08/29/2003 11:00PM

Skate Away's new style a plus


The addition of blinkers a few months ago has put Skate Away closer to the pace in his races, and that tactic could serve him well Monday in the $125,000 Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. Memorial Breeders' Cup Handicap at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

The 1 1/8-mile race is the richest turf stakes of the meet, and there does not appear to be an abundance of speed in the race. Others in the six-horse field include Maysville Slew, the 122-pound highweight; Storybook Kid, who won the $75,000 Independence Handicap at Louisiana Downs on July 4; and Major Rhythm, who ships in from Arlington Park.

Skate Away, a reformed deep closer who last winter won the $100,000 Woodchopper at Fair Grounds, has used front-running or stalking tactics in his last three races. The difference has been the addition of blinkers following an uncharacteristic seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs on May 31.

"He was so far back that he gave himself so much to do he couldn't get it done," said Jeff Trosclair, who trains Skate Away for his breeder, Mack Robinson. "We put the blinkers on him to get him up in the race. He's trained well with them."

And he's run well, too. In his first start with the new equipment, Skate Away finished second in a fast money allowance race at Lone Star Park on June 18. From there, he missed by a head in the Independence.

Trosclair elected to skip the next turf stakes race on the Louisiana Downs calendar, the $50,000 Barksdale on Aug. 9, and point for the DeBartolo and $100,000 Louisiana Downs Handicap on Sept. 21.

"In this heat, I figured I'd go into those two races with a fresher horse," he said.

Gerard Melancon will ride Skate Away, who drew the rail and is weighted at 115 pounds.

Storybook Kid, second highweight at 118, is a closer and dependent on pace, but he has won four of his last six starts. Among his wins were a 1 1/8-mile allowance prep for the $250,000 Dallas Turf Cup back in May.

Don Simington has the mount for owner Stanley Seelig and trainer Patrick Mouton.

Maysville Slew is another capable of winning. He comes into the DeBartolo sharp, having won his last two starts, both on dirt at Arapahoe Park. He will be getting back to turf for the DeBartolo, a race he finished third in last year behind front-running winner Bien Nicole.

Luis Quinonez has the mount on Maysville Slew for owner-trainer C.R. Trout.

- Remington has added a third- and last-race quinella to its wagering menu.