05/20/2005 12:00AM

Master of Disaster on rise

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Hoofprints, Inc.
Master of Disaster earned a 96 Beyer in his debut, the top figure for a 2-year-old this year.

Afleet Alex, High Limit, and Bellamy Road all won their maidens at Delaware Park last season and went on to run in at least one of the first two legs of this season's Triple Crown.

Could the 2-year-old Master of Disaster follow in their footsteps?

Master of Disaster, a son of Master Dancer trained by Steve Klesaris, won his career debut on May 10 by 13 1/4 lengths. He equaled the track record for 4 1/2 furlongs by covering the distance in 51.86 seconds over a track that was fast but dull.

Master of Disaster earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure - the fastest by any 2-year-old in the country so far this year. The next-best Beyer is an 89 recorded by Hounddogman at Pimlico on April 22.

Master of Disaster is the first foal produced by the broodmare More D'Amour, by Tour D'Or. He was purchased for $12,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales October sale in 2003, resold for $63,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July sale in 2004, and sold again for $600,000 at the OBS February sale in 2005.

"From the very first day we had him, he showed all the signs of a quality animal with everything he has done," Klesaris said. "We are real excited about having him in the barn. He shows all the signs and he has the tools and mechanics of a good horse. He has got what it takes."

Klesaris is considering taking Master of Disaster directly into the stakes ranks, pointing either to the Flash Stakes at Belmont Park on June 10 or the Victoria Stakes at Woodbine on June 19.

Although Master of Disaster's sire, Dance Master, never won beyond six furlongs in a career highlighted by a victory in the Grade 2 Bashford Manor Stakes at 2 in 1999, Klesaris said he believes Master of Disaster has the characteristics to handle longer distances later in his career.

"He has a good head and he has a good disposition," Klesaris said. "These are the type of horses that will run farther. They are also the type of horses that will run beyond their pedigree. Dance Master's biggest claim to fame was winning a Grade 2 sprint. But Dance Master himself was a son of Gone West out of a Nijinsky mare, so his bloodlines suggest he will go farther.

"On his mother's side, the bloodline suggests he will go farther with the Tour D'Or," he added. "Forget about what Dance Master did, he was bred to run farther. Master of Disaster has the pedigree to go farther, especially with his disposition and his scope. I do not foresee distance being a big problem for him down the road."

Key race from October still relevant

In addition to producing a Derby and Preakness starter, High Limit's career debut at Delaware last October became a key race for handicappers.

High Limit, along with the horses who finished second and third, Pointsman and Golden Rainbow, and sixth-place finisher Quiet Money all came back to win their next start.

Last Sunday, the fourth-place finisher from that Oct. 4 key race finally returned - and he won.

Quadrant, beaten 15 lengths by High Limit last fall, returned from a 7 1/2-month layoff and romped by 10 lengths, earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure and paying a generous $15.

A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred trained by Michael Matz, Quadrant spent the winter in Florida recuperating from an injury.

"When we go down to Florida our main objective is to have our horses ready to run when they come up north," Matz said. "We will probably try to find him a mile race within his allowance condition. After that, if he runs well there, we can go on to bigger and better things."

Unfortunately for followers of the key race method, Quadrant was the end of the line. The remaining three horses from High Limit's maiden win have already run back, and two of them - Majestic Indian and Mister Goyo - remain maidens after 14 more starts between them.