Reigning 2-year-old champion and Preakness Stakes winner Lookin At Lucky has been purchased by Ashford Stud and will stand at the American arm of John Magnier’s Coolmore Stud operation for 2011. His fee will be $35,000, according to Ashford Stud manager Dermot Ryan.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Campaigned by the partnership of Mike Pegram, Paul Weitman, and Karl Watson and trained by Bob Baffert, Lookin At Lucky racked up nine wins in 13 career starts including five Grade I triumphs. The bay son of Smart Strike is the likely choice to be named champion 3-year-old male this season after earning wins in the Preakness, Haskell Invitational and Indiana Derby prior to his fourth-place run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on November 6.
“He’s a fantastic looking horse,” said Ryan. “He’s a Classic winner and he’ll probably be the champion 3-year-old as well. He’s very well bred and he’s got all the traits we look for in a stallion.”
Should Lookin At Lucky take the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old male this year, he would be the first horse since Spectacular Bid in 1978 and 1979 to earn divisional honors in both his 2-year-old and sophomore seasons.
Out of the Belong to Me mare Private Feeling, Lookin At Lucky was unbeaten in his first four career starts including victories in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and Grade I Norfolk. His lone loss as a juvenile came when he was beaten a head by Vale of York in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park but he rebounded from that loss to close out his six-race campaign last year with a win in the Grade I CashCall Futurity.
Despite his fortuitous name, Lookin At Lucky was plagued with trouble in a handful of his races this year. Although he overcame nearly clipping heels with a horse to win the Grade II Rebel Stakes in his seasonal bow, he was checked in tight quarters during a third-place run in the Santa Anita Derby and bumped hard into the rail during his sixth-place effort in the Kentucky Derby.
That Derby outing prompted his connections to switch from jockey Garrett Gomez to Martin Garcia for the Preakness Stakes. That pairing instantly clicked as Lookin At Lucky powered home to a three-quarter length win in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown and then followed that up with a four-length romp in the Haskell at Monmouth Park this August.
“Any horse that pops up with his criteria of pedigree and race record, any top stud farm would have their eye on,” Ryan said. “He’s pretty open to breed with any sort of mare. He’s just a quality, gorgeous looking horse.”
A half brother to Grade II winner Kensei, Lookin At Lucky retires with earnings of $3,307,278. Ryan said the colt is currently at the farm and available to breeders for inspection.