shot, winner of four straight including the Long Branch last out, and 5-1 third choice First Dude, second in the Preakness followed by a third place finish in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver was all but dismissed as the 6-1 fourth choice on the board.
Lookin At Lucky draws away in the stretch.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent First Dude down to the rail and to the lead, setting fractions of 23.52, 47.95, and 1:12.51 over the fast track while being pressed by 27-1 longest shot Our Dark Knight and Super Saver. On the far turn, Our Dark Knight tired and faded to finish last, allowing Super Saver to put in his bid for the lead. However, Lookin at Lucky, who raced in midpack fourth early after stumbling at the start, came out for room and easily swept by the pacesetters, opening a 2 1/2 length lead on Super Saver at the 1/8 pole through a mile in 1:37.28. Trappe Shot, who was fifth early, came out four wide for the drive and put in a strong rally but was no threat to Lookin at Lucky, who drew away to an impressive 4 length win in 1:49.63. It was another 3/4 length from Trappe Shot to pacesetter First Dude third, who nosed out Super Saver in fourth.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Lookin At Lucky Garcia M. 4.40 3.00 2.40 8 Trappe Shot Garcia A. 3.40 2.60 4 First Dude Dominguez 3.00 Winning Time: 1:49.83 $2 Exacta 1-8 17.20 $1 Trifecta 1-8-4 29.20 $1 Superfecta 1-8-4-6 90.10
Left: Retired Indy race car driver Mario Andretti leads Lookin At Lucky to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "He broke fine and Martin eased him to the outside. I knew we'd lose a little bit of ground, but that was the winning move. This was really a break-out race. At the 3/8 pole, that's when you know you've got a good horse because they'll be pulling you. Martin was still sitting, but when he pushed the button, the horse really took off. You can't make that move on synthetic, but on dirt it was the winning move. That's really what I like to see, running fast horses on fast tracks. I've been coming here since 1997 when we ran Anet. Win, lose or draw, I know we'll have a great time at Monmouth."
Right: Martin Garcia celebrates with Lookin At Lucky after the race.
Left: Lookin At Lucky in the post parade. His jockey Martin Garcia said, "I've been working this horse for a long time now. Bob told me, 'You know you're on the best horse. Just give him a breather and then send him.' I moved him to the outside because I knew I was on a super horse and I wanted to keep him out of trouble. This is just a very powerful horse. I'm very appreciative to be able to ride this horse. I'm lucky."
Right: Lookin At Lucky after being hosed off after the race. Asked where he would run next, Baffert added, "I don't know what we're going to do yet. We're going to see how he comes out of this race. I don't know if I'm going to ship back to California or if he goes to Saratoga. I've got 24 hours to think about that. If he goes to Saratoga that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to the Travers." Baffert leads all trainers with 4 Haskell wins, and all 7 of his Haskell starters have finished in the money.
Left: Second place finisher Trappe Shot in the paddock before the race. His trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "He ran well, very well. We were second to a top horse. We're disappointed because we think an awful lot of this horse. But this race is the best of the best, and right now we're in second place."
Right: Third place finisher First Dude in the post parade. His trainer Dale Romans said, "He got challenged a little earlier on the lead than I would have liked, but I guess every trainer with a horse on the lead says that. I was happy with the way he dug in."
Left: Fourth place finisher Super Saver in the post parade. His jockey Calvin Borel said, "In the last 30 or 40 yards he kind of faltered under me. I didn't think I could go with the winner, but I thought maybe I could hang on for second. But he didn't run a bad race." Trainer Todd Pletcher added, "I thought he got a beautiful trip. He was comfortable. In a perfect world we would've liked to wait a little longer before making our move but the pressure kind of picked up at the 1/4 pole."
Right: The horses break from the gate for the Haskell. Both Lookin At Lucky and Super Saver stumbled at the start.
On to the Haskell undercard results and photos
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