05/03/2005 11:00PM

Alysheba: Good spot for Limehouse


The last time Limehouse raced at Churchill Downs, he finished fourth as a 41-1 outsider in the 2004 Kentucky Derby. One year later, Limehouse returns to the Twin Spires, where he will be a much shorter price and the one to beat in the $100,000 Alysheba Handicap.

finished fourth behind Smarty Jones in last year's Derby and made only one more start during his 3-year-old campaign. He has made four starts since returning to action last winter at Gulfstream Park, finishing second to Badge of Silver in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap, second behind Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Saratoga County in the Grade 2 Mr. Prospector, and fourth in the Sunshine Millions Classic. His only poor effort came after a slow start in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap.

"He lunged at the start in Arkansas, dropped back to last in a paceless race, and it was over for him at that point," Pletcher said regarding Limehouse's fifth-place finish in the Oaklawn Handicap.

Limehouse will be seeking his first victory since winning the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby 14 months earlier.

"He's run well a couple of times this year," said Pletcher, "and he's always been successful at Churchill Downs. I feel like this is a track and a race in which he can finally get back in winning form."

Limehouse's chief opposition in the 1 1/16-mile Alysheba should come from Skipaslew, Seek Gold, or Discreet Hero.

ships in from California for trainer Doug O'Neill off a half-length triumph in Santa Anita's Santana Mile Handicap. Like Limehouse, his most important win came at 3, in the Grade 3 Golden Gate Derby.

gets some class relief after facing stronger in the Grade 1 Donn and Grade 2 Gulfstream Park handicaps earlier this season. His best performance came last fall in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs when he overcame a slow start to finish second to Saint Liam.

Discreet Hero is the main speed of the field and could be dangerous if allowed to relax on the lead.