Skip Away succumbs to heart attack

US Hall of Fame galloper Skip Away died on Friday from a heart attack at Hopewell Farm in Kentucky.  The much-loved grey was 17.

The 1998 Horse of the Year trails only Curlin and Cigar among all-time money earners in North America with $9.61 million.  Skip Away was owned by Carolyn Hine and trained by her late husband Sonny for an overall mark of 38: 18-10-6 from four seasons of racing.

Skip Away (Skip Trial) won the Blue Grass Stakes (G1), Haskell Invitational (G1), Woodbine Million (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and Ohio Derby (G2).  He also finished second in both the Preakness St. (G1) and Belmont St. (G1) and was named Champion USA 3yo Colt in 1996.

Skip Away took on all comers during an ambitious four-year-old campaign, racing 11 times at seven different tracks in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Texas, and never finished out of money.  After easily defending his title in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, he rounded out the year with a smashing six-length romp in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).  

Skip Away eventually stretched his winning streak to nine straight in 1998.  It included victories in the Donn Hcp (G1), Gulfstream Park Hcp (G1), Pimlico Special Hcp (G1), Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) and Woodward Stakes (G1).   He also won the Philip H. Iselin Hcp (G2) and Massachusetts Hcp (G3) to claimed the Horse of the Year award.

Bred in Florida by Anna Marie Barnhart, Skip Away hailed from the winning Iron Ruler mare Ingot and stood 12 seasons at stud.   His top offspring include G3 winners Skipaslew, Sister Swank and Skip Code.