Skippylongstocking: From Underdog to Triple Crown Placed
Skippylongstocking, a once overlooked colt, has defied all odds and emerged as a Triple Crown-placed horse. With an impressive performance at the 154th Belmont Stakes, Skippylongstocking showcased his determination and talent. Despite starting his career with a less impressive record, he has steadily improved and now stands as a formidable contender in the world of horse racing.
A Rocky Start and Steady Improvement
Skippylongstocking initially struggled, opening his career with a disappointing 1-for-7 record. His Equibase Speed Figure ratings failed to impress, with a mere 88 at best. As he entered the 154th Belmont Stakes, he was considered one of the long shots alongside Golden Glider, boasting odds of 11.80/1. However, Skippylongstocking proved that he should not be underestimated.
With determination fueling his strides, Skippylongstocking showcased improvement throughout his racing career. Despite being the most experienced horse in the Belmont, having participated in 10 races, his third-place finish at the prestigious event marked only his sixth in-the-money performance. This upswing in performance can be attributed to his victory in an early March allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park. Skippylongstocking’s triumph, where he won by nearly four lengths, earned him a career-best 102 Equibase Speed Figure.
Continuing his upward trajectory, Skippylongstocking clinched a remarkable third place in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial, competing against formidable opponents like Mo Donegal and Early Voting. This achievement was followed by a respectable fifth-place finish in the challenging Preakness Stakes.
A Noteworthy Belmont Stakes Performance
The Belmont Stakes served as a defining moment for Skippylongstocking and further solidified his reputation as a strong competitor. As the race unfolded, Skippylongstocking found himself just a head behind the leader, We the People, with only one furlong to go. However, he faced some challenges in the stretch and slipped to fourth position. Undeterred, Skippylongstocking rallied and ultimately secured a commendable third-place finish. Jockey Manny Franco expertly guided him, crossing the finish line 6 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Mo Donegal.
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. expressed his delight and admiration for Skippylongstocking’s performance, praising both the horse and jockey. While there may have been a fleeting moment of hope for victory, the overall sentiment was one of joy and satisfaction with how Skippylongstocking displayed his racing prowess.
Next Steps: Aiming for Stakes Success
Looking ahead, trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. plans to strategically manage Skippylongstocking’s racing career. Recognizing the colt’s resilience and consistent improvement, Joseph intends to ease the competition level for his charge. Two potential races have been identified as ideal stepping stones: the July 29 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga and the August 6 Grade 3 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park.
The primary objective is to secure a stakes victory for Skippylongstocking. Despite his accomplishments, he has yet to claim a stakes title. Trainer Joseph envisions the Curlin Stakes or the West Virginia Derby as realistic opportunities to achieve this milestone. As the team weighs their options, they will consider the best approach to position Skippylongstocking for success.
A Remarkable Investment
Skippylongstocking’s journey is not only marked by his racing achievements but also by his valuable contribution to the financial success of his owner, Daniel Alonso. Acquired for a modest $37,000 at the 2021 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, Skippylongstocking has proven to be an excellent investment. With his impressive third-place finish at the Belmont Stakes, he has amassed career earnings of $364,600, solidifying his status as a money-making asset.
In the ever-competitive world of horse racing, Skippylongstocking has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. Overcoming a rocky start, he has displayed steady improvement, culminating in an impressive third-place finish at the Belmont Stakes. Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. recognizes Skippylongstocking’s potential and plans to navigate his racing career strategically. With a focus on securing a stakes victory, the future looks bright for this tenacious colt.
1. Is Skippylongstocking a Triple Crown winner?
No, Skippylongstocking is not a Triple Crown winner. However, he achieved a commendable third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, earning him the prestigious title of being a Triple Crown-placed colt.
2. How much did Skippylongstocking cost?
Skippylongstocking was purchased for $37,000 at the 2021 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. Despite his modest price tag, he has proven to be a valuable investment, accumulating substantial career earnings.
3. What are Skippylongstocking’s future racing plans?
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. intends to adjust Skippylongstocking’s competition level in order to increase his chances of securing a stakes victory. The Curlin Stakes at Saratoga and the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park are being considered as potential races to target.
4. How has Skippylongstocking improved throughout his career?
Skippylongstocking started his career with a 1-for-7 record, but he has steadily improved over time. Notably, he won an early March allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park, showcasing significant improvement in his Equibase Speed Figure rating. Subsequently, he achieved a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial and a respectable fifth-place finish in the Preakness Stakes.
5. Who is Skippylongstocking’s trainer?
Skippylongstocking is trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., who has shown great expertise in bringing out the best in the colt. Joseph has carefully guided Skippylongstocking’s racing career, recognizing his potential and making strategic decisions to enhance his performance.