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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thursday Night Extra

- Byron King in the Daily Racing Form writes of High Limit, and the fact that some have downgraded him due to subsequent poor performances by horses he beat in the Louisiana Derby, and that his win was certainly weaker than the 105 Beyer High Limit earned in the race might suggest. King disagrees, and I tend to agree with him.

He is what I call a negative key race play, a horse who will likely be a tick or two higher on the board than he would have been if some of his Louisiana Derby rivals had come back to run more competitively.

High Limit looks similar to Peace Rules, winner of the 2003 Blue Grass for Frankel. Like High Limit, Peace Rules kicked off his 3-year-old year in the Louisiana Derby, also running a 105 Beyer.

Frankel should have High Limit poised for a top performance. Since 2000, Frankel has won more stakes at Keeneland than any other trainer, going 11 for 34 (32 percent) and generating a return on investment of $2.24. [Daily Racing Form] (subscription only)
There was just something the way he won, I thought, that suggested that he was well in hand and capable of more.

- Sharp Lisa goes for her third graded win in a row in Friday’s G2 Fantasy at Oaklawn; an Oaks prep at 1 1/16 mile. She had to scratch from the Ashland when she kicked the stall and bruised her foot, so she ships here instead only to draw the crummy 9 post. Just inside of her is R Lady Joy, who ran away with the Florida Oaks on Tampa Bay Derby day, winning by 9 lengths just a 3 ticks slower than Sun King. So, like Sun King, she earned a slower Beyer than one would have expected, so I’m interested to see how she runs here; she was extremely impressive at Tampa that day. Yankee Penny makes her stakes debut in her third start, and wow. she’s won by a total of 17 lengths for Saratoga County’s trainer George Weaver. Her dam is a half sister to Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet. Besides trying stakes horses, this is her first try around two turns.

I’m surprised to see Cape Hope on the dirt here; she’s 4 for 4 on the turf but winless in two maiden dirt races. Round Pond goes for John Servis; she won a minor stakes at this distance here in her last. Servis said he “thinks” Rockport Harbor will be ready for the Lexington. “He's starting to act like his old self. Finally.....I might work him on Saturday, or at least give him a two-minute lick." [DRF]

- Top Commander won the G3 Count Fleet Sprint at Oaklawn Thursday, which perhaps will cheer up his ailing sire Kingmambo. He’s a 5 yo who first broke his maiden for a 30K tag last May, and has since won 5 more times. He’s come off a 4 1/2 month layoff after racing on the turf, and has won two consecutive sprints, including this stake and an allowance race at Oaklawn in which he earned a meet high 110 Beyer.