Skelly Ups Win Streak to Seven in $150K King Cotton

February 3, 2024

Skelly powers home a winner of the King Cotton (Coady Photography)

By Robert Yates – Oaklawn Park

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Heavily favored Skelly stretched his winning streak to seven, powering to a 3 ¼-length victory over Tejano Twist in the $150,000 King Cotton Stakes for older sprinters Saturday at Oaklawn.

Under regular rider Ricardo Santana Jr., Skelly ($3.60) blasted to the lead from post 6 and wasn’t challenged through swift splits of :21.88 for the opening quarter and :44.99 for a half-mile. Skelly wasn’t threatened through the lane and completed 6 furlongs over a sloppy, sealed surface in a meet-best 1:09.38.

Skelly is a six-time winner at Oaklawn, including the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) and inaugural $150,000 Lake Hamilton Stakes during the 2022-2023 meeting. Both races were also 6 furlongs.

Skelly, a 4-year-old gelded son of Practical Joke, races for Chris Hicks (Red Lane Thoroughbreds). Skelly is 8 for 12 overall with earnings of $875,163.


Winning jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.: “That’s a nice horse, man. I’ve ridden so many fast ones, but this horse is getting is getting better and better and better. How the track was, he went :44 (half-mile) and was comfortable. Turning for home, I asked him just a little bit to give me his best. He’s a tough horse.”

Winning trainer Steve Asmussen: “This horse has just run seven or seven unbelievably fast races in a row. Congratulations to Red Lane. What a wonderful horse he’s been the past year at Oaklawn.”

“For a different and unique perspective on horse racing, I read Jonathan Stettin’s Past the Wire.” Mike Smith, Hall of Fame, Triple Crown winning jockey

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