TORONTO, July 1—As a Grade 3 Stakes winner of almost $750,000 Skylander Girl was the most accomplished runner going into Saturday’s $100,000 Zadracarta Stakes.
And the 6-year-old mare, who also was the senior member of the 10-horse field, was flying high with a clever 1 ¼ length score in the seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-bred fillies and mares.
“We got a good position– we just played it by ear and when horses showed speed she sat just off the pace, like the boss told me,” said jockey Rafael Hernandez, with a nod to Skylander Girl’s owner/trainer Al Patykewich. “Everything was good. We just let her roll in the stretch and she did her job.”
The race indeed unfolded in textbook fashion for Hernandez and Patykewich.
Southern Ring, bet down to 6-5, assumed command early in the Zadracarta, was pressed hard by Generous Touch through fractions of :22.91 and :45.70, and was still in front turning into the stretch but by then the backfield was in motion.
Skylander Girl, with her perfect trip on the outside, had assumed command from Jennifer Lynette as the six furlongs went by in 1:09.90. The veteran dueled briefly with Jennifer Lynette but then asserted her superiority and was not to be denied as she hit the wire in 1:21.71.
Jennifer Lynette, the $5.85-1 third choice, held second by a neck over Niigon’s Eclipse with Shake Down Baby, in contention throughout, ending just another nose back in fourth.
Completing the order of finish were Crumlin Spirit, Bearsatlantic Mist, Southern Ring, Generous Touch, Conquest Fleetfeet and Hidden to Win. Conquest City Girl was scratched.
Skylander Girl, purchased for $3500 at the local yearling sale, has now banked more than $800,000.
“No matter what I’ve asked her to do, she’s done it with no problem,” Patykewich, who purchased Skylander Girl for $3,500 at the local yearling sale and was watching her win her sixth stakes race.
Skylander Girl returned $15.50, $8.50, and $5.80 and keyed a 9-3 exacta with Jennifer Lymette ($6.50, $5.20) of $96.20. Niigon’s Eclipse completed a 9-3-10- trifecta worth $276.60 and Shake Down Baby rounded out the out a 9-3-10-4 superfecta worth $1156.30 for $1.