Saturday, May 8, 2010

Un-'Lucky' Gomez travels to Dublin for Preakness

You gotta love Bob Baffert. Whether or not you like the way he trains a racehorse (and there are some fans who don't seem to like the way anybody trains a racehorse), he's at least a great and usually frank interview.

Baffert on Saturday responded to the constant questions from media about whether 2-year-old champ Lookin At Lucky will run a week from today in the Preakness with the most specific response a trainer could give. In a manner of speaking.

"We're at 52 percent today," Baffert wisecracked.

That 48 percent unknown is accompanied by the uncertainty of a rider change should Lucky compete at Pimlico. Jockey Garrett Gomez is off the horse, and Baffert has not decided who will ride if Lucky races in the Preakness.

Gomez rode Lucky to his championship -- and through an unbroken series of horrible trips that began in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and continued all the way through Derby Day, when Lucky had the misfortune of drawing the rail. Baffert criticized Gomez's ride in the Santa Anita Derby, when Lookin At Lucky was knocked around, but still finished third. Still, the trainer later said the jock would not be fired from the mount.

But today, Gomez's agent, Ron Anderson, said the rider had been told a jockey change was forthcoming -- just in an effort to revivify Lucky's fortunes -- so Anderson scrambled up a Preakness mount for Gomez aboard Dublin for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

"I told Ron I didn't know if I was gonna run the horse (at Pimlico), but if I did I was going to make a chance only because of the bad luck we've been having lately," Baffert told The Blood-Horse. "Just out of respect, I said, 'If you can find another mount, find it,' because I didn't want him to get shut out."

While Baffert fumed about Gomez's ride in the Santa Anita, he conceded there was nothing the jockey could have done to improve Lucky's chances at Churchill.

"The thing is, he just had some bad trips, but the last race, there's nothing Garrett could have done," Baffert said. "The one-hole killed him."

There's certainly been a run of tough luck for all concerned. So maybe change will be good for everybody.

1 comment:

  1. Given the way that Lukas has butchered Dublin, Gomez is likely to continue his own "unlucky" streak.


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