WinStar Farm's Commissioner notched his first stakes success with a hard-earned victory over Sr. Quisqueyano in the Grade 3, $150,000 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream Park Saturday, the first graded stakes on a big day of racing at the South Florida track.
Sr. Quisqueyano was the pacesetter throughout but was challenged by Commissioner on the far turn. The two battled it out through the stretch, with Commissioner just finishing ahead of his rival at the wire. Encryption was a distant third. Final time for the mile and three-sixteenths was 1:58.60.
“I had a good trip. He's a horse you need to clock easy numbers, because he's a very consistent horse, very competitive. He gave me a good pace today and got it done,” said winning jockey Javier Castellano.
Todd Pletcher trains Commissioner, whose best performance last year was a second-place finish to Tonalist in the G1 Belmont Stakes June 7.
“We knew Sr. Quisqueyano is a tough horse to get by,” Pletcher said. “Javier (Castellano) gave him a good ride. This horse has been knocking on the door for a while. We're happy to get a graded stakes with him, so that he could have a spot in the WinStar stallion barn. These A.P. Indys, we know they just get better with age. We'll probably point to the Brooklyn (at Belmont on June 6), the only question is whether we run before that or not.”
Commissioner was bred by WinStar in Kentucky and is by the pensioned A.P. Indy out of Flaming Heart, by Touch Gold.
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