A solid $40,000 turf allowance on Wednesday at Remington Park featured many stakes runners getting an out before their next big-money attempt. Skip A Smile, a multiple stakes winner here a year ago, used the race as a possible tune-up for the Remington Green later this month. The effort resulted in a rousing victory after moving through traffic in the stretch.
Owned by Rose Mary Chandler of Cibolo, Texas and trained by Steve Asmussen, Skip A Smile was ridden by Jamie Theriot. The 5-year-old gelding stayed near the back of the seven-horse field for much of the one mile over the firm sod. In the final turn, Theriot had Skip A Smile on the move just off the rail.
At the top of the stretch, they encountered traffic with four runners ahead of them presenting a challenge. However, Theriot was able to guide Skip A Smile between runners and then down to opening at the rail, before sailing away to a 2 ¾-length score. Pace-setting Humble Smarty dug in for a hard-fought second with Lion Hall third.
Skip A Smile covered the mile in 1:35.04 and was 2-1 in the wagering. He paid $6 to win, $4 to place and $2.60 to show. Humble Smarty returned $10 to place and $5 to show. Lion Hall paid $3.80 to show. Beachcombing was the beaten 9-5 wagering favorite, finishing fourth.
A Texas-bred gelding by 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away from the Strawberry Road (Aus) mare Strawberry Smile, Skip A Smile won his eighth career race from 22 attempts. The Wednesday allowance triumph was his fourth Remington Park victory and was worth $23,898 to push his lifetime win to $372,249.
Skip A Smile could be seen next here in the $125,000 Remington Green Stakes on Sept. 30. He finished second in the race last year after winning both the Governor’s Cup and the DeBartolo Memorial. Skip A Smile rebounded Wednesday after a disappointing sixth when trying to defend his DeBartolo Memorial title in late August.