Preakness Profile: Skippylongstocking
Longshot Skippylongstocking is certainly behind some of his rivals here in terms of development — but how far behind is the question.
The son of Exaggerator — himself a Preakness winner — arrives off back-to-back strong outings at nine furlongs. Following an allowance win two back at Gulfstream, he turned in a solid third-place performance in the Wood Memorial behind runner-up Early Voting, the second choice here, and Mo Donegal, who ran well in the Kentucky Derby.
- Jockey Sheldon Russell “really close” to return to racesJockey Sheldon Russell, out with injuries for the last nine months, is “really close” to returning to the races, his agent said.
Trainer / Jockey (Preakness Mounts W-P-S): Saffie Joseph, Jr. / Junior Alvarado (1:0-0-0)
Last Race (Finish): Wood Memorial (3rd)
Morning Line Odds: 20-1
Watching Skippy’s recent race replays, something seems apparent… he prefers going two-turns. In his four races this year, he raced a one-turn mile twice and appeared to be tiring, but his rider advised trainer Saffie Joseph, “He wants two-turns”. So, in his next race at 1 1/8 miles versus the same class level when going one mile, Skippy romped by nearly 4 lengths.
Next up was the Wood Memorial. Again, he show an affinity for two-turns, but was only third best that day. His sire Exaggerator won the Preakness in 2016 as did his grandsire Curlin in 2007.
What concerns me is that his dam had a short career has a turf sprinter. His half-brother (Moonlite Strike) a few years ago competed in three Derby Trail events going two-turns, and his best finish was 3rd in Tampa Derby, while never winning beyond one mile. So, I’m conflicted. I like what I’ve seen from him so far at Pimlico, but does he have the stamina to win at 1 3/16 miles? Probably not but worth using underneath.
|Skippylongstocking (KY) / T: Saffie Joseph|
|Exaggerator – Twinkling, by War Chant|