David and Jill Heerensperger’s Sky Mystic reeled in the field and returned to her winning ways for trainer Greg Gilchrist when she won the $100,000 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields in a late rally Feb. 2.
The 3-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa last ran fourth behind La Mina in the one-mile Corte Madera Stakes at Golden Gate Dec. 8, but apparently all she needed was the extra distance of the 1 1/16-mile Oaks. After trailing a field of seven, she came flying at the end to take the event by a neck.
Sixth at the start under David G. Lopez, Sky Mystic was taken back at the break and trailed the field while Ron Ellis trainee Twelve Twenty Two was pressed through early fractions of :24.61 and :48.46 by Lady Railrider. They went three-quarters in 1:12.93 and Sky Mystic moved up to sixth, then swung four wide and was set down to a late drive. With Seattle Smooth coming through on the rail, Sky Mystic dove home on the outside to get the best of her competition. The final time was 1:39.04.
Sky Mystic returned $7.40, $3.80, and $2.60 to win. Seattle Smooth and jockey Russell Baze brought $4.20 and $3 to place, while Twelve Twenty Two and Alex Bisono held on to show for $3.20. Lady Railrider, Christmas Ship, and Two Thirds Victory completed the order of finish.
Shy Baby moved up to challenge Two Twenty Two nearing the half mile pole under Mario Gutierrez, but her saddle slipped and the jockey lost his irons. She drifted out on the turn and was pulled up in the stretch.
A $400,000 Fasig-Tipton 2-year-olds in training sale purchase, Sky Mystic has now won three from five starts, including a Nov. 21 allowance win before the Corte Madera that came a little more than a month after her maiden victory at Bay Meadows in a 7 ½-furlong turf event. Prior to that start, she was third in her debut over the Bay Meadows dirt track.
The winning filly was bred in Kentucky by Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds out of the stakes-winning Pleasant Colony mare Delicacy. She is a half-sister to the Boston Harbor gelding Boston Bull, winner of Belmont’s Cowdin Stakes (gr. III), and is also a half-sister to the stakes-winning Forest Park, a son of Forest Wildcat.