Haskell Conquered by Lookin’ At Lucky
With a $1m purse to be won, the Haskell Invitational Handicap is one of the premier horse racing events on the racing calendar. Inaugurated in 1968, the race was established to pay tribute to Amory L Haskell, late chairman and president of the Monmouth Park Racecourse. The event was changed from a handicap to an invitational handicap in 1981. It is a Grade 1 racing event for three year old race horses, and entries into this race are done by invitation only. Needless to say, some of the most successful and high profile horses are invited to participate, and the 2010 Haskell Invitational took place on Sunday, 1 August 2010.
More than forty thousand spectators made their way to Monmouth Park Racecourse on Sunday to watch the sensational showdown of the Haskell Invitational Handicap. The event was made historical by the presence of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winners, Super Saver and Lookin’ At Lucky. But the celebrities did not end there, as other big names such as Trappe Shot, First Dude and Ice Box were also amongst the worthy contenders. Lookin’ At Lucky is trained by Bob Baffert, and was teamed up with Martin Garcia as his jockey.
Lookin’ At Lucky did have a small stumble as the starting gates swung open, but recovered quickly and Garcia decided to move his mount wide. At the top of the straight, the winning duo moved into the leading position and did not look back. Lookin’ At Lucky won the Haskell Invitational Handicap by four lengths, and was followed home, in finishing order, by Trappe Shot, First Dude, Super Saver, Afleet Again, Ice Box and Our Dark Knight. Baffert spoke to the press after the race in regard to Garcia’s decision to take Lookin’ At Lucky wide, and said: “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 three-eighths pole, that’s when you know you’ve got a good horse because they’ll be pulling you. Martin Garcia 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.” To date, including the victory of the Haskell Invitational Handicap, Lookin’ At Lucky has won eight of his eleven career starts, and has earned his owners over $2.7 in prize money.