Updated on 09/17/2011 12:49PM

Skate Away runs down Warleigh


NEW ORLEANS - Up on the front end of the $60,000 at Fair Grounds, Warleigh was getting away with murder, running alongside a 40-1 shot named He Flies through a dawdling pace. But Skate Away, a horse Warleigh had beaten twice last summer at Louisiana Downs, took aim on Warleigh in midstretch and wore him down to win the Bradley by a neck.

"He ran the best race of his life," said Skate Away's trainer, Jeff Trosclair. "When you let Warleigh go that slow, and you can go and get him, that's something."

The Bradley was Skate Away's third start at this Fair Grounds meet, which is just about six weeks old, but his first at the meet on grass. Back on his preferred surface, and racing with blinkers off, Skate Away was much more settled Saturday, rating kindly for jockey Gerard Melancon, who rode four winners on the card.

Warleigh was just galloping as he sat off fractions of 50.69 seconds for a half-mile and 1:15.63 for three-quarters, with his jockey, Shane Sellers, waiting to pounce on the longshot leader, He Flies.

Said Sellers, "I knew I had that horse."

Sellers said that trainer Steve Asmussen "wanted to get him back a little bit today to see if he could run that way. He ran his race."

He did, but it was not quite enough. Skate Away cruised into contention at the head of the stretch, collared Warleigh at about the eighth pole and took over in deep stretch. Skate Away, who paid $21.60 to win, ran about 1 1/16 miles on a firm course in 1:45.04.

Great Bloom held third by two lengths over Freefourinternet, the narrow second choice. The Bradley's sluggish pace badly compromised Freefourinternet's deep-closing style.

Thelma: Movant goes wire to wire

Steady Course, who would have been favored in the $60,000 Thelma Stakes, came down with a lung infection that kept her from starting. That left Movant with the rail and controlling speed, and she made the most of it, leading all the way for a half-length score over Sister Swank.

The stewards conducted an inquiry into the stretch run, because Movant came out slightly and bumped Sister Swank, but ruled that the order of finish would stand.

The Steve Asmussen-trained Sister Swank, who raced from well behind when she won a sprint allowance here on opening day, dogged Movant through fractions of 22.43 seconds for a quarter-mile and 46.37 for a half.

"I thought with the scratch of [Steady Course], my filly would be able to control the pace easier," said Tom Amoss, the winning trainer. "But Steve's horse dogged us for the lead, and it was a fight to the finish."

Movant, the narrow favorite, paid $5 to win. She ran six furlongs in 1:11.27.