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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Flying High?

- Nick Zito is the talk of the Derby town this week after the wins by Sun King and Andromeda’s Hero last weekend, and now he sends his newly acquired High Fly in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on Saturday to face Bandini among others (as well as saddling Noble Causeway in an allowance at the Gulf), and Steve Haskin takes a look:

Upon further study, I am now of the opinion that High Fly's last start was a throw-out, and that he is the horse to beat in the Fountain of Youth. Sure, he got hung wide in the first turn of the Holy Bull (gr. III), but was that the reason he didn't have anywhere near the stretch kick he did in his nine-length romp in the Aventura? Horses often take a step backwards off a big effort, but when you get right down to it, the worst thing that could have happened to him in the Holy Bull was to turn in another monster effort, with two big Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps still to come. [Bloodhorse]
Well, I think it’s obvious that his last race is a throwout, but I’m not convinced that he didn’t turn in another monster effort in the Holy Bull. It was his first try going two turns, he was hung wide on both of them and still missed by only two lengths. He regressed Beyer-wise from a 100 to a 95, but if there are any Sheets guys or gals out there, I’d love to hear what their numbers show about him and his prospects for the Fountain of Youth.

The Santa Catalina at Santa Anita Saturday will be the long awaited return of 2 year old champ Declan’s Moon, of whom his trainer Ron Ellis says is "90-95% fit" despite having his training disrupted somewhat by the rain.
Ellis has not started Declan’s Moon since the Hollywood Futurity on December 18, though the gelding has worked steadily since January 22, including a pair of seven-furlong workouts on February 15 and February 26 at Hollywood Park. [Thoroughbred Times]
Read what else Ellis has to say about this race before you invest any money.
"I don't anticipate this being his toughest test in the next couple of races, so I haven't trained him as such. They only have so many races in them, so you try to take it easy on them whenever you can. I still think he's good enough to win, and I think his talent is going to carry him through this race. I also don't win to run such a big race that he'd bounce so to speak in his next race. You have to draw a fine line." [Bloodhorse]
Though he may face only three others, they would include a couple of sharp speedsters in Going Wild and Spanish Chestnut.

- It’s also the Big Cap, the Santa Anita Handicap on Saturday, on a BIG day of racing! Saint Liam, after leaving Roses in May in the dust at Gulfstream, is expected to take on nine others, including Rock Hard Ten.