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S. S. Stone sails home in G3 Skip Away

Sunday, April 03, 2011 |

S. S. Stone earned a 102 Beyer winning the Skip Away S. (G3)
Gainesway sales graduate S. S. Stone continued his winning ways at Gulfstream on April 3, scoring his fourth consecutive victory, with a two-length win in the $100,000 Skip Away S. (G3) (VIDEO). The Skip Away was the first graded stakes win for the 5-year-old son of Birdstone, who has yet to lose in four Gulfstream starts this season.

S. S. Stone came out well from post 10 in the 1 3/16 mile Skip Away, settling just outside of Colizeo, who set the pace going into the first turn. That duo remained one-two for nearly a mile, when S. S. Stone powered to the front under Julien Leparoux. He pulled away in the final furlong, stopping the clock in 1:55.73, just a second off the track record.

“This is a big thing for me; I’m emotional about this race because my dear friends Marylou Whitney and John [Hendrickson] bred this horse and of course [being] by Birdstone,’’ trainer Nick Zito said. Zito trained Birdstone to victory in the Belmont S. (G1) and Travers (G1).

The Skip Away was the first stakes start for S. S. Stone since the 2008 Best Pal S. (G2), when he was trained by Doug O'Neill. Gainesway consigned S. S. Stone to the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale, where he brought $135,000.

From the first crop of his Classic-winning sire, S. S. Stone was bred in Kentucky by Marylou Whitney Stables and is owned by Robert LaPenta. He is out of Sing and Swing, a two-time stakes winner in Canada. With the win, the gray/roan horse has earned $154,130, with a mark of 5-0-2 from ten starts.