BREEDING & racing INFORMATION
38 Starts - 18 Wins (16 Graded
Stakes Wins) - 10 Seconds - 6 Thirds
Won or Placed in 23 Grade 1
Events - 7 Grade 2 Events - 2 Grade 3 Events
Earnings $ 9,616,360 is the most
of any horse at stud.
Has an excellent disposition that
enables him to ship well
Can run on virtually any track
surface at any racetrack
Has extraordinary speed that can
be used tactically at any distance
Precocious - Excellent as a Two
Stamina - Classic Competitor and
Champion as 3 a Year Old
Durable - Champion & Leading
Thoroughbred Earner in North America at 4
Quality - Eclipse Champion for 3
Years including Horse of the Year
First 14 ancestor (in first three
generations) made a total of 588 starts for an Average of 42 starts per
Pedigree Crosses are:
Free of Turn-to, Buckpasser,
Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector blood making him an excellent outcross
stallion for breeding to those bloodlines.
Breeders’ Cup Classic - G1
Woodward Stakes - G1
1998 1st Hollywood Gold Cup - G1
1996 1st Jockey Club Gold Cup -
1997 1st Jockey Club Gold Cup -
1996 1st Woodbine Million - G1
1996 1st Buick Haskell - G1
1998 1st Pimlico Special - G1
1998 1st Gulfstream Park Handicap
1998 1st Donn Handicap - G1
1996 1st Toyota Blue Grass Stakes
1997 1st Suburban Handicap - G2
1996 1st Ohio Derby - G2
1998 1st Iselin Handicap - G2
1997 1st Massachusetts Handicap -
1998 1st Massachusetts Handicap -
1996 2nd Belmont Stakes - G1
1996 2nd Preakness Stakes - G1
1997 2nd Pimlico Special - G1
1997 2nd Woodward Stakes - G1
1997 2nd Pimlico Special - G1
1997 2nd Gulfstream Park Handicap
1997 2nd Donn Handicap - G1
1997 2nd Suburban Handicap - G1
1997 2nd Iselin Handicap - G2
1995 2nd Remsen Stakes - G2
1995 2nd Cowdin Stakes - G2
1995 2nd Gilded Time Stakes
1998 3rd Jockey Club Gold Cup -
1996 3rd Travers Stakes - G1
1996 3rd Florida Derby - G1
1997 3rd Whitney Handicap - G1
1995 3rd World Appeal Stakes
1997 3rd Texas Mile
Earnings - 38 Starts - $
9,616,360. Leading Earner at Stud.
1996 - Eclipse Champion Three
Year Old Colt
- Eclipse Champion Handicap Horse at Four
1998 - Eclipse Champion Handicap
Horse and Horse of the Year at Five
So who in his pedigree is "The
Great Skip Away" most like? The answer maybe revealed by comparing some of
the unusual racing achievements of his ancestors with several of the
remarkable racing feats of Skip Away.
Both Skip Away and Skip Trial (his
sire) both won the Gulfstream Park Handicap and Massachusetts Handicap. Skip
Away and Skip Trial both will have started a remarkable 38 times during
their racing careers.
Both Nashua and Skip Away won the
Jockey Club Gold Cup twice, once as a three year old and once as a four year
When have we last seen a colt like
Skip Away, who could run for 4 consecutive years, maintain first class
stakes form, and never leave the racetrack. Skip Away race all over the
country, shrugged off injury while continuing to compete and win top quality
races, while running uninterrupted against elite competition in virtually
every race of his career? The answer is maybe never. Indeed, in today’s
racing world, its seems almost impossible for a horse to compete at the top
level of competition and stay sound.
Thanks to the marvelous work of his
trainer Sonny Hine, Skip Away did his racing without the use of extreme
medication which is so much a part of today’s racing environment. He wore
Queen’s Plates (flat horseshoes) in front and just shoes with toe grabs on
his rear feet. His racetrack vet bills were rarely much over $100 per month.
As Sonny’s vets said, "If we had to rely on Skip Away for income, they would
During a career of fierce
competition from coast to coast Skip Away ran against a much larger
racing population of horses than Nashua, Damascus, Never Bend and Man o’
War, his immortal super star ancestors. Big, powerful, fast, versatile, and
sound, Skip Away, the 1998 Horse of the Year, and Eclipse Award winner in
1996, 1997 and 1998 is truly one of the most remarkable thoroughbreds to
race in the twentieth century.
BREEDING TO SKIP AWAY
Sir Charles Leiscester in his book
Bloodstock Breeding points out, in the General Principle of Bloodstock
section, some elementary aspects regarding thoroughbred reproduction. In the
chapter regarding Hereditary Factors, Sir Charles states "The genes are
self-reproductive and responsible for the build-up of the new individual.
They are heterogeneous, some operating to produce bone, others muscle,
colour, blood, brain, organs, constitution, soundness, racing ability,
temperament, etc., -- in fact, broadly speaking, all the basic factors of
the new-born." Sir Charles also maintains that, "the physical attributes of
the parents are more likely to appear in the foal then those of the
grandparents. Each breeding generation has a reduced chance of reviving its
own peculiarities until the time comes when the remote ancestors’ have
little or no practical portent."
No man can predict with accuracy
whether the visible or the latent characteristics will comprise the make-up
of the foal at time of conception. That remains Nature’s Secret. Be that as
it may, Skip Away is truly a remarkable individual whose visible attributes
offer unrivaled quality of virtually every important factor of the
racehorse. A true physical titan, The Mighty Skip Away is already know for
his incredible stamina. Skip Away’s workouts demonstrate his effortless
blinding speed. He can boast of about 100 black type bullet workouts during
his career, one of which was 108:3 for six furlongs.
Skip Away and his ancestors,
represent the much needed racing soundness, now so absent in the American
Thoroughbred. We need to face the fact that the racing soundness of the
American Thoroughbred has become a crisis situation. Let us not blame the
trainers and the racing surfaces for causing so many break downs, but rather
the way in which horses are being bred in the United States. Far to many
horses are retired to stud with very short racing careers. Their unsoundness
is passed on and then inbred which virtually guarantees more weaknesses for
the racehorses to be born in the future.
Now, let’s begin with how the
impact of breeding to Mr. Prospector line mares to Skip Away. Breeding the
female descendants of Mr. Prospector gives inbreeding to the sound Nashua
since both Skip Away and Mr. Prospector both have Nashua on the distaff side
of their pedigrees. Champion Nashua won 22 of 30 races over 3 years racing
in top company and was retired sound.
If you find Damascus in the
pedigree of a mare, such as in the case of a Private Account mare, you are
inbreeding to Champion Damascus who won 21 of 32 races and raced three years
in top company.
Champion Nashua is the sire of SKIP
AWAY’s very successful broodmare sire Diplomat Way. Arlington-Washington
Futurity winner Diplomat Way whose race record includes 46 starts with 14
wins, 10 seconds and 7 thirds, winning or placing in 19 stakes, is the sire
of 34 stakes winners. More significant is the fact that Diplomat Way is
Broodmare Sire of 50 mares who have produced 65 stakes winners from his 245
daughters for an outstanding 20% stakes producing mares. Diplomat Way boasts
an impressive total Broodmare Sire Earnings of $46,241,361. The noted
runners from these mares encompass 6 champions including Skip Away and
prominent stakes winners, Farma Way ($2,867,175-G1), Exclusive Partner,
General Practitioner, Explosive Bid, Frosty the Snowman, La Soufriere, etc.
Champion Never Bend, who boasts a
races record is 23 starts with 13 wins, 4 seconds and 4 thirds is the sire
of Mill Reef and Courtly Dee. He is also the sire of Iron Ruler, the very
successful broodmare sire of Skip Away’s second dam. Jerome Stakes winner
Iron Ruler, whose race record includes 35 starts with 9 wins, 13 seconds and
9 thirds, winning or placing in 22 stakes races, is the sire of 30 stakes
winners including Preakness-G1 winner Aloma’s Ruler. Iron Ruler is the
Broodmare Sire of 50 stakes winners including the prominent stakes winners
Stalwart, Box Office Gold, Muskoka Wyck, Avie’s Copy, etc. The first
winner by Skip Away is Heart Ofa Champion who is inbred 5S x 4D to Never
Bend and is also inbred to Nasrullah 5S x 6S x 6D x 5D x 7D. Thus the
fantastic speed of Heart of a Champion can easily be attributed to the Never
Bend inbreed. Keep in mind that the speed ball is four generations
free of inbreeding.
Champions Never Bend and Nashua are
sons of Nasrullah who appear in Skip Away’s pedigree in the form of his
descendants. You can inbreed to Nasrullah with Bold Ruler line horses like
Seattle Slew mares or Secretariat mares using a different inbreeding pattern
than that which is conventionally used. This is another approach to breeding
soundness and not giving up speed which is so much a desirable part of the
American thoroughbred. New York Maiden Special Weights and Allowance
winner, Heart of a Champion is inbred.
Skip Away is a horse with very
solid proven sire lines throughout his pedigree. Consider that their is no
Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Turn-to or Buckpasser bloodline in the
pedigree of Skip Away. That provides a wonderful opportunity to outcross
your Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Turn-to or Buckpasser line mare.
The rest is left to the breeders,
many who have Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector mixes in their broodmare
bands. As a stallion Skip Away, will provides the ingredients needed, to
breed a sound, classy, versatile, fast American Thoroughbred of the future.
IMPORTANT BREEDING METHODS OF THE GREAT EXPERTS
When you review the history of the
American Thoroughbred, it is apparent that the excellent breeders of the
past looked with great intellect for the specific type of stallion that
could shape the breed. Stallions were selected to mate with various
broodmare bands when breeders required specific qualities. These stallions
were essential outcross selections that proved so valuable to the
development of the American Thoroughbred of the Twentieth Century.
Les Sellnow, noted Equine Research
and Genetics expert provides the following information regarding breeding
the thoroughbred in the Back to Basics section of his Genetics Primer.
While the goal always should
be to improve the offspring, there are too many breeding programs that
breed for only a single trait and forget all others. Racing is a case in
point. Far too many runners which cannot compete because of weakness in
leg bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons are put into the breeding shed
and mated with others who cannot compete for the same reason. It doesn’t
take a Gregor Mendel to determine the probable outcome for such a cross.
The colt or filly might inherit blazing speed, but the opportunity to
display it likely will be short-lived before the same weakness that ended
the careers of the parents will do the same for the offspring.
Imagine for yourself and your
broodmare band, the many unique benefits that breeding to SKIP AWAY will
offer to your procreation program. Certainly, SKIP AWAY’s soundness and
versatility, so absent in our racehorses of today, are now more than ever
extremely important to the development of the American Thoroughbred of the
Here are some historical notes that
I hope you will find thought provoking. My source for a great deal of this
information was found in Abram S. Hewitt’s publications of Sire Lines and
The Great Breeders and Their Methods.
THE HANCOCKS began with the
importation of SIR GALLAHAD III. A good to moderate stakes performer, this
French import gave his speed and excellent front leg confirmation to his
progeny. In his first crop he sired Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox.
English Derby winner BLENHEIM II
imported in 1936 and was already the sire of English Derby winner Mahmoud.
He added stamina to our breed and sired Triple Crown winner Whirlaway in his
first American crop.
In 1949 A. B. Hancock, Jr. added a
wayward, mulish, unreliable racehorse horse named NASRULLAH to the Claiborne
stallion roster. Nasrullah was highly ranked by British Handicapper Phil
Bull and proved just the right ingredient, siring Bold Ruler, Nashua and
Never Bend among many others.
The unfashionably bred, late
maturing stayer PRINCEQUILLO seemed to be the wrong type of racehorse to
become a leading American stallion. This former $1,500 claimer disproved
that theory when he sired Champions Hill Prince, Round Table and Prince
WARREN WRIGHT, SR. of CALUMET FARM
purchased BULL LEA in 1936 at the Saratoga Yearling Sale. He was a sickle
hocked, lop eared son of the moderate racehorse but successful sire, Bull
Dog (brother to Sir Gallahad III) out of the 19 year old mare Rose Leaves (a
virtually useless racehorse, but superior producer). It is said that Bull
Lea’s make up was like hybrid corn, the crossing of two distinct, but very
pure strains, the result being superior to either of the parent strains.
Bull Lea sired Triple Crown winner Citation and led the North American
General Sire’s List on 5 occasions.
DARBY DAN FARM owner JOHN W.
GALBREATH imported the unbeaten European Champion RIBOT in 1957. He had
strong development in his thighs and gaskins which accounted for his
unmistakable driving power. When he arrived in America, early maturity and
sheer speed were the most desired characteristics for American racehorses.
Ribot demonstrated just the opposite traits during his racing career. Ribot
sired 15.7% stakes winners including Horse of the Year, Arts and Letters.
Graustark (sire of Key to the Mint, Jim French, Avatar, Prove Out and
Caracolero), Tom Rolfe (sire of Hoist the Flag, Run the Gantlet and Droll
Role) and leading sire and broodmare sire His Majesty are among his most
C.V. WHITNEY imported Champion Two
Year Old and English Derby winner MAHMOUD to provide the necessary outcross
to his broodmare band which was composed of mares by Broomstick, Whisk Broom
II, Peter Pan, Pennant and Chickle. As a result, Whitney had found just the
right horse in the speedy classic winning Mahmoud. Mahmoud sired 24 stakes
winners for Whitney.
E. P TAYLOR was in search of some
genuine European quality to augment the broodmare band at Windfield Farm. It
was in 1952 that Taylor had gone to the December Bloodstock sale to obtain
the best, a mare by Hyperion that traced back to Pretty Polly, a winner of
22 of her 24 starts. The mare was in foal to the great Nearco. This gave
Taylor a mix of the two best sires in England. A miserable looking chestnut
colt born in 1953 by Nearco out of Lady Angela was the result. The colt
later named NEARCTIC was offered with all of Taylor’s other yearlings at his
"one price" auction for $35,000. There were no takers. Nearctic was a good
but certainly not excellent racehorse winning 21 of his 47 starts and
earning $152,384. He is the sire of NORTHERN DANCER another horse that did
not fetch his reserve of $25,000. Northern Dancer was a small, late foal and
the offspring of an unproven sire and dam. The rest is history. Taylor’s
technique was to acquire European broodmares and breed to a variety of
stallions. He became the breeder of 251 stakes winners.
SKIP AWAY is a unique horse of
remarkable quality and durability. He is sure to become another splendid
progenitor in the legacy of great American Stallions.
Skip Away is the sire
of the earners of slightly over $510,000 to December 31, 2002, with seven
stakes horses and twelve winners. Skip Away progeny continue to show
solid racetrack performance in 2003. As longer races are written, I
expect that Skip Away's progeny will be even more effective in competition.
They will can be expected to get better as they get older. Indeed the best is yet to come.