1998 Iselin Handicap Grade I

Weight has long been the great equalizer in horse racing, and today at Monmouth Park, it almost humbled Skip Away. Almost. Spotting his six modest rivals from 16 to 20 pounds as he carried top weight of 131 pounds, Skip Away was caught in midstretch by Stormin Fever but rallied through the final sixteenth to win the $500000 Iselin Handicap by a nose, his eighth straight victory. The crowd of 19107 gasped in disbelief as Stormin Fever, a 10-1 shot whose only victories this year have been in allowance races, moved up rapidly on the far turn and took dead aim at the prohibitive favorite at the head of the stretch. Under vigorous urging from Jose Santos, Stormin Fever -- who carried 113 pounds -- poked a nose in front in the deep stretch, but Skip Away came back on the inside in the final strides and actually was pulling off at the wire. ''It probably scared a lot of people more than me,'' said Jerry Bailey, the jockey, who sent Skip Away to the lead after a half-mile. ''He was in a neutral mode, and when the other horse came to him, I could feel his motor start running again. With the weight, it took him a few strides to get going again.'' The performance surprised Santos. ''At the eighth pole, I thought I was home free,'' the jockey said. ''Skip Away had to really show class today to come back and beat me.'' Sonny Hine, Skip Away's trainer, said: ''Skippy never gives up. I wasn't worried when that other horse came up to him.'' If Hine had a concern, it was over another ...

 

Tags: monmouth, park, horse, racing, larry, collmus, stormin, fever, skip, away, sonny, hine, jerry, bailey, photo, finish, champion, of, year

 



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