02/03/2005 12:00AM

High Fly gets two-turn test in Holy Bull

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EQUI-PHOTOS
High Fly was impressive winning the Aventura, but that was at one turn.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - High Fly has won all three of his starts by a combined 21 1/4 lengths, including a nine-length romp in last month's Aventura Stakes. But now, in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, he faces the question eventually asked of all 3-year-olds with aspirations - can he handle two turns?

"This is a really big question mark," acknowledged his trainer, Bill White, who is based at nearby Calder Race Course. "His three races were all around one turn, even though the distances were all progressively farther. He's bred to get the distance, but he's being asked to do something he's never done. This is his next challenge."

, a son of Atticus, landed the outside post in a field of eight going 1 1/8 miles, one lap around Gulfstream's main track. The post is not ideal, but High Fly has enough speed to secure a decent position heading into the first turn. His regular rider, Eddie Castro, has won with just eight of 120 mounts at this meet, entering Thursday's card.

White, one of Calder's top trainers, has tweaked his training schedule for High Fly only slightly for this test.

"You don't do too much differently when you're trying two turns, except for the major breezes, when you stretch them out a little bit," he said.

When High Fly had his final workout for the Holy Bull on Sunday at Calder, he started at the five-furlong pole and continued out to the seven-furlong pole, so he had to go at least partway around a second turn.

"I had him work all the way around the one turn and into the next turn on the gallop out," White said. "That's the only way to simulate that scenario."

High Fly did not make his debut until Oct. 9 at Calder, but the word was out. At odds of 3-2, he beat maidens by more than nine lengths. Six weeks later, High Fly won a Calder allowance race. Then came the Aventura, in which he got a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 100.

On figs, no one else can get within hailing distance of High Fly. The only hope of those trying to upset High Fly is that High Fly regresses, and their horse significantly improves.

was a distant second in the Aventura after getting off to a slow start.

has won his last two starts, at Aqueduct and Gulfstream, both in sprints, but the son of Maria's Mon performs like a horse who will appreciate two turns.

was second in the Delta Jackpot to California invader Texcess on Dec. 4. He has contending speed and should be close throughout.

Kansas City Boy was a close third in Fair Grounds's Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 15. That was his first start since a maiden victory at Churchill Downs. He appears to be improving.

G P's Black Knight, who made his first seven starts for trainer Danny Hurtak, is now trained by Nick Zito after owner Robert LaPenta bought into the colt. He finished second in Calder's What a Pleasure Stakes, but his best Beyer is only 76. He is taking blinkers off.

Criminal Mind was second in a highly rated first-level allowance race on Jan. 15 won by Harlington, who is awaiting next week's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.