Skylander Girl, reunited with rider
Emile Ramsammy, turned the tables on rival Unspurned to capture
Saturday's $173,400 Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes, at Woodbine.
Owned and trained by Alexander Patykewich, Skylander Girl arrived
at the 6 1/2-furlong 'Poly' sprint from a narrow length loss to
Unspurned in the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes on April 18. Ramsammy, the
regular rider for the dark bay Stroll filly last season
at Woodbine, took over from Luis Contreras who had ridden Skylander
Girl through a trio of winter starts at Gulfstream Park.
Unspurned, with Alan Garcia up, demonstrated quick early foot from
the gate but was quickly overtaken by Skylander Girl who marked the
opening quarter in :22.85. Skylander Girl widened through the turn,
opening up by 4 1/2-lengths at the top of the lane
and coasted home a 3 1/2-length winner under light handling.
Miss Mischief rallied gamely to win a place battle over Unspurned. Skylander Girl covered 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:15.12.
Ramsammy noted his confident handling of Skylander Girl was due, in part, to the confidence placed in him by Patykewich.
"I must commend Alex. He let me ride his filly as the race comes
up," said Ramsammy. "We discussed that being on the lead might be the
best thing. We had a good post on the outside and I told Alex I was
going to come out racing and if we find ourselves
on the lead, I'll ride her on the lead. She really enjoys running up
front, that's her game."
Skylander Girl notched a :45 flat half-mile and hit the
three-quarter mark in 1:08.71, but it failed to take any energy out of
the filly down the lane.
"She was just running on cruise control. She's a good filly and the
best horse in the race today," said Ramsammy, who was winning his first
added-money event since guiding Atlantic Hurricane to victory in the
Grade 3 Bessarabian Stakes on November 20,
Skylander Girl, bred in Ontario by Auchamore Stud, banked $108,000
in victory while improving her record to 4-7-2 from 22 career starts.
She paid $8.10, $5.50 and $2.70, combining with Miss Mischief ($14,
$4.20) for a $120.70 (6-3) exactor. A 6-3-4 triactor (Unspurned, $2.20
to show) was worth $245.50.
Source: Woodbine Communications