4-Year-Old Mare Sprints to Second Straight Stakes Victory
BALTIMORE, Md. – R. Larry Johnson’s Maryland homebred Never Enough Time shook off the pressure of Liza Star early and got to the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of a trio of late challengers in Saturday’s $100,000 Skipat at Pimlico Race Course.
The 27th running of the six-furlong Skipat for fillies and mares 3 and up, named for the Barbara Fritchie (G3) winner of 1979 and 1981 among her 26 lifetime victories, was third on a 12-race, all-stakes Preakness Day program featuring the $1 million Preakness (G1) and $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2).
Never Enough Time ($7), fifth in the Miss Preakness (G3) on last year’s Preakness undercard, earned her second consecutive stakes victory following the Sept. 5 Alma North at Laurel Park. Trainer Mike Trombetta previously won the Skipat in 2004 with Love You Madly.
“I knew we were going to have the speed on the inside. I told Julian, ‘Assuming she breaks well, if anyone tries to take the lead from you, make them earn it. I think the rail’s really going to help her.’ She’s got some natural speed. It takes her a step to get going, but once she got on her way, the advantage shifted in favor,” Trombetta expressed.
Jockey Julian Pimentel and Never Enough Time outhustled Florent Geroux and Liza Star to the front, leading through fractions of 23.46, 46.03 and 57.87 seconds. Liza Star dropped back as the field hit the top of the stretch, leaving Never Enough Time with enough of a cushion to get to the wire as eight-time stakes winner Bronx Beauty, Bye Bye J and S W Briar Rose came running late.
Pimentel said, “She’s really nice. She does everything you ask her. She’s pretty forward. She came out of there running and she’s just about business. We got the rail and we had to take advantage of that. I didn’t get a whole lot of pressure on the turn so I was able to give her a little breather. When I asked her to run, she gave it to me.”
Bronx Beauty, a narrow favorite at 2-1, was second, followed by Bye Bye J, S W Briar Rose, Liza Star and Last True Love. Chalon, the defending champion and program favorite, was scratched.
“We had a good trip. The first quarter went very easy. Then I put a little pressure on her and she ran very well. That winning filly was tough to beat,” Bronx Beauty jockey Paco Lopez stated.
Never Enough Time, a 4-year-old daughter of graded-stakes winning sprinter Munnings, now owns five wins from nine career starts and is three-for-five this year.
Bred in Connecticut, Skipat won 26 of 45 career races and over six years, earning $614,215 between 1977 and 1981. Two of her wins came in the Barbara Fritchie (G3), in 1979 and 1981, the latter coming the year after she had been retired and bred and brought back to the races.
Photo: Never Enough Time. Credit: Maryland Jockey Club