Sky Mom Rallies For Arlington Oaks Win

Heather Stark’s Sky Mom angled wide around the final turn, caught pacesetter Dreaming of Liz at the furlong-marker and held off her stubborn rival to win the $100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a length Aug. 2 at Arlington Park.

Ridden patiently by Ramsey Zimmerman, Sky Mom earned her first graded stakes victory while completing nine furlongs in 1:52.92 on the Arlington Polytrack. The 3-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon-Swiftly Classic, by Sky Classic is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Liz, who led every step until the eighth-pole, was a game second under Earlie Fires. Apple Martini was 2 3/4 lengths further back, while post-time favorite Day of Victory was fourth in a field of seven.

Sky Mom, who was purchased for just $27,000 at the 2006 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale, entered the Arlington Oaks off a narrow runner-up defeat in the June 27 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows. She recorded stakes victories at Oaklawn and Sunland Park earlier this season.

Entering off a gate-to-wire win in the Sweetest Chant Stakes July 5 Arlington, Dreaming of Liz set out to lap the field once again in the Oaks. She broke sharply from post 4 and set reasonable fractions of :24.42, :48.64, and 1:13.69 under Fires. Temper Temper tracked in second, while Day of Victory and French Kiss were in the next group.

Fifth along the fence after three-quarters, Sky Mom was swung wide while making her decisive move around the turn. She drew even with Dreaming of Liz as they hit the furlong-marker and opened up what seemed to be an ever-widening margin. But Dreaming of Liz fought back while on the rail in mid-stretch, nearly drawing even once they hit the sixteenth-pole. Sky Mom fought a bit more however, increasing her advantage while nearing the wire.

“(Dreaming of Liz) came back a little bit but my horse had enough to hang on,” Zimmerman said. “I’m really happy with her. She relaxed and had a big kick.”

The winner paid $6.40, $3.40 and $3.20 as the second choice. The exacta (2-4) returned $26.80, while the trifecta (2-4-1) was worth $122.80.

Bred in Kentucky by Woodlynn Farm, Sky Mom is now 6-4-2 from 15 starts with earnings of $452,891.

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