February 3, 2012
Dan Frazier’s Skyline Lover chases redemption in the $20,000 Key West Challenge Stakes over 1,000 yards on Sunday afternoon at Hialeah Park after having his previously unblemished Hialeah win recorded dashed when he was disqualified from the win in the Moonstone Stakes.
On January 12, Skyline Lover (Feature Mr Jess-Loves That Gold by Royal Quick Dash) was after his seventh win from seven starts at the South Florida track and he crossed the finish line in the 660-yard Moonstone in first place, 2 lengths ahead of Flyin Fish. However, the gelding lugged in during the stretch run and was disqualified and placed eighth as the 1-2 favorite.
That moved Flyin Fish (Fishers Dash-Jazzing Cheree by Jazzing Hi) into the winner’s circle and he is back in the Key West for a rematch with Skyline Lover.
Trained by Matt Frazier, Skyline Lover has been sensational in the Hialeah Park distance division and has been the most accomplished American Quarter Horse to compete at the historic track.
During the 2010-11 season, Skyline Lover won four stakes from four starts at distances of 550 yards to 1,000 yards. He returned during the current season to continue his winning streak with wins in the 550-yard Orange Blossom Stakes and the 660-yard Crystal River Stakes before his disqualification in the Moonstone Stakes.
Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Flyin Fish has provided the biggest threat to Skyline Lover this winter at Hialeah. He was a troubled sixth-place finisher when he made his Hialeah debut in the Orange Blossom Stakes and battled with Skyline Lover through the stretch in the Crystal River Stakes before coming up a head short at the wire.
The Richard Sedillo-trained Flyin Fish was then awarded the win in the Moonstone Stakes after Skyline Lover was disqualified for interference.
Before moving to Hialeah, Flyin Fish developed into a stakes competitor in New Mexico. He qualified for the $1.3 million All American Derby (G1) after finishing second to eventual winner Llano Teller in their trial, and then moved up to the distance ranks with a six-length win in a 870-yard Zia Park conditioned allowance race and finished fourth at 3-2 odds in the Herman Jefferson Stakes (G3).
Sedillo will also saddle Betty Marshall’s Absolve (Check Him Out-Beat Your Pants Off by Six Fols) along with Sheri Galvez and Betty Marshall’s Royal Initiative (Royal Quick Dash-Fortuna Babe by Six Fortunes) in the Key West.
Absolve comes off a win in the 660-yard optional-claiming race while Royal Initiative was moved up from third to second in the Moonstone Stakes following Skyline Lover’s disqualification.
Also on Sunday’s Hialeah Park card, Mary Passmore’s Chi Ter (Granite Lake-This Chicks Stylish by Chicks Beduino) continues on the comeback trail in the $20,000 Sawgrass Stakes over 440 yards.
The Jackie Kirby-trained Chi Ter makes his second start after a seven-month layoff after winning a 440-yard allowance race on December 30 over the Hialeah track in his return to racing.
A year ago, he was the third-place finisher in the $99,000 Hialeah Derby and then the 26-1 upset winner in the $60,000 Hialeah Championship in an impressive :21.25 for the 440 yards.
The Ricardo Martinez-owned and -trained Sassy Shaelan (Bono Jazz-Rsassy Sarah by Holland Ease) returns to the stakes ranks after a game neck decision in a 300-yard optional-claiming race. The mare battled to the win over Color Me Bright with a :15.38 time for her first win from three Hialeah starts.
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