Derby prep races continue Saturday


Associated Press

NEW YORK

The top two Kentucky Derby contenders likely will be running their final prep races Saturday — Lookin At Lucky is all but set for the Santa Anita Derby and Eskendereya is the probable favorite for the Wood Memorial.

Lookin At Lucky won the Rebel Stakes in his 2010 debut, and has six wins in seven career starts. The 3-year-old colt should be favored over Sidney’s Candy in the Santa Anita Derby.

Eskendereya is one of eight potential Kentucky Derby starters for trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt, winner of the Fountain of Youth, should be the favorite over Gotham winner Awesome Act in the Wood.

Trainer Bob Baffert has said he’s just about certain Lookin At Lucky will run in the Santa Anita Derby rather than the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park a week later. Baffert made the call after Lookin At Lucky worked 6 furlongs in 1:12.00 at Santa Anita on Sunday.

“I was waiting to see how he came out of the work, but right now, I’d say he’s 90 percent sure to run here,” Baffert said.

Pletcher found himself another Derby hopeful in Mission Impazible, who won Saturday’s Louisiana Derby with a strong stretch run.

Other Derby prospects include Aikenite, Connemara, Discreetly Mine and Interactif.

Pletcher, Hall of Fame trainers Nick Zito and D. Wayne Lukas share the record with five starters in a Derby. Pletcher was the last with five, with none finishing in the top three in 2007.

A recap of the weekend races:

Mission Impazible made a three-wide move and overtook the leaders in the stretch for a three-quarter length win over A Little Warm in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds. The colt finished fourth in the Southwest Stakes in his 2010 debut, but now is on his way to Churchill Downs. Favorite Discreetly Mine was fourth.

Dean’s Kitten may have earned a Derby shot after a 21‚Ñ2-length win in the $500,000 Lane’s Stakes at Turfway Park on Saturday. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the chestnut colt has done most of his running on grass and synthetic tracks. The Derby is run on dirt.

Endorsement may end up in the Derby after winning Sunday’s $800,000 Sunland Derby in New Mexico. The 21‚Ñ4-length win came against Derby prospects Conveyance and Tempted to Tapit, who finished second and third.

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