Racing News

Baffert 'leaning toward' Arkansas Derby for 'Lucky

Bob Baffert commented Thursday morning on future plans for champion two-year-old LOOKIN AT LUCKY (Smart Strike), who opened his three-year-old season with a victory in Saturday's Rebel S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park.

"Right now, I'm leaning toward the Arkansas Derby (G1)," the Hall of Fame conditioner said, "unless I change my mind and run him in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The Arkansas Derby gives me an extra week. I'll let the horse tell me."

The $1 million Arkansas Derby will be run on April 10, while the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby is scheduled for April 3.

In other Derby news:

Clarifying some media reports that ALPHIE'S BET (Tribal Rule) had been sold, trainer Alexis Barba said Thursday morning that the Sham S. (G3) winner has not been sold and is still owned by Peter O. Johnson Sr. and Theresa McWilliams of Santa Barbara, California. The California-bred colt will train up to the Santa Anita Derby and will be ridden by Alex Solis.

The Todd Pletcher-trained INTERACTIF (Broken Vow), runner-up in last Saturday's San Felipe S. (G2), will pass the Santa Anita Derby, according to assistant trainer Mike McCarthy. Plans call for Interactif to ship to Kentucky for the Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland on April 10.

Conditioner Eoin Harty reports that AMERICAN LION (Tiznow) came back well from his fourth-place finish in the San Felipe, but will not run in the Santa Anita Derby.