Champion two-year-old colt LOOKIN AT LUCKY (Smart Strike) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) hero VALE OF YORK (Ire) (Invincible Spirit) share the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2009 Experimental Free Handicap, released Thursday by The Jockey Club and available at jockeyclub.com.
The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year's leading two-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. This year's weighting committee of racing secretaries was composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
The committee weighted a total of 93 males and 82 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all two-year-olds of 2009 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added value of at least $75,000, run in the continental United States.
Lookin at Lucky won five of his six starts last year, with his lone setback being a close second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, for earnings of $1,243,000. Owned by Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman, Lookin at Lucky won the CashCall Futurity (G1), Norfolk S. (G1), Del Mar Futurity (G1) and Best Pal S. (G2). He was bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Farms.
Godolphin's Vale of York scored a head decision over Lookin at Lucky in his only North American start. Bred in Ireland by Stock Vale Ltd., Vale of York won three of his six races in 2009 for earnings of $1,151,186.
The 126 pounds assigned to Lookin at Lucky and Vale of York is the standard impost for top Experimental colts and equivalent to the assignment on last year's high weight, Midshipman (Unbridled's Song).
Lookin At Lucky and Vale of York are weighted two pounds higher than NOBLE'S PROMISE (Cuvee), a winner of three of his six starts in 2009, including the Breeders' Futurity (G1) and the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile S. He earned $733,500 for owner Chasing Dreams Racing 2008.
Kingfield Stables' BUDDY'S SAINT (Saint Liam), winner of the Remsen S. (G2) and Nashua S. (G2) by a combined 16 3/4 lengths, is weighted at 123 pounds. He won two of three starts on the year and earned $218,600.
In the filly division, the 123 pounds assigned to Blind Luck and She Be Wild is the standard impost for top Experimental fillies and one pound less than the assignment on last year's high weight, Stardom Bound (Tapit).
Bred in Kentucky by Fairlawn Farm, Blind Luck's four victories from six starts last year included the Hollywood Starlet (G1) and Oak Leaf S. (G1). She also finished third by three-quarters of a length to She Be Wild in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). She earned $709,050 for her owners Mark DeDomenico, John Carver and Jerry Hollendorfer.
Nancy Mazzoni's homebred She Be Wild won four of her five starts in 2009 and earned $1,311,040. In addition to her score in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, the Kentucky-bred lass won the Arlington Washington Lassie S. (G3) and was beaten a half-length when second in the Alcibiades S. (G1).
Blind Luck and She Be Wild are weighted two pounds higher than Grace Stables' HOT DIXIE CHICK (Dixie Union). Hot Dixie Chick's three wins from four starts included the Spinaway S. (G1) and Schuylerville S. (G3). She earned $285,685.
Among sires of Experimental horses, Bernstein tops the list of colts and geldings with five representatives, while Tiznow heads the fillies' list with four representatives. Combining the two lists, Roman Ruler is the leading sire with six representatives. Of the 175 juveniles weighted, 108 were bred in Kentucky, 34 in Florida and five each in California and Pennsylvania.