Repole Stable's Grade 3-placed Clipthecouponannie tracked pacesetter Chanteline for a half-mile before assuming the lead and splashing home a 1 ¼-length winner of the $100,000 Skipat Friday at historic Pimlico Race Course.
The 24th running of the six-furlong Skipat for fillies and mares 3 and older was the last of seven stakes, four graded, worth $1.15 million in purses on a spectacular 14-race Black-Eyed Susan Day program that served as a fitting prelude to Saturday's 142nd Preakness Stakes (G1).
Clipthecouponannie ($4.80), favored at 7-5 in a field of seven, ran a winning time of 1:10.93 over the sloppy and sealed main track. Summer Reading finished second, a half-length ahead of late-running Sweet On Smokey.
A 4-year-old bay daughter of Uncle Mo, Clipthecouponannie's lone previous stakes win came against fellow New York-breds in the Franklin Square last winter. The Skipat was just her third start since then and first following a third-place effort in the Distaff Handicap (G3) April 9 at Aqueduct.
Clipthecouponannie was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez for trainer Todd Pletcher, who together will attempt to win the Preakness with Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming.
SKIPAT STAKES QUOTES
Winning Trainer Todd Pletcher (Clipthecouponannie): I was a little concerned when it rained, only because she had never run on an off track. But we felt that with her pedigree she would handle it. Uncle Mo won the Kelso won impressively in slop.
“I talked to Johnny before and we liked the fact that we drew a favorable post for these type of conditions. She's been a good filly away from the gate. We wanted to get her away alertly and put her in a favorable position. She did that very well and I could tell that Johnny was riding her very confidently. It looked like when he asked her that she responded the way we hoped she would.”
Winning Jockey John Velazquez (Clipthecouponannie): “It was perfect. She got a good position sitting right off the speed and she accelerated very well. It was her first time on a wet track and she loved it.”
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