08/21/2011 10:36AM

Remington: Maryland shipper Ravalo battles back to take Remington Sprint Cup


Ravalo won the 12th stakes race of his career on Saturday night, when he fought back for a half-length win over Captain Cherokee in the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup. It was the second time Ravalo has shipped from Maryland to Oklahoma City for the race, finishing third in the six-furlong feature in 2009.

The Sprint Cup shared a card with the $100,000 Governor’s Cup, the rich double helping to kick start the Remington meet that opened on Thursday. Skip a Smile ($11) rallied from next to last to win the Governor’s.

Ravalo ($11.20) also came from off the pace to win the Sprint Cup. He was bumped at the start but settled in fifth down the backside as Humble Smarty led the field through fractions of 21.75 and 44.27 seconds. Ravalo began winding up on the turn, came four-wide into the stretch, and hooked up with Captain Cherokee. Captain Cherokeer took the advantage at one point, but Ravalo made a final surge under jockey Jeffrey Sanchez, and covered the distance on a track rated fast in 1:08.28.

Captain Cherokee, a half-brother to two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute, finished second, 4 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher Chief of Affairs.

Donald Barr, who trains Ravalo for Lindy Redding, said earlier this week that the horse would be considered for a start in the De Francis Dash at his home track,  Laurel Park, on Oct. 22.

Ravalo earned $120,000 for his win in the Sprint Cup. He has now won 16 of 45 starts and $1,121,522.

Trainer Steve Asmussen said last month he felt Skip a Smile could make an impact in some of this region’s better races for older horses, and the horse did just that on Saturday night when he closed for a three-quarter length win over Red Lead in the Governor’s Cup. 

Skip a Smile had just one horse beat for the first six furlongs, with Green Digger and Kick On showing the way in 1:11.40. Skip a Smile advanced three-wide into the stretch and put in a strong run through the lane to cover 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.53.

“He’s a horse that comes from behind,” jockey Luis Quinonez said of Skip a Smile. “I was just watching the pace to see if I could push the button at the right time.”

Red Lead held second by a head, over favorite and Kentucky shipper Worldly.

The Governor’s was the second straight stakes win for Skip a Smile behind last month’s score in the $75,000 Assault for Texas-breds at Lone Star Park. Skip a Smile races for his breeder, Rose Mary Chandler. He is a 4-year-old son of Skip Away, and he has now won 4 of 15 starts and $221,200.