Juddmonte Farms' homebred 4-year-old colt Skimming, saved ground along the inside on the way to an eight-length wire-to-wire victory in the $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. III) Sunday at Del Mar. Prime Timber finished second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of National Saint. Under Garrett Gomez, Skimming stopped the timer after running the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.06 over a fast track. 7-5 favorite River Keen finished last.
In light at 112 pounds, Skimming set early fractions, contested by National Saint, of :22.79 and :45.86. Skimming shook off that rival heading into the second turn and opened up by three lengths after six furlongs run in 1:09.70. He continued to pour it on down the stretch, lengthening his lead to the winning margin while only being shown the whip. While Skimming and Prime Timber benefited from a ground saving trip, River Keen was caught four-wide on the first turn before making a wide run on the second turn while under urging from jockey Victor Espinoza. Forty One Carats finished fourth, followed by Casey Griffin, Hal's Pal, and River Keen.
Skimming (Nureyev--Skimble, by Lyphard) is a Bobby Frankel trainee who finished second in the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) in July after winning an optional claiming race at Hollywood Park. He earned $150,000 for the win, his fourth in 11 career races and first in a stakes race.
Skimming returned $9 for the win and led a $1 exacta worth $37.70. (Chart, Equibase