Skip Code Sends Message to Grey Breeders' Cup Rivals

(Edited press release)
Charles Laloggia's Skip Code, under Patrick Husbands, put forth an impressive effort in Monday's CAN$250,000 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes (Can-III) on the Thanksgiving Day card at Woodbine in Canada.

It was the second consecutive win for the Kentucky-bred son of Skip Away, who overcame traffic troubles in mid-stretch to win by 1 ½ lengths in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack event.

The gray, who finished eighth in his debut at Woodbine Aug. 6 and third in his second start on Aug. 19, came into the Grey Breeders' Cup off a maiden-breaking neck score on Sept. 20.

It was longshot Sergei who took the early lead, cutting an opening-quarter clip in 24.23. Husbands had Skip Code in third, a length back, after a half in 49.55, as mutuel favorite Scatter the Tak continued to hound the frontrunner.

Desperately searching for running room, Husbands found the seam he was looking for, steering Skip Code to the rail and then driving clear.

Catch the Fever, runner-up to Skip Code last time out, rallied strongly to finish second, while Scatter the Tak was a length back in third.

The final time for the race was 1:45.46.

"He's got a lot of class," said Husbands, who picked up his second Grey Breeders' Cup crown, having won with Four On The Floor in 1999. "He relaxed well and when I asked him, he just kicked on. He's matured a lot."

"He just goes and goes," said conditioner Mark Casse, who notched his first Grey Breeders' Cup triumph. "He has the potential to be a very nice horse. He's a little nervous, but he's got a tremendous stride. He does things pretty effortlessly."

In victory, Skip Code, bred by Summer Wind Farm, earned $150,000.

He paid $10.80, $5.60 and $3.50 across the board, combining with Catch the Fever ($9.20, $4.70) for a $45.90 exacta. Scatter the Tak ($2.90) rounded out a $146.60 trifecta. Orna was scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)