SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Ranlo Investments’ Golden Pal made quick work of his field, shooting straight to the lead and never letting anyone close before winning Friday’s $85,000 Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga.
Golden Pal was the 2/5 favorite as he broke from the far outside post 6 under Irad Ortiz, Jr. The Wesley Ward trainee was immediately in front by multiple lengths, holding a spacious advantage over his stablemate Fauci, who gave closest chase.
After posting uncontested opening fractions of :21.99 and :44.37, Golden Pal straightened for home still on top while racing a few lanes off the rail. He needed only a few slight taps on the shoulder to keep his mind on running away from the field in an ultra-impressive fashion.
Golden Pal crossed 3 1/2 geared-down lengths the best in a final time of 1:00.88 for the 5 1/2-furlong firm outer turf sprint.
“He’s a really cool horse,” said Ortiz, Jr. “It’s special when you get on horses like that. I’m so happy to be able to get on him. Hopefully, he stays sound and healthy and he can keep doing what he did today.”
Fauci was a clear second ahead of Sky’s Not Falling, while the third Ward charge (and the field’s lone filly) Sunny Isle Beach was fourth.
The debuting Kentucky Knight and Baytown Bear completed the order of finish in the juvenile-restricted event.
Golden Pal’s win was the first of his career, having finished second while debuting on the Gulfstream Park dirt in April before missing by just a neck in the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at the prestigious Royal Ascot meet. The Florida-bred Uncle Mo colt has now earned $73,056 for Randall Lowe, his breeder who races under the nom de plume of Ranlo Investments.
“He’s something special, this guy,” said Ward, whose training base – Keeneland – will be the sight of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on November 6 & 7. “I think we just got a little peek at it. From everything we’ve seen here, they’re coming into his homecourt like Michael Jordan in the United Center in the Breeders’ Cup this year. He’s a very, very nice colt. I’m very thankful for the owner.”
Golden Pal returned $2.90 to win and $2.10 to place, while Fauci paid $2.70 to place. There was no show betting.