July 22, 2024

Skippylongstocking earns first stakes win in West Virginia Derby

Skippylongstocking wins the West Virginia Derby (Photo by Coady Photography)

Skippylongstocking notched his first career stakes win in Saturday’s $500,000 West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountaineer, the Exaggerator colt’s 12th career start.

Third in the Belmont S. (G1) in June after pressing front runner We the People into submission, Skippylongstocking employed the same tactics on Saturday against We the People, who started as the 9-5 favorite in the field of seven three-year-olds.

Hooking We the People on the far turn after that rival set fractions of :24.03, :47.80, and 1:11.50 over the sloppy going, Skippylongstocking took a short lead turning for home and extended the advantage to 1 1/2 lengths at the finish under Edwin Gonzalez. The final time for nine furlongs was 1:48.11.

Owned by Daniel Alonso and trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., Skippylongstocking paid $9.80 as the fourth choice. We the People was a clear second over Simplification, who finished third by more than eight lengths over Home Brew. King Ottoman, Courvoisier, and Jr’s Gift rounded out the order of finish.

Skippylongstocking now boasts a record of 12-3-1-3, $672,600, with half of his starts coming in stakes company. Unplaced in his first two black-type attempts, he’s fared better in recent months. Third to Mo Donegal and Early Voting in the Wood Memorial (G2) in April, he next finished fifth to Early Voting in the Preakness (G1) prior to his aforementioned third to Mo Donegal in the Belmont.

Bred in Kentucky by Brushy Hill and a $37,000 OBS juvenile purchase last season, Skippylongstocking was produced by the War Chant mare Twinkling, who has also reared the stakes-winning Moonlite Strike.

Fulsome capped a three-stakes win day at Mountaineer for trainer Brad Cox by taking the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s S. (G3) by 1 1/4 lengths over Derby House as the 7-10 favorite. Ridden by Paco Lopez, Fulsome completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.48 and paid $3.40 in a field of eight older horses.

This was the fourth career Grade 3 win for the Juddmonte Farms homebred by Into Mischief. Fulsome captured the Matt Winn (G3) and Smarty Jones (G3) last season, and this past April won the Oaklawn Mile (G3).