Taking the old adage to heart, ‘with the Egg away the young colts will play’ Mark Casse’s favored entry of Dynamic Sky and Sky Commander turned the $100,000 Pasco Stakes into their own private playpen. When the unbeaten program favorite, Purple Egg, was scratched this morning, it was clear that the John C. Oxley owned coupling would be made a strong favorite, and sure enough, the pair was hammered down to 3-5. As it turned out, the only real drama at Tampa Bay Downs was which half of entry would get the win. That honor would go to the preferred part of the pair, Dynamic Sky, and in impressive fashion.
An Ontario-bred son of Sky Mesa, Dynamic Sky turned in what can only be described as a dynamic performance. Facing plenty of traffic for much of the early stages of the race, Dynamic Sky swung outside early in the stretch for clear sailing in the seven furlong sprint, before edging clear in deep stretch for a ¾ length score over stablemate Sky Commander. The other half of the entry had taken brief command of the race early in the lane.
Now a two-time stakes winner in just five lifetime starts, Dynamic Sky completed the seven furlongs in 1:22.79, just a fifth of a second off the stakes record, and more than a full second faster than the female counterpart run earlier in the card.
Piloted by Luis Contreras, the winner was ridden confidently from his inside post position. Despite being bottled up, the victorious jockey remarked he had few worries throughout. “When I swung out entering the stretch, he showed me a real run and he just kept on showing how good he is down the stretch,” said Contreras.
The Pasco victory was the second straight for Oxley, Casse and Contreras, who teamed up last year to win with Prospective. Hoping for a good omen, that colt came back to win the signature event at the track, the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, a few months later.
Casse tipped his hand as far as similar plans for Dynamic Sky, “I hope to see you guys a bunch.” Casse went on to compliment his horse’s performance, “The time was definitely respectable, because Luis had nowhere to go and had to take him back and go around horses nearing the stretch. That cost him a little momentum, but he was able to overcome it.”
Already tested in top flight competition with a good second place finish in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland and a sixth, but a respectable sixth, place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, Dynamic Sky collected his first win on a traditional dirt surface.
Now proven sprinting and around two-turns, as well as, on synthetics and dirt, It would seem that this is a colt that deserves to be on any serious list of Kentucky Derby contenders.
In other highlights from Skyway Festival Day at Tampa Bay Downs, race favorite, Vitameta, was a game winner of the Gasparilla Stakes, as she defeated 63-1 shot Cindys Casino by a neck, and Barbaro’s full brother, Margano, rolled to a 2 ¾ length victory in the fifth race turf allowance.