Reporting from Louisville, Ky. — The thought process may have already begun for those who might be in a position to turn up as Breeders' Cup villains Saturday. That would mean their horse had beaten sentimental favorite Zenyatta in the Classic.
One candidate is Lookin At Lucky, the California horse who won the Preakness this year and has continued to improve late in his 3-year-old season.
Bob Baffert is his trainer, as well as a huge fan of Zenyatta.
"I haven't thought about it [what I will say if he wins]," Baffert said.
One of Lookin At Lucky's owners, Mike Pegram, said, "Never apologize for a winner."
If there is room for a second star billing in this two-day, 14-race event, it would easily go to Goldikova, who won the $2-million TVG Mile the last two years and is a 6-5 favorite to do it again Saturday. The 5-year old would be the first three-peat Breeders' Cup champion.
The Irish horse, whose name suggests a starring role in a James Bond movie, remains game, according to her trainer.
"She's still fresh, like a 3-year-old," Freddie Head said. "She doesn't seem tired of racing."
Perhaps one of the best prices a gambler can get, at least according to the morning line, would be on Evening Jewel in Friday's $1-million Filly and Mare Sprint. The always-game 3-year-old, trained by James Cassidy and a tight runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks to Blind Luck, will begin the race day at 15-1 odds.
Evening Jewel is owned by the Braly family of Palm Desert. He was the pride and joy of insurance executive Tom Braly, who died recently after a long battle with cancer.
Top rider Garrett Gomez went to the hospital Thursday after a bad spill in the sixth race that resulted in his mount, Indy Bouquet, being euthanized on the track. Gomez was expected to make all his Breeders' Cup mounts.
Friday's six Breeders' Cup races, with favorite and morning line odds, include: Marathon, Awesome Gem, 7-2; Juvenile Fillies Turf, Winter Memories, 2-1; Filly and Mare Sprint, Rightly So, 3-1; Juvenile Filly, A Z Warrior, 7-2; Filly and Mare Turf, Midday, 6-5; Ladies Classic, Blind Luck, 9-5.
Telecasts for the Breeders' Cup will wander a bit from network to network. ESPN2 will handle all of Friday's card, airing from 1-5 p.m. PDT. Saturday, the telecast will begin on ABC, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PDT, and then move to ESPN for the rest, including the grand finale Classic. That airing will be from 12:30-4 p.m., with the Classic at 3:45.