DEL MAR, Calif. -- Unbeaten Lookin at Lucky has trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Garrett Gomez buzzing about how far the colt can progress this fall.
Lookin at Lucky certainly moved closer to the top of the nation's 2-year-old male division with a victory in his stakes debut in Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar.
The win gave Baffert a record seventh win in the Best Pal. Lookin at Lucky will be his hope to win a record ninth Del Mar Futurity when the $300,000 race is run on Sept. 7.
In the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes, Lookin at Lucky rallied from fourth in a field of five under jockey Garrett Gomez to win by three-quarters of a length over 15-1 Make Music for Me.
"This is what dreams are made of," Baffert said. "I've always thought he had a lot of talent."
Smiling Tiger, who entered the race undefeated after two starts, set a pace of 22.28 and 45.42 seconds. He was caught by Lookin at Lucky before the eighth pole and held third in the field of six.
Lookin at Lucky ($4.80) ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.06. He moved into contention on the turn and was vigorously ridden by Gomez to keep the lead.
"He's still learning. He settled off the pace and picked it up like it was nothing," Gomez said. "He kind of got [to the leader] and waited. He's still learning."
Lookin at Lucky is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, the same team behind 2008 champion sprinter Midnight Lute. Purchased for $475,000 at the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training, Lookin at Lucky won a six-furlong maiden race at Hollywood Park in his debut on July 11. He has earned $123,000.
"You don't want to say too much until they start achieving things," Gomez said. "So far, he's been impressive to me. There is nothing that gets frazzled about him. It looks like he galloped a mile or jogged a mile."