High Mo­ment Finds the Light

The Washington Post Sunday - - Wizards Insider - By John Schein­man

With all the at­ten­tion be­ing paid to the re­gally bred 4- year- old who ran well last year against some of the best fil­lies in France, trainer Rod­ney Jenk­ins’s High Mo­ment slipped through the cracks yes­ter­day in the $ 60,000 Dahlia turf stakes at Lau­rel Park.

Mak­ing her first start of the year af­ter two promis­ing grass runs last year as a 3- year- old, High Mo­ment was keyed up and ready to go, fir­ing right to the front un­der jockey Erick Ro­driguez and never look­ing back. The French im­port, Grig­orieva, surged at the fin­ish for jockey Mario Pino, but High Mo­ment held on to win by three- quar­ters of a length, run­ning the mile in a sharp 1 minute 36.14 sec­onds.

When the prices flashed on the tote screen, High Mo­ment had paid $ 36.60 for a $ 2 bet.

“ I saw Mario’s horse break a lit­tle slow, so I said, ‘ Let me try to get the lead,’ ” Ro­driguez said af­ter the race. “ I felt [ Grig­orieva] com­ing, but I still had a lot of horse. I said: ‘ I don’t care. I got it.’ ”

Jenk­ins ap­peared de­lighted in the win­ner’s cir­cle be­cause he didn’t be­lieve High Mo­ment was more than 80 per­cent fit for the race. He ran in the Dahlia to get the filly a race on her home grounds be­fore rac­ing shifts to Pim­lico.

“ I hate to take her away from her sur­round­ings,” Jenk­ins said. “ She was aw­ful sharp and if I shipped her, I was wor­ried she’d kick the van down. When she gal­loped yes­ter­day, she bucked the whole way around. I had to get a pony to go with her.”

High Mo­ment fin­ished sec­ond in a grass race last year at Delaware Park and then ran a close- up sev­enth in the $ 200,000 Vir­ginia Oaks at Colo­nial Downs. Both times she had rated off the pace. When asked about a change in tac­tics for the Dahlia, Jenk­ins laughed.

“ That was more Erick’s de­ci­sion,” Jenk­ins said. “ I think it was a good de­ci­sion now.”

Jenk­ins hopes to put High Mo­ment in the spot­light; her next start will come in the Grade III $ 100,000 Gal­lorette Hand­i­cap on May 19 on the Preak­ness Stakes un­der­card.

Rac­ing Notes: De­spite his filly, Roy­alty, veer­ing in sharply and nearly smash­ing into the rail, jockey Ho­ra­cio Kara­manos held her to­gether in the stretch to win the sev­enth race on the turf and record the 1,000th win of his North Amer­i­can ca­reer. Kara­manos, 33, won nearly 1,500 races in Ar­gentina be­fore mov­ing to South Florida in 2001. He also won the sixth race on Mary­land’s Spe­cial.

“ This is spe­cial and it means so much to me to win it here at Lau­rel,” Kara­manos said. “ I wish my wife and daugh­ter were here to take the pic­ture with me, but they are in Ar­gentina this week.” . . . To­day is the fi­nal day of rac­ing at Lau­rel Park. Pim­lico opens for its spring meet on Thurs­day. . . . Win­ning Point, un­de­feated in three starts at Lau­rel Park, went to Aqueduct and fin­ished sec­ond for trainer Ed­die Gaudet and jockey Luis Gar­cia in the Grade I $ 150,000 Comely for 3- year- old fil­lies. Boca Grande won the race.

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