01/01/2013 7:42PM

Santa Anita: Sky High Gal holds on at wire in Blue Norther Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Sky High Gal (left) holds off Scarlet Strike to win the Blue Norther Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – She pulled her way into contention on the first turn, had a clear lead in early stretch, and fought off two rivals to stay in front at the wire. Sky High Gal made quite an impression when she made her stakes debut, and first start in California, in Tuesday’s $82,000 Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita.

Sky High Gal ($7.20) won the one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies by a nose over 5-2 Scarlet Strike, who was a nose in front of 19-1 Wittgenstein at the wire. Escape Act, a 15-1 shot, finished fourth, beaten two noses and a neck in the field of 11.

Sky High Gal, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was timed in 1:36.22.

“It didn’t go to plan,” Leparoux said. “She pulled me into the race. She was a little keen on the first turn. She settled on the backstretch. She got a little tired, but she should improve.”

Sky High Gal was second for the first six furlongs, stalking 55-1 Wildcat Angie, who set an early pace of 23.33 and 47.05 seconds. Sky High Gal took the lead when Wildcat Angie faded from contention in early stretch. Wildcat Angie finished last of 11.

Sky High Gal led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and was fully extended to keep the win.

“We got lucky,” Leparoux said. “We got our nose in front.”

Sky High Gal was acquired in the fall by Kosta Hronis and sent to trainer John Sadler. Previously trained by Brian Lynch, Sky High Gal was second in her debut at Woodbine in September and then won a maiden race at Woodbine in October. She won an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on turf by three lengths at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25, her final start for Lynch.

A filly by Leroidesanimaux, Sky High Gal has won 3 of 4 starts and $120,080.

Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
The rumoured price tag on this filly was $440,000, they just got $50,000 back so there is still a lot of "moving forward" to be done to recoup the purchase price. The last filly this group sold to California interests was Pecan Lady who hasn't come anywhere near to earning back the $250,000 dropped to pick her up. Seems the big winner in this whole game is James Perron Esq. Strike while the poker is hot Jimmy my boy, they all get beat eventually.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
WOW! Got it on the downstroke by a nostril!
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
My bad!! Other way around, I think.
John More than 1 year ago
Hey Gene ! I had Heir Kitty, BRUTAL ! , what price next time , lets hope the public has a short memory! Happy New Yaers !
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Re Espinozas' silks... Only in Cali, the land of fruits and nuts.
Grazyna Mianska More than 1 year ago
Very nicely put! I always thought they had to have some sense but I believe not. any more.
Gene More than 1 year ago
When Steve Andersen writes an article, you know NOTHING about the race or what happened...He talks about Wildcat Angie finishing last...What about the fact most people thought Scarlet Strike won the photo? What about the troubled break by expected pacesetter Escape Act and the fact she was rolling late to just miss??. Or the absolutely brutal trip incurred by Heir Kitty, who could/should have been right there????Andersen is beyond a hack, he is just clueless. If guarantee you if Privman had written this article, all that would have been covered....
Gerardo Helguera More than 1 year ago
I agree with you gene Steve Anderson lacks details in all his articles. I think instead of watching the race he just looks at the charts or it seems that way
Gerardo Helguera More than 1 year ago
I thought Scarlet Strike got up there.
Steve Hanna More than 1 year ago
I thought so also, had the 10 singled in p4 and doubles. I was kicking my chair, thought for sure the 2 had won.
John More than 1 year ago
Hey Gerado, I had the winner, and I had my tickets partially ripped up ! It was a brutal photo, but I think a couple others in the race deserved a better fate ! I think its always a crap shoot, young fillys on the grass , two turns !