05/01/2003 11:00PM

Derby runner profile: Supah Blitz


STRENGTHS: With 15 career starts, Supah Blitz is the most seasoned of the Derby entrants. He's also been fairly reliable throughout his career with 12 in-the-money finishes.

The Derby distance should be no problem for a son of Mecke, who won several stakes at 1 1/4 miles, including the Arlington Million and Super Derby. Mecke finished fifth in the 1995 Derby.

WEAKNESSES: He doesn't seem to possess the class required to win the Derby. His only stakes victory came at the expense of Florida-breds as a 2-year-old, and he has fallen well short in each of his attempts against graded stakes company at 3, including a 12 3/4-length loss to Empire Maker in the Florida Derby. His smallest margin of defeat in a graded stakes was a two-length loss in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby on turf.

His career best Beyer Speed Figure of 97 is well short of the contending standard. Another negative is his tendency to settle for minor awards. He has seven second-place finishes, compared to just three wins.

Rosemary Homeister Jr., who rides in south Florida year-round, is riding in her first Derby and has limited experience riding in races of this magnitude.

STRATEGY: He's one of many late runners in the field, so his ability to clunk up for a piece will depend on the kind of trip he gets. He's most effective rallying from far off the pace.

VALUE: He'll likely be one of the longest shots on the board, well over 50-1. Possibly worth a spot at the bottom of superfectas if going deep, but others look more likely for a top-three finish.


SIRE LINE: Supah Blitz is from the third crop of the durable Mecke, a stakes winner every year he raced from ages 2-5. Mecke, a full brother to champion Beautiful Pleasure, won stakes on dirt but was even more accomplished on turf, which is not surprising since his grandsire was 1975 Derby winner, Foolish Pleasure, who was a superb grass sire. The sire line includes What a Pleasure and a Preakness winner, Bold Ruler, who finished fourth in the 1957 Derby.

FEMALE FAMILY: Boots 'n Jackie is the classiest name in this female family over the past five generations. Boots 'n Jackie was a stakes winner who finished third in the 1992 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies behind champion Eliza and Educated Risk.

PEDIGREE PATTERN: Mecke is quite capable of siring runners who can get 1 1/4 miles, and broodmare sire is a grandson of Sham. Supah Blitz gets more stamina from his second dam's sire, Cherokee Fellow. Another colt who may find a future home on turf.

- Pedigree profile by Lauren Stich