Saturday, September 04, 2010
Rose Mary Chandler’s Skip A Smile closed off of a slow pace to win Saturday’s $40,000 Ruidoso Thoroughbred Derby at Ruidoso Downs.
Saddled by Todd Fincher and ridden by Isaias Enriquez, Skip A Smile rallied off of fractions of :26.15, :52.47 and 1:18.06 before reaching the wire in 1:48.55 for 1 1/16 miles. The Texas-bred gelding’s margin of victory was 8 ¼ lengths from runner-up Blue Memo, and the $24,000 winner’s share of the purse increased his earnings to $36,120.
Skip A Smile was bred by Chandler, a resident of Luling, Texas. The gelding is one of 269 winners from 373 starters sired by Skip Away, a son of the Bailjumper stallion Skip Trial and the 1998 Horse of the Year. A 10-time Grade 1 winner from 1996-98, Skip Away has sired the earners of more than $19.9 million from nine crops. He died of an apparent heart attack on May 14 at Hopewell Farm near Midway, Kentucky.
Skip A Smile is also one of two winners from three starters produced by the unraced 14-year-old Strawberry Road (AUS) mare Strawberry Smile. The gelding’s second dam, the winning Smile mare Peggy’s Smile, ran second in two Ohio-bred stakes at Thistledown and Beulah Park in 1993.
Skip A Smile’s third dam, Gallant Peggy, was a winning daughter of the Lt. Stevens mare Gallant Lt. who won four Ohio-bred stakes from 1986-87 and produced Peggy’s Beau, a stakes-winning gelding by Beau Genius.
Skip A Smile was making just his second career start. The gelding began his career on May 29 at Lone Star Park, winning a one-mile maiden special weight route by 6 ¾ lengths in 1:40.12.
Ocean Lad finished third, 8 ¾ lengths behind Skip A Smile, and was followed by 9-10 favorite Train Rider Blues and Go Barney Go.
Blue Memo banked $8,400 to push his earnings to $57,295 for his owners, Brad and Kim Bingham and Ken and Nancy Blewet. The California-bred gelding by Memo (CHI) was coming off of a nose victory in the 6-furlong, $40,000 Norgor Derby at Ruidoso on May 30.
A dark bay or brown gelding by Ocean Sound (IRE), Ocean Lad races for Rough Country LLC and K.W. Sharp. He has earned $13,830 from one win in nine outs, and he was coming off of a maiden $10,000 claiming victory at Ruidoso on July 23.