Ever So Lucky – Ever So Impressive

A flashy juvenile son of Indian Charlie rolls down the Churchill Downs stretch in seemingly effortless fashion. Either I have a case of deja vu, or this has happened before … Oh well, I’ll think of it sooner or later. In the meantime, let me tell you about one of the more visually impressive two-year-old debuts of the year. Purchased for $95,000 as a yearling last September, Ever So Lucky has been turning heads for much of 2011. Yesterday we were finally able to see the public unveiling of the much talked about member of the Jonathan Sheppard barn, and it proved worth the wait.

Bet down to odds of 4-5, the good looking bay colt broke a half-step slowly before pulling rider Julien Leparoux right to the lead. Laying down solid early fractions of :22.76 and :46.03 while facing brief pressure from three different runners, he began to lengthen his lead approaching the stretch. Wearing the familiar green and white silks of Augustin Stable, Ever So Lucky leveled off like a much more experienced horse and opened up a commanding four length advantage at the eighth pole. From there he was confidently ridden and under wraps as he hit the wire 3 ¼ lengths ahead of Golden Ticket, who was far ahead of the rest. Final time for the easy 6 ½ panels was a solid 1:17.42.

[How high should Ever So Lucky climb in HRN's 2012 Kentucky Derby Contender's list?]

Out of the Summer Squall mare, Bally Storm, he had been promising this kind of talent since the spring, and considering the manner in which he did it yesterday, you would have to say it was mission accomplished. Ever So Lucky was the sales topper at $600,000 of the May Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale after working an impressive eighth in :10 1/5. Since then he had done nothing but impress, first putting a string of excellent works in at Delaware Park, before coming to Kentucky and working lights-out at Keeneland. His final work before his debut came at Churchill and the :46 1/5 bullet breeze signaled his readiness for the races.

As for what’s next for the youngster, I would not expect too much too fast, as Sheppard is well known for his patience. I have always been a fan of the veteran trainer, and it would be a pleasure to see him with a legitimate 2012 Kentucky Derby type of horse. Seeing what I saw yesterday, let me be one of the first to say, I think in Ever So Lucky, he may have just that.

Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to HRN, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing webcast HorseCenter, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars and is a Vox Populi committee member. He is a voter for racing's Hall of Fame, as well as a weekly NTRA poll voter. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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