The Belmont Stakes, the final leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, won’t feature Lookin At Lucky and Super Saver, the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby winners.
Lookin At Lucky two days ago won the Preakness, giving trainer Bob Baffert his first Triple Crown win in eight years. The 3-year-old colt may not race again until the Haskell Invitational on Aug. 1, Baffert said.
“I want to keep this horse around,” the trainer said as he left Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore yesterday.
The absence of the winners of the first two classics is a blow for the Belmont, which is scheduled for June 5 at Elmont Park in New York. Racing is without a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, the longest drought since the races became a series in the 1930s.
Super Saver won the Derby on May 2 to give jockey Calvin Borel his third win at Churchill Downs in four years. The colt won’t race at the Belmont after fading at Pimlico to finish in eighth place, his trainer Todd Pletcher said.
“We wanted to win the Preakness,” Pletcher told reporters before leaving Pimlico. “There’s nothing more that I would have loved to have done than to come back to Belmont with a chance at the Triple Crown.”
The absence of Lookin At Lucky and Super Saver may mean First Dude, which was second at Pimlico, begins the 1.5-mile Belmont as the favorite. One of his main competitors may be Baffert’s horse Game on Dude.
“It’ll be the battle of the dudes,” said Baffert, who has now won the Preakness five times.
Lookin At Lucky covered the 1 3/16th-mile Preakness course in one minute, 55.47 seconds to earn $600,000, taking his lifetime winnings to $2.1 million.