Horse > Skip Away
Bred in Florida by Anna Marie Barnhart, Skip Away was foaled in April 1993. He was bought by Hall of Fame trainer Hubert “Sonny” Hine in part because his wife wanted a gray as her vision was beginning to fail and she had difficulty seeing any other color on the track.
During the 1995 campaign, Skip Away won just a single race in six attempts but finished second in both the Cowdin Stakes (G2) and Remsen Stakes (G2) to set himself up nicely for a good 3-year-old season. Winning the 1996 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) set him up as a contender for that year’s Triple Crown, but an inexplicably poor run in the 1996 Kentucky Derby (G1) saw him finish 12th.
Skip Away put that run behind him quickly, finishing second in the Preakness Stakes (G1) behind Louis Quatorze and then filling the same position in the Belmont Stakes (G1), losing to Editor’s Note after a heated battle down the stretch.
He entered the summer season with wins in the Ohio Derby (G2) and the Haskell Invitational (G1) before falling to third in the Travers Stakes (G1). Skip Away ended his season in style, winning the Woodbine Million Stakes (G1) and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), beating Cigar in the latter. He was voted Champion 3-year-old Male.
Skip Away really came in to his own as a 4-year-old. After four minor placings, he won the Massachusetts Handicap (G3) and Suburban Handicap (G2). Three more minor placings followed, before he took his second Jockey Club Gold Cup.
The year ended for Skip Away with a brilliant, record-setting run in the1997 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), where he adopted a new tactic as a front runner under jockey Mike Smith, winning by six lengths in 1:59.16. He was crowned Champion Older Horse, but missed out on Horse of the Year to the 2-year-old Favorite Trick.
The Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic wins meant Skip Away began his 5-year-old career on a winning streak of two. In a stunning start to 1998 he extended the streak to nine, including a further five grade I races: the Donn Handicap, Gulfstream Park Handicap, Pimlico Special, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Woodward Stakes. He was surprisingly beaten into third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and finished sixth in his final race, the 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic, to Awesome Again. Despite the final two losses, he was named Champion Older Horse and Horse of the Year.
Over the course of 38 starts, Skip Away won 18 races and earned $9,616,360. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.