Barn Notes

I'll Have Another's Half-Brother Goes in Skip Away

Posted Thursday, May 24, 2012


            Those Wer the Days, a 5-year-old son of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch and Arch’s Gal Edith, has won five of his six lifetime starts and will attempt to extend his five-race consecutive win streak when he takes on a strong field of six other horses in Saturday’s $75,000 Skip Away Stakes at 1 1/6 mile on the main track.

            “He’s training very well and we’re happy to get him back in a race,” said Andrew St. Lawrence, who oversees Kiaran McLaughlin’s division at Monmouth Park. “He’s won on turf, on dirt, going short and going long.”

            Harvey Clark’s homebred is a half-brother to 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes victor I’ll Have Another, who will attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 when he runs in the Belmont Stakes on June 9. Thunder Gulch won two legs of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont.

            Those Wer The Days was second in his first and only start in 2009 when entered in the maiden claiming ranks, but hasn’t tasted defeat since as he’s climbed the ladder steadily. His last start was in a $64,000 optional claiming allowance race at Aqueduct on April 13 and the Skip Away will be his first time in a stakes race. The competition looks pretty salty.

            Pants on Fire, ninth in the Kentucky Derby last year, is dropping down from Grade 2 stakes company for trainer Kelly Breen, and Norman Asbjornson, the 11th place finisher in the 2011 Preakness, ships in for trainer Christopher Grove after finishing third in the Grade 3 Excelsior two starts back. Joe Vann, who comes out of Todd Pletcher’s stable, has been training over the Monmouth strip and figures to get plenty of support at the windows.

            “Joe has been in the barn here since we arrived and he’s turned in a couple of decent works over this track,” said Anthony Sciametta, Pletcher’s Monmouth assistant. “He’s a work horse in the mornings and he makes you think that he’s going to give you a good performance in the race.”

            The $60,000 Lamplighter Stakes, the 10th race on the 12-race program, precedes the Skip Away on the card. It is restricted to three-year-olds and will be run at 1 1/6 miles on the grass. Pletcher will send out Starlight Stable’s Heavy Breathing, who is dropping down after an 11th place finish in the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes last out, and Sciametta said that the colt has also been training well over the track for the race.   

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