Lookin at Lucky, the likely champion 2-year-old of 2009, was not sold at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale and was bought back for $35,000. Ray Paulick’s Dec. 24 post details why. “But many of the potential buyers might also have been looking at a veterinarian’s report that said the colt had ‘mild sesamoiditis’ in his left front ankle … ‘moderate mid-sagittal ridge erosion’ in his right front ankle … ‘moderate sesamoiditis’ in his left hind ankle … and a ‘post-operative lateral trochlear ridge divot’ in both his left and right stifle.” Click here to read Ray Paulick’s post.
This year, Mike Pegram bought the same colt for $475,000 at the Keeneland April 2-year-olds-in-training sale, after the colt had registered a quick work. Bob Baffert is Pegram’s friend and trainer, and he OKs the horses. According to Paulick’s article, Baffert had no knowledge of the colt’s previous medical history.
This isn’t the first horse with a fuzzy vet report that Baffert has bought. In 2002, he purchased 90 percent of War Emblem for $900,000 for the Thoroughbred Corp. after the Illinois Derby — weeks before the Kentucky Derby — after other potential buyers had passed on the horse for veterinary reasons. Baffert, of course, won the Derby, Preakness, and Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Handicap with War Emblem.
The backgroud of Baffert’s 1998 Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet is actually more similar to Lookin at Lucky’s history because the same principals were involved with both horses. Pegram signed the $17,000 ticket for Real Quiet at the 1996 Keeneland September yearling sale because Baffert liked the horse from his side profile; he joked, however, that Real Quiet looked like a fish from the front view because he was so narrow.
Like Lookin at Lucky, Baffert had no idea that Real Quiet had gone under the knife before the yearling sale. Turns out, both were operated on in the April before the sale, too. Ray Paulick wrote that “Lookin at Lucky underwent surgery in April 2008 to remove OCD fragments from both stifles,” and Real Quiet, it’s well known now, had corrective surgery — called transphyseal bridging — to fix a case of knock-knees that even Baffert would have found unacceptable on the “fish.”
And one other connection between Real Quiet and Lookin at Lucky that portends well for the superstitious: pedigree authority Jack Werk of Werk Thoroughbred Consultants, Inc., was behind the planning of both matings. Click here to read.