Skims Awarded Career High 92 BSF in Sands Point

October 17, 2022

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Andrew Rosen’s British homebred Skims earned a breakthrough victory in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point at Belmont at the Big A, turning the tables on Vergara to capture the nine-furlong test for sophomore fillies by one length.

Skims received a forwardly placed ride by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who piloted the Frankel filly for the first time for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. Third and in between horses into the first turn, Skims tracked one length off a leisurely pace set by Hail To with Lady Baffled just to her outside in second. As the frontrunners gave way around the far turn, Skims all alone on the lead and she maintained her position through the stretch drive to register her first graded stakes triumph. The victory garnered a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure. 

Skims reversed the exacta from the Dueling Grounds Oaks on September 5 at Kentucky Downs, where she battled down the stretch with Vergara to her inside and gained command for a few strides but finished second only a head shy of victory. Prior to that she was twice unplaced at Saratoga stakes level. 

“She had been improving. She didn’t run well at Saratoga, maybe she didn’t like the smaller track,” McGaughey said. “Yesterday, she ran great. She had trained well from her race at Kentucky Downs and Johnny gave her a tremendous ride. We were pleased to win it. 

“It was a tough loss, but I don’t look at it as redemption by any means,” added McGaughey, referencing her race at Kentucky Downs. “I just thought Johnny did a good job of keeping her at a switch. When it was time to go, she was there and when she was there, it was over.” 

Following the Sands Point, McGaughey mentioned the Grade 1, $300,000 American Oaks on December 26 at Santa Anita as a “distinct possibility” for his newly crowned graded stakes winner, citing the 10-furlong distance as an appealing factor. 

“It’s something we’ll think about,” McGaughey said. “She wants a distance of ground and I think it would be something I wouldn’t be opposed to if she’s doing well. We’ll have to wait and see.”

McGaughey also had multiple horses breeze over the Belmont Park inner turf course on Sunday, including Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf aspirant Pleasant Passage. The Emory A. Hamilton homebred daughter of More Than Ready went a half-mile in 49.32 seconds in her first breeze since a wire-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo on October 1 over yielding Aqueduct inner turf. 

McGaughey said he also plans on pre-entering Battle of Normandy for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, also run on November 4 at Keeneland. 

The son of freshman stallion City of Light, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing, was a last out seventh in the Grade 2 Pilgrim on October 2 at Belmont at the Big A following a runner-up effort in Saratoga’s Grade 3 With Anticipation one month earlier. 

Battle of Normandy worked a half-mile in 49.80 Sunday over the inner turf. 

“Not sure if he’ll get in or not, but he had a good work this morning,” McGaughey said. 

NYRA Press Office

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