June 29, 2022

Prince Lucky wins Easy Goer thriller at a price for Pletcher, Velazquez

The Easy Goer was the first win by Prince Lucky since joining the Todd Pletcher barn (Photos by Z)

Prince Lucky kicked off the stakes action on Belmont Stakes Day winning a three-way photo in the $150,000 Easy Goer, providing the formidable team of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez with a rare longshot score.

Making his eighth career start but only his third for Pletcher, Prince Lucky was sent away at 14-1 following a distant third-place finish in the $100,000 Sir Barton on Preakness Day. Rating in third, a length behind Lunar Beauty through splits of :23.27, :46.26, and 1:10.18, Prince Lucky bid for the lead in upper stretch outside pace presser Dark Vader. Joined on the outside by Rugbyman, the three battled to the wire, with Prince Lucky in between rivals getting his neck up at the finish.

“He had a very good work last week and we decided he was in sharp form and that we would take a shot,” Pletcher said.

A homebred racing for Daniel McConnell, Prince Lucky completed 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:41.41. He returned $30. Rugbyman was second, a nose ahead of Dark Vader. Mask, the 7-5 favorite, was a non-threatening fourth in the field of seven three-year-olds.

Prince Lucky was initially trained by Larry Jones, for whom he won three of five starts, including the $120,000 Pennsylvania Nursery at Parx in December. Transferred to Pletcher following a seventh-place effort in the Lecomte (G3), Prince Lucky didn’t fare much better in the Sunland Derby (G3), finishing ninth of 12.

Gelded following the Sunland race, Prince Lucky was more than 11 lengths adrift of Ax Man in the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton over sloppy going at Pimlico.

“The trip at Pimlico is a little hard to analyze because of the fog and conditions, but we felt like we maybe over rated him a little in terms of him taking too much of a hold of him.”

Prince Lucky, whose record now stands at 8-4-0-2, $231,690, was bred in Pennsylvania. He’s by Corinthian and out of Lucky Notion, by Great Notion.

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