OCEANPORT, N.J. - As the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners surged to the lead around the far turn in the $1 million Haskell Invitational, more than 40,000 fans stood and cheered in anticipation of a thrilling stretch duel.
But just like that, with a shake of reins, it was all over at the top of the stretch: Lookin At Lucky burst into the clear under Martin Garcia and cruised to a 4-length victory over Trappe Shot in Monmouth Park's showcase race.
"He's been sitting on a really big race," winning trainer Bob Baffert said of the colt's first start since winning the Preakness. "He's been training just unbelievably. It's good to see him finally come out of his shell.
"He's growing up and he stamped himself as a great horse."
The emphatic win Sunday confirmed Lookin At Lucky's status as the best 3-year-old in the country, and it came against a star-studded, seven-horse field considered the strongest in the 43-year-old history of the race. It was the first time the race featured the Derby and the Preakness winner.