SKIP A SMILE PREVAILS IN DUEL OF TEXAS
CHAMPIONS IN THE $50,000 JERSEY VILLAGE STAKES
AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK
Turf Stakes Featured the 2011 and 2012 Texas Thoroughbred Association Horses of the Year
Jersey Village is a residential community located a few miles west of Sam Houston Race Park. It is recognized as a safe, comfortable community ideal for families. In tonight’s feature at Sam Houston Race Park, the $50,000 Jersey Village Stakes,it was Skip a Smile who returned to the comfort of the Connally Turf course, notching his second stakes of the meet.
Skip a Smile was honored as 2011 Texas Thoroughbred Association Horse of the Year for his owner and breeder, Rose Mary Chandler. The 6-year-old son of Skip Away has won his last two turf stakes, the $50,000 Texas Hall of Fame at Retama Park and the $50,000 Richard King on January 19 at Sam Houston Race Park. He is trained by Steve Asmussenand was ridden by Glen Murphy, who found an opening on the rail and guided the dark bay gelding to a one-length victory over a determined Doctor Romane.
“He’s a very special horse,” said Asmussen, by telephone following the stakes. “Turf is his best surface and Glen handled the rail post well. He had plenty of horse left.”
Murphy, the leading rider of the 2012 Sam Houston Thoroughbred meet, concurred.
“I had a lot of horse under me,” said Murphy. “When he saw daylight, he went for it. He always knows his way to the wire.”
Doctor Romane, who was fourth in the Richard King for trainer Jerimiah West, was a game runner-up at odds of 27-1.
“He relaxed beautifully and ran his tail off,” said jockey Jeremy Collier of the 4-year-old colt. “He’s getting better with every race.”
Coyote Legend, the 2012 Texas Thoroughbred Association Horse of the Year, returned to the turf for the first time since finishing second to Skip a Smile in November, 2011 at Remington Park. Trained by Bret Calhoun and bred by his owner Clarence Scharbaurer, Jr., the 6-year-old son of Gold Legend captured the $100,000 Star of Texas on the main track last month at Sam Houston. He was mounting a bid at the top of the stretch under rider Roman Chapa, who was cut off and lodged a claim of foul against the winner.
After a steward’s review, the order of finished was not altered.
Chandler and her husband, Wendell, were on hand to accept the trophy as their horse captured his 11th career win and seventh on the turf.
“We are so proud of him; he is an awesome individual,” said Chandler.
Chandler gives high praise for Skip a Smile’s dam, Strawberry Smile, who has produced six foals to date.
“She is the sweetest horse; she licks everybody and loves her carrots,” said Chandler.
Skip a Smile was sent off as the heavy favorite in the eight-horse field and returned $3.40 for the win. Fly the Red Eye ran a game third for his owner Colleen Davidson, followed by Quiet Acceleration, Sarah’s Chief, Coyote Legend, Spiderman Ridgeand Patty’s Pride.
Asmussen indicated that Skip a Smile would likely make his next start at Lone Star Park.