05/14/2010 11:00PM

Thiskyhasnolimit returns in sharp form

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Thiskyhasnolimit Wins the Matt Winn while making his first start since last November.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Like most trainers, Steve Asmussen has a superior record with active runners than with those returning from long layoffs. More often than not, his comebackers are far more likely to be ready for a peak performance second time off the bench.

All of which makes the winning performance of Thiskyhasnolimit in Saturday's at Churchill Downs noteworthy, particularly with regard to what could lie ahead.

Thiskyhasnolimit, unraced since finishing sixth behind Super Saver in the Nov. 28 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, never looked like a short horse in the Matt Win. Under confident handling from Shaun Bridgmohan, he rated in fourth, roughly six lengths off lively fractions of 22.46 seconds and 45.12 in the seven furlong-race, and outkicked favored Cool Bullet through the lane to win by three-quarters of a length.

Thiskyhasnolimit, whose last victory came in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Nov. 1, raced seven furlongs in 1:22.29, surpassing the winning Capt. Candyman Can's time of 1:22.89 in the only prior Matt Winn contested at seven furlongs.

Assistant trainer Scott Blasi, grinning broadly after the race, noted Thiskyhasnolimit wasn't anywhere near short off the layoff, not "when they work in 1:11 and one," referring to a bullet work the horse turned in at Churchill Downs on May 4.

He said future racing plans for the colt are undetermined, though he guessed the focus would likely be on races at a mile or less. "He should definitely improve," he said.

The winner, a 3-year-old son of Sky Mesa owned by Mark Wagner and Cathy and Bob Zollars, recorded his third win from seven starts in taking the Matt Winn. He paid $5.80 as the second betting choice in the field of six.

Hansel and Sugar Bowl Stakes winner Cool Bullet, the favorite at 6-5, ran well in defeat, rallying to take a brief midstretch lead after staking the pace, but proved unable to match strides with the winner in the final furlong.

Privilaged, who set a contested pace under pressure from Southern Danger, held third, 6 1/2 lengths behind Cool Bullet.