Valid rolls in Skip Away
Following a couple of rounds of rainfall earlier in the afternoon, the sealed main track was rated as “good.”
Valid and jockey Nik Juarez broke well from the starting gate and after prompting an opening quarter-mile in :24.49, the dark bay advanced to take a short lead down the backstretch. He recorded the next splits in :48.34 and 1:12.44.
Rounding the far turn in hand, Valid reached the mile mark in upper stretch in 1:36.19 with a 1 ½-length advantage. Team Colors tried in vain to reduce the deficit in the final furlongs, but Valid was never seriously threatened as he rolled to the wire.
Owned by Crossed Sabres Farm, Valid increased his bankroll to $1,101,647 from a 37-12-9-7 record.
Team Colors finished 3 ½ lengths better than third-placer Enders Cat. Next came Savoy Stomp, Hesinfront and Rich Daddy.
Bred in Virginia by Edward P. Evans, Valid is out of the stakes-winning Grand Slam mare Grand Prayer and counts Grade 1 winner Malibu Prayer as a half-sister. His dam is a half-sister to Grade 1 hero Swagger Jack and Grade 2 queen Tap Dance.
Valid was exiting a tough-luck third (elevated one spot via disqualification) in the Gulfstream Park H. (G2) in which he was severely interfered with in midstretch, nearly falling after clipping heels with wayward rival. He finished a good second in the Donn H. (G1) two starts previously and opened 2016 with a victory in the Hal’s Hope (G3).
Last year, Valid captured the Philip Iselin (G3) at Monmouth Park and two other listed stakes. The hard-knocking gelding has placed in 12 black-type events.
Photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese Photography