HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Lookin At Lucky overcame being checked down the backside to edge Noble's Promise by a head and win his first start of the year in the Grade 2, $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.
Dublin finished three lengths back in third in the 1 1/16-mile race that served as the final local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 10.
Lookin At Lucky ($4.20) settled in fifth early in the Rebel, racing along the inside after breaking from post 2. He moved out down the backside and heading into the final turn was forced to check. Lookin At Lucky picked up steam again, began to pass horses, and was diligent through the stretch to cover the distance on a fast track in 1:43.
Garrett Gomez rode Lookin at Lucky for trainer Bob Baffert. It was the horse's first start since he closed out his championship season with a win in the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 19. The race was also the first on conventional dirt and the first in blinkers for Lookin at Lucky.
He races for the partnership of Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.
Honeybee: No Such Word takes stakes debut
No Such Word established herself as a 3-year-old filly to watch on Saturday, when she won her stakes debut in the Grade 3, $125,000 Honeybee. She stalked the pace, moved out in the stretch, and rolled to a 2 1/2-length win over favorite Beautician.
The Honeybee was the local prep for the Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy, and the April 2 race will be the next goal for No Such Word, said her trainer, Cindy Jones.
No Such Word ($15) settled in fifth along the inside early in the Honeybee, as Decelerator led the field through fractions of 22.67 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 47.06 for the half-mile mark, and 1:12.28 for six furlongs. No Such Word moved off the rail heading into the final turn and closed well through the lane to cover the 1 1/16 miles on a track rated fast in 1:43.74.
Terry Thompson was aboard the winner, who was the third straight Honeybee champ from the Jones operation. Jones's husband, retired trainer Larry Jones, won the race in 2008 with Eight Belles and in 2009 with Just Jenda.
No Such Word had won an Oaklawn allowance in her two-turn debut, one start before the Honeybee. Tap Tap Tapping, who was second in the allowance, came back and ran third in the Honeybee, 4 1/4 lengths behind Beautician.
* A crowd of 36,298 showed up at Oaklawn for the Rebel card.