Sky Mom Soars to WinStar Oaks Triumph

Sky Mom Soars to WinStar Oaks Triumph
Photo: Coady Photography
Sky Mom was all alone at the finish of the WinStar Sunland Park Oaks at March 16.
Favored Sky Mom overcame a stewards' inquiry and jockey objection to win the $200,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks in come-from-behind fashion by 4 3/4 lengths in New Mexico March 16.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez for the powerful Steve Asmussen stable, Sky Mom ducked in sharply after taking the lead in upper stretch, causing eventual runner-up Snake Proof to check and alter course. After a brief inquiry, stewards ruled that the incident did not affect the order of finish.

Sky Mom, owned by Heather Stark, was coming off a one-length win in a division of the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park Feb. 17, and now has back-to-back stakes wins. Coincidentally, Sky Mom won the Sunland Oaks just moments after the winner of the other division of the Martha Washington, Eight Belles, captured Oaklawn's Honeybee (gr. III).

Sky Mom benefited from a blazing pace in the 1 1/16-mile Sunland Oaks. Taken in hand early by Gomez, she lagged behind the seven-horse field heading into the far turn as R Charlie's Angel and Tyler Baze carved fractions of :21.83, :44.94 and 1:10.28. Sky Mom got into gear rounding the bend, splitting horses to reach contention and rallying while slightly wide as she hit the stretch. Snake Proof, stalking the leaders along the inside with Joe Martinez, took the lead briefly before Sky Mom came charging.

After getting the lead, Sky Mom ducked in fairly severely but did not appear to make contact with Snake Proof, who was a clear second. R Charlie's Angel held third, but was 8 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up. The final time was 1:44.50 on a fast track.

Grace Anatomy, the 19-10 second choice in the field of seven, tracked the pace into the final turn but faded to sixth.

Sky Mom is a daughter of Maria's Mon out of the Sky Classic mare Swiftly Classic. The 3-year-old bay won last fall's Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies. But she ran into a rough patch after that, losing three consecutive races before returning for Asmussen Feb. 17 in the Martha Washington. Sky Mom improved her career mark to 5-2-2 in 11 starts with earnings of $330,341. Woodlynn Farm bred the winner, a $27,000 January yearling buy at Keeneland in 2006, in Kentucky. The winner's share was $120,000.

Sky Mom carried 122 pounds to victory and paid $5, $3.40 and $3. Snake Proof, second in Sunland's Island Fashion for trainer Henry Dominguez one month ago, returned $6.40 and $4.20 and completed a $2 exacta worth $27.60. R Charlie's Angel, who won the Island Fashion for the Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust, was $4.40 to show in her first start for red-hot trainer Chris Hartman.

Distorted Passion finished fourth.

(Chart, Equibase)

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