06/01/2006 11:00PM

Sky High Flyer deserving pick


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - With his best horses stabled on the East and West coasts, you wouldn't think Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel would have much firepower left over for the Churchill Downs meet.

But several of the 20 or so horses that Frankel left behind here with assistant Chad Brown would be welcomed by any trainer, anywhere. One of those is a British import named Sky High Flyer, who figures to be the horse to beat when the feature race, a $58,000 turf allowance, is run Sunday at Churchill.

, a 4-year-old filly by the Danzig sire Anabaa, had an extended run of seconditis when campaigned as a 2- and 3-year-old in Ireland, and it appeared that she might have brought a hang-on-the-money tendency with her when she finished second in her North American debut on April 9 at Keeneland.

But it's important to note that Sky High Flyer was beaten only a head by Louve Royale in that Keeneland race - and, since then, Louve Royale ran second in a graded stakes and won another allowance race. Plus, Sky High Flyer has proven she can win, doing so May 10 in a first-level turf allowance here with Rafael Bejarano aboard.

Taking the logical step up to second-level conditions while retaining Bejarano, Sky High Flyer deserves the favorite's role in the ninth of 10 Sunday races, which will be run at 1 1/16 miles.

In all, 11 fillies and mares are in the field, although two - Cotopaxi and Coded Princess - were entered to run only on the main track. So if the race stays on turf, only as many as nine will start, and of those, appear to be the main threats to Sky High Flyer. Dynamist will run the third race of her form cycle after having performed creditably in her last two, while Walklikeanegyptian, a powerful winner at Tampa Bay Downs in January, has trained well toward a return to action in recent weeks.

The Sunday feature is the only allowance on the program, although two maiden special weights (races 6 and 10) and a starter-allowance mile (race 7) also are carded. First post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

Following Sunday, Churchill takes its usual two-day break before action resumes Wednesday. There are no stakes races here next weekend, but six stakes, highlighted by the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap, are on tap for the following Saturday, June 17.