1998 Woodward Stakes

Skip Away raced into thoroughbred history yesterday when he won the 45th Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park against an all-star field. With the victory, his ninth straight, he drew ever closer to the stature and the money record of the great Cigar. Skip Away, the durable gray 5-year-old purchased three years ago for $22000 by the trainer Sonny Hine for his wife, Carolyn, won by a length and three-quarters over Gentlemen, the 6-year-old iron horse from Argentina, with Running Stag third, Free House fourth and Coronado's Quest fifth and last. Coronado's Quest, the only 3-year-old in the field, saw his five-race winning streak end. Jerry Bailey, who won his fourth Woodward Stakes and his third in the last four years, including two aboard Cigar, was asked to rank Skip Away and Cigar. ''It's like having two kids,'' he said. ''Which one do you love most?'' Sonny Hine, clamoring for respect for his horse for months, said: ''He is some horse, the best there is. He is one of the best I've ever seen. He is so brilliant.'' Carolyn Hine said, ''We want him to get the respect he deserves.'' Richard Mandella, the California trainer whose Dare and Go ended Cigar's winning streak at 16 two years ago, led the cheers for his Gentlemen but acknowledged Skip Away's achievement. ''At the top of the stretch, I thought we had a big chance to win this one,'' Mandella said. ''But Skip Away just got away from us. He showed everyone just how much of a tremendous horse he is.'' Shug McGaughey, the ...

 

 



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