By Jon Forbes | 08/06/2010 05:16 PM ET
With a name like Skylord, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the 2-year-old son of Sky Mesa had nothing but open air in front of him when he debuted an easy winner at Saratoga Race Course on Thursday.
Skylord becomes the second maiden winner at the Spa to be featured in the New York Watch series, which profiles up-and-comers that have recently cleared the maiden ranks at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.
The 8-5 favorite against five other first-time starters, Skylord broke sharply from post position 1 and quickly cleared his competition. After turning back a brief challenge from Saucy Stash nearing the quarter pole, Skylord widened the margin after John Velazquez shook the reins with a furlong to go and found the wire 5 ¾ lengths to the good of Gangsterontherun.
Skylord’s 58.03 final time for five furlongs over a muddy, sealed racetrack was good for a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 91, tied for the fifth-fastest among all 2-year-olds this year.
“He was a colt who had showed a lot of speed in the mornings, and he did what we thought he could do,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Skylord for WinStar Farm. “We knew he had to get away cleanly, and we thought from a pedigree standpoint that he’d handle the slop, but you don’t know until you try it. We feel as if he’s the precocious sort, and he’s obviously gifted with a lot of pace.”
Bred by Kristin Mulhall’s Visionary Racing LLC, Skylord is a half-brother to Sky Cape, whom Mulhall trained to win the 2008 Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap and two other stakes races on the turf. Skylord was pinhooked for $250,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearling auction, and was purchased by WinStar for $515,000 Fasig Tipton’s Calder Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training sale after breezing a furlong in 10 2/5 seconds (video).
The Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful at Saratoga September 6 is one of several options for Skylord’s next start, according to Pletcher.