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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Bad Karma Buzzard's Luck

- For those who don’t believe in karma, believe that Jeff Mullins, on behalf of his Buzzards Bay, will be the last to select post position for the Derby. Bandini is first, and Bellamy Road will be fine, he goes 10th.

- High Limit worked 4f in :48 1/5, and everyone, including one Steve Haskin, has been touting this horse's physical appearance all week ("he won't take a backseat to anyone in the fitness department. Bobby Frankel could not ask the son of Maria's Mon to be coming into the race any better"). Indeed, he looked a picture of fitness on The Works last night. Andy Beyer has a differing take on him however:

I hate High Limit. He's my number one throwout--not so much on the basis of the Blue Grass but because I think the Louisiana Derby was a phony race. He and Vicarage ran 1-2 around the track against a field without much speed; everybody has come out of that race to run lousy. Besides, he's a speed horse in a Derby filled with other and better speed horses. NO SHOT! [DRF]
It sounds like he doesn’t care much for him.

His trainer Bobby Frankel is a Sheets guy, and I’d read where he said that High Limit paired up with 4.5’s in his last two and is thus poised to move forward. (By comparison, reader Marc from NYC informs me that Afleet Alex earned a 2, Bandini a 0, and Bellamy Road a –0.75 in their last races [remember, the lower the better]. Thus, according to the Sheets, Bellamy Road was only slightly faster than Bandini. I don’t know nearly enough about this to really comment or criticize, but I’ll say that I find that surprising.)

At one time, High Limit was the Bellamy Road of this race, a lightly raced horse with impressive credentials against lesser. The Blue Grass was the first time that he was behind horses, and while he did show an ability to sit behind the leader, the result was decidedly mixed, and he doesn’t figure to have the lead Saturday either. However, the horse gained much needed experience and, if his appearance this week is any indication, may have benefited from the exercise and perhaps will indeed move forward.

High Limit is by Maria’s Mon, the sire of Derby winner Monarchos (have I mentioned that I had him?), and he's from that Raise a Native line through Derby winner Majestic Prince; so we know the stamina is there on the sire side. His breeding on his distaff side is rather unorthodox and sends mixed signals. This is the family of sprinting millionairess Gold Mover. His dam, Known Romance (Known Fact), is inbred to sprint champion Intentionally, through Tentam and speed influence In Reality. She’s also closely inbred to the influential producer Tamerett, dam of Secrettame, the dam of influential sire Gone West. She also brings Derby winners Northern Dancer and Tim Tam to the mix, as well as a full sister to Bold Forbes, a horse whose speed was stretched to its limit. One gets the feeling that Frankel is trying to do the same with High Limit.

- Word comes now that Frankel is considering changing riders at this late date; he read a quote by Ramon Dominguez in which the rider said, "He (High Limit) probably doesn't have enough experience to compete at the highest level yet." [Bloodhorse]