By Erin Shea
Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centrofanti’s Fear the Cowboy pulled a mild upset when he ran by even-money favorite Zulu and frontrunner Flashy Jewel in the stretch to win the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park March 25. Watch Video
The three-length win under jockey Jesus Rios was the multiple stakes winner’s first graded attempt in 20 starts.
In the 1 1/8 mile test for older horses over a fast main track, Flashy Jewel and jockey Joe Bravo broke well and went out to take the lead. Zulu and 2-1 second choice Team Colors tracked closely behind in second and third, as Fear the Cowboy settled second to last in the six-horse field, just ahead of longshot Joshua’s Comprise.
Through the first six furlongs, Flashy Jewel maintained a comfortable lead, setting fractions of :23.98, :48.02, and 1:12.52. Team Colors and Zulu continued to battle back and forth for second, after a attempt from jockey Jose Ortiz with Zulu to go to the inside around Flashy Jewel failed.
At the top of the stretch, Flashy Jewel still had the lead, as a mile went in 1:38.29, but his stride was shortening, Team Colors and Zulu were all out chasing the frontrunner. Rios, who moved his mount four wide in the turn for home, asked Fear the Cowboy to continue and the bay son of Cowboy Cal put away his rivals to hit the wire in a final time of 1:51.81 to earn the first graded stakes victory for his trainer, Efren Loza Jr.
Fear the Cowboy the Skip Away credit Leslie Martin