04/02/2016 1:51PM

Valid delivers as favorite in Skip Away Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Valid and jockey Nik Juarez win the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Valid bounced back from a disastrous trip in the Gulfstream Park Handicap to prove a popular and relatively easy 1 3/4-length winner over Team Colors in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Confidently ridden by Nik Juarez, Valid ($2.80) led throughout over a sloppy track, setting a reasonable pace of 24.49 seconds, 48.34, and 1:12.44 for the opening six furlongs before readily withstanding a final bid from Team Colors.

Team Colors raced within easy striking distance while in behind the leaders, awaiting racing room around the second turn, and eased out for the drive to take dead aim on the winner but proved no match while finishing 3 1/2 lengths in front of the tiring Savoy Stomp.

Valid had been bumped hard and knocked off balance, nearly unseating Juarez, while making what appeared to be a winning move near midstretch of the Gulfstream Park Handicap, eventually finishing fourth, 3 3/4 lengths behind Blofeld in the Grade 2 event.

Valid, a 6-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro owned by Crossed Sabres Farm LLC, completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.42.

“There was no trouble, it was a fair fight today, and we won the fight,” said trainer Marcus Vitali. “I loved it when it rained today; it boosted my confidence because he loves the wet. I told Nik to be real close, especially with it wet. I didn’t want to take him back too much. This is a horse who shows up every time, and he showed up again today.”