05/02/2012 4:35PM

Skip Trial euthanized at age of 30


Florida stallion Skip Trial, sire of Hall of Famer and 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, died Tuesday at Bridlewood Farm, the Ocala, Fla., nursery announced Wednesday. He was 30.

The Bailjumper horse was euthanized due to the infirmities of old age and will be buried in the farm cemetery, the farm said. Skip Trial stood at Bridlewood for his entire breeding career, which began in 1988 and ran until his pensioning in 2010.

“Skip Trial was a farm stalwart and favorite,” Bridlewood general manager George Isaacs said. “In my mind, he was a throwback to the Thoroughbred of yesteryear, with his rugged looks and hickory toughness. He was a proven source of soundness and stamina, which he demonstrated on the racetrack in the mid-1980s though his earnings of $1.8 million. During his service at stud, he always had one of the highest national rankings for average earnings per starter. He was a special horse and noble equine friend who will be sorely missed.”

Nancy Penn Morgan bred Skip Trial in Kentucky from her Promised Land mare Looks Promising. He sold at the 1983 Keeneland September sale for $25,000 and then matured into a multiple Grade 1 winner for owner Zelda Cohen. He won the 1985 Haskell, beating eventual champion and Horse of the Year Spend a Buck, and he took consecutive runnings of the Gulfstream Park Handicap in 1986 and 1987. He also won six other graded stakes in a career comprised of 38 lifetime starts, 16 wins, 7 seconds, and 2 thirds. He retired from racing with $1,837,451 in earnings.

At Bridlewood, Skip Trial sired 28 stakes winners and the earners of more than $34.5 million from 22 crops to race. His most famous runner was Skip Away, whose 10 Grade 1 victories included the 1997 Breeders’ Cup Classic, two Jockey Club Gold Cups, the Haskell, the Hollywood Gold Cup, and the Woodbine Million, among others. He was voted champion 3-year-old in 1996 and won champion older horse honors in 1997 and 1998, clinching Horse of the Year in the latter year. Skip Away died in 2010.

Skip Trial also got such graded winners as Best of the Rest, winner of the 2003 Skip Away Stakes; Supervisor, Federal Trial, Miss Legality, Skip to the Stone, and Skipping Around.
Skip Trial has a single registered 2-year-old this year, so far unraced. Named Dream Skipper, he is out of the Habitony mare Sterling Dream.