05/19/2017 5:37PM

Clipthecouponannie cashes tickets in Skipat Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Clipthecouponannie (right), under John Velazquez, takes the Skipat Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths.

BALTIMORE – Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez, looking to take tomorrow's Preakness Stakes with their Kentucky Derby winner, Always Dreaming, ended Friday with some momentum, teaming to win the $100,000 Skipat Stakes, the final stakes on the card, with Clipthecouponannie.

Clipthecouponannie ($4.80) was sent away as the favorite despite having never raced on a track like the sloppy, sealed one she encountered Friday. She ran to her billing, breaking well, sitting behind second choice Chanteline through the first half, and edging clear in the lane to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

"I was a little concerned when it rained, only because she had never run on an off track," Pletcher said. "But we felt like with her pedigree that she would handle it. [Sire] Uncle Mo won the [Grade 2 Kelso] impressively in the slop. I talked to Johnny before, and we liked the fact that we drew a favorable post for these kind of conditions. She's been a good filly away from the gate. We wanted to get away alertly, put her in a forward position, and she did that very well. I could tell Johnny was riding her very confidently."

The final time for the six furlongs was 1:10.93.

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Summer Reading, who altered course sharply in midstretch to come out around a dueling Clipthecouponannie and Chanteline, finished second by half a length over Sweet On Smokey, who rallied from last. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to a fading Chanteline in fourth.

Clipthecouponannie won for the fifth time in six career starts. After going unbeaten last season, including a stakes victory against fellow New York-breds, she finished third in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap last month at Aqueduct behind Highway Star. The latter recently added a win in the Grade 2 Ruffian Stakes to her solid résumé.