Skipping Beats Startac by Two Lengths in Jim Murray Memorial

Juddmonte Farms' homebred Skipping won the $80,175 Jim Murray Handicap on Sunday, beating Startac by two lengths in the 1 1/2-mile turf race at Hollywood Park.

Skipping, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, finished in 2:26.23 on firm turf and paid $4.60, $2.80, and $2.60 for his first victory in two North American starts. The 5-year-old son of Rainbow Quest had three victories in nine races in Europe.

Skipping earned $46,485 for the victory, the sixth for trainer Bobby Frankel in the race named in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist of the Los Angeles Times.

"I thought it was fitting the way the race unfolded because it was named after Jim Murray," Desormeaux said. "I remember reading an article by Jim about how he was infatuated by Bill Shoemaker because Shoe was so silky smooth. This horse, he couldn't have given me a smoother run. It was nice and poetic like the way that Jim wrote. I didn't need to do much, just aim this guy in the right direction and stretch his legs. I knew I could take Startac any time I wanted. This is a very nice horse."

Startac returned $4.80 and $3.80 and completed the $1 exacta worth $9.80. Our Main Man paid $3.60 to show. Sharbayan, Straight Flush, Poker Brad, and Lasting Tribute completed the order of finish. (Chart, Equibase)