Skyring Wires Muniz Foes
Breaking sharply from the outside of his four competitors, five-year-old SKYRING (English Channel) took the lead quickly and never relinquished control in the $300,000 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap (G2) on March 29 at Fair Grounds. The bay horse was under a firm hold early to lead through splits of :25, :50 3/5 and 1:15 while shadowed by a longshot before shaking clear for a 2 1/2-length advantage through a mile in 1:39 2/5. Kept to task under strong urging, the grandson of Seattle Slew held off the strong late rally of the runner-up to cross under the finish line a neck in front. He completed 1 1/8 miles over the soft turf course in a time of 1:52.
Skyring has now won a stakes in each of his three years on the track. From 28 starts, he has five wins, four runner-up efforts and two third-place finishes along with nearly $660,000 in earnings. At three, he won the James W. Murphy Stakes, was second in the Saranac Stakes (G3) and finished third in the American Derby (G3). Last year, he won the Dixie Stakes (G2) and was second in a listed event. He entered this event off a second in the Fair Grounds Handicap (G3).
Bred in Kentucky, Skyring was produced from Violet Lady (Seattle Slew). Unsuccessful on the track, Violet Lady has more than made up for that record in the breeding shed. She is also the dam of Grade 2 winner Greenspring (Orientate), stakes winner Caballero Negro (Formal Gold) and three other stakes horses — Loow Key (Pine Bluff), Dyna Penny (Dynaformer) and Dressed to Kill (Formal Gold). Violet Lady's youngest offspring are the unraced three-year-old filly English Kiss (English Channel) and an unnamed two-year-old colt by Point Given (Thunder Gulch).
Congratulations to Skyring, owner Calumet Farm, which bred the winner in the name of Bluegrass Hall, trainer D. Wayne Lukas, jockey Joe Rocco Jr. and the rest of Skyring's connections. The Slew Crew wishes you continued success.