Updated on 09/17/2011 10:20AM

Best of the Rest best of them all in Skip Away

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Gary I. Rothstein
Best of the Rest ($5.00) registers his 15th victory in 28 career starts in Sunday's $75,000 Skip Away Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Best of the Rest rebounded from one of the worst efforts of his career with one of his gamest, outfinishing Consistency and Roger E. to win Sunday's $75,000 at Gulfstream Park.

Best of the Rest was a well beaten sixth in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap in his previous start. A performance trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. believed was due to the fact Best of the Rest did not handle the racing surface at the Fair Grounds.

"This victory was vindication for what we thought," Plesa said in the winner's circle following the Skip Away. "That he didn't care for that racetrack in New Orleans. It was probably the worst effort of his career not caused by an injury. We thought it was a valid excuse and this kind of proved it to us."

Best of the Rest, with regular rider Eibar Coa aboard, raced in third position for much of the one mile and one sixteenth Skip Away while kept within easy striking distance of the pacesetting Roger E. who set honest fractions of 23.77 seconds, 46.98 and 1;10.96. Best of the Rest rallied in company with and just outside Consistency entering the stretch then gamely outfinished that rival after wearing down Roger E. inside the seventy yard marker.

Consistency, who entered the Skip Away undefeated but with only three previous starts under his belt, turned in a very strong effort in defeat while finishing a half length in front of the tiring Roger E. The Judge Sez Who and Dancing Guy raced far back throughout.

Best of the Rest carried highweight of 121 pounds to his 15th victory in 28 career starts and paid $5.00. His final time was 1:42.72 over a fast track.

"He's just remarkable," Plesa said of the 7-year-old Best of the Rest who has now earned over $1.2 million for owner-breeder Bea Oxenberg. "The second and third horses ran great but we were giving them seven and eight pounds. As long as the weight doesn't eventually catch up to us and kill us he'll be consistent all year."

Plesa said Best of the Rest would likely make his next start in the Memorial Day Handicap at Calder.