First Graded victory for Skims
Andrew Rosen's homebred Frankel filly Skims posted her first Graded victory on Saturday in the Gr.2 Sands Point Stakes at Aqueduct.
Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 16th October 2022:
Skims took over on the turn under Hall of Famer John Velazquez and kept finding from there to turn the tables on Vergara - who beat her by a head last time in the Dueling Grounds Oaks - while giving her superstar sire yet another graded winner.
Victorious in her first two turf routes, the Andrew Rosen homebred was subsequently third in the Gr.2 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland in April and again in Belmont's Gr.2 Wonder Again Stakes over yielding sod in June. Fifth in the Gr.3 Lake George Stakes at the Spa in July, she disappointed as the favourite when seventh in that venue's restricted Riskaverse Stakes on 25th August, but bounced back last time to be second when stretched to one mile two and a half furlongs at Kentucky Downs.
Away well from the rail, Skims tugged her way forward to sit just behind the leading duo and outside of familiar foe Vergara. She continued to apply pressure to the top two after an easy
half and took over midway on the bend as frontrunner Hail To dropped anchor and backed up into Vergara. Skims was a couple lengths clear as she pointed for home and she comfortably fended off Vergara from there. Favoured Pizza Bianca, last year's Gr.1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine, could only manage fourth from the back of the pack.
"She had really trained well since her last race," said winning Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey, who was celebrating his second Sands Point win. "We were kind of in between this one and the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. Andrew [Rosen] thought this race might be the right spot and when he said that I felt the same way. We figured it could come up a little more to our liking and all she had to do was ship down the road."
He added; "I said from the inside, I thought if [Velazquez] broke well, then maybe he would be on the lead. He felt those two horses would go and he said he just wanted to reverse from what beat her at Kentucky Downs. He said he held her in there and then when he went, he said he had a lot of horse."
McGaughey said the Gr.1 American Oaks at Santa Anita could be a next target for Skims.
"It's amazing. It's good to have a plan and have it come together and work out the way it did," said Rosen, the retail and fashion executive best known for founding fashion label Theory. Frankel has really taken over, I think, as the best sire in the world. I was wondering when my Frankel was finally going to win a stakes and it's exciting that it was today and I could be here."