BALTIMORE - D. Wayne Lukas will be 75 in September, and since 2000 he's been chasing a record 14th win in a Triple Crown race. Bob Baffert was unhappy with Garrett Gomez's rides on Lookin At Lucky in the Kentucky and Santa Anita Derbys, and before Baffert decided to run the colt in tomorrow's Preakness, he and Gomez parted company. Lukas immediately put Gomez, the two-time Eclipse Award winner, on Dublin.
Lukas had some fun with his pal Baffert Thursday at Pimlico's annual Alibi Breakfast. "I'm getting up in years, so I won't have too many more chances in the Preakness,'' Lukas said. "So Bob felt sorry for me and said, 'Look, take my rider and see if you can win another one.' He figured maybe I could get lucky. Wait, let me take that back. Make that fortunate.''
When the California-bred gelding arrived in his barn last year with blue sutures mending a large gash on his face, Mike Machowsky knew he had to name him Scarface. When the Jockey Club rejected that as inappropriate, the trainer slipped through Caracortado - Scarface in Spanish.
If Caracortado upsets the Preakness, Machowsky should channel Al Pacino and yell, "Say hello to my little friend.''
Kids day for Pletchers
Payton Pletcher (fifth grade), brother Kyle (fourth) and sister Hannah (first) were seen on NBC after Super Saver gave their father, Todd, his first Derby win. To their classmates, they were instant celebrities.
"The kids felt like movie stars when they went back to school Monday,'' Pletcher said. "There was a big picture of Super Saver in Hannah's classroom.''