Luckarack just kept surprising trainer Steve Specht and jockey Frank Alvarado.
Saturday in the 49th running of the Everette Nevin Alameda County Stakes at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton came the latest pleasant surprise for Specht and Alvarado, as Luckarack came charging down the lane to take the win.
After sitting fourth at the break of 5-1/2 furlong race, then third when they headed into the turn, Alvarado found himself in the lead when they hit the top of the lane before winning by 3-1/4 lengths.
"When I got to the 16th pole , I thought I could win this race," said Alvarado of the race for 2-year-olds bred in California.
The race went pretty much according to plan for Alvarado as he sat behind the early leaders.
"The plan was to play it by ear," explained Alvarado. "I wanted to lay right behind the leaders. I thought (Jeff) Bonde's horse was the one to beat."
So did the betting public as Bonde's Lucky Mr. K was the prohibitive favorite. But the horse got out of the gate late and was forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.
"He hopped in the air at the break and that pretty much eliminated any chance at winning,'' said Bonde. "He really ran a spotty race. But Steve's horse ran a great race - a winning race."
For Specht there was some anxious moments in June, well before Saturday's stakes race.
"When he first started, he was kind of lazy and didn't show much," said Specht.
So the result was a maiden-claiming race for his initial start. As the works got better heading into the race, Specht and owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams had some worries the horse could get claimed.
"He started to come to life," said Specht.
Luckarack didn't get claimed and won its first race. Saturday was the second.
"Since that race, he's continued to come to life and I think the longer he goes, the better," said Specht.
Lucky Mr. K battled to get back to second, with Roman Power running third.