High Limit Favored in Blue Grass Stakes

High Limit Favored in Blue Grass Stakes
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Gary and Mary West's High Limit, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), was installed the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.

The 3-year-old son of Maria's Mon will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez for trainer Bobby Frankel as he seeks to remain undefeated while making his fourth career start Saturday.

A field of seven, including surprise entrant Spanish Chestnut, were entered in the Blue Grass.

Listed as the 2-1 second choice by track oddsmaker Mike Battaglia is Tracy Farmer's Sun King, who will be ridden by Edgar Prado for trainer Nick Zito as he seeks his third win in as many starts this year. The son of Charismatic rolled to victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) in his most recent outing.

"It's a really deep field and a tough field," said Zito. "Believe it or not, we'll need a lot of luck."

Sun King is one of five Derby hopefuls trained by Zito, who has won the Blue Grass a record-tying three times, including last year with The Cliff's Edge.

"I've tried all my life to get a horse in the Derby," said Farmer. "I haven't even done that yet. This would be the first time."

Consolidator, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, is the most experienced horse in the field. The son of Storm Cat will be making his 10th career start. He won the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita in his last start and prevailed in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland last October.

"If he runs like last time in California, he can win this race," said his jockey, Rafael Bejarano.

Bandini was second to another Kentucky Derby prospect, High Fly, in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park on March 5 in his last start. Bandini's sire is 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus  .

Bandini and Closing Argument, a 10-1 shot trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, originally were scheduled to run in the Florida Derby (gr. I) on April 2, but each had setbacks that left them being pointed toward the Blue Grass.

John Velazquez will ride Bandini and Cornelio Velasquez will ride Closing Argument.


The field for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, in post position order, with jockeys and morning line odds:

1 -- Mr Sword, Jerry Bailey, 30-1
2 -- Closing Argument, Cornelio Velasquez, 10-1
3 -- Spanish Chestnut, Gary Stevens, 15-1
4 -- Consolidator, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2
5 -- High Limit, Ramon Dominguez, 9-5
6 -- Sun King, Edgar Prado, 2-1
7 -- Bandini, John Velazquez, 4-1

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