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.