Sunny Skies Becomes First Stakes Winner for Animal kingdom

Sunny Skies ( Animal kingdom) became the first stakes winner for her freshman sire( by Leroidesanimaux Brz ) and second adolescent stakes win of the night for trainer Ken McPeek with a decisive rating in the Debutante S. at Churchill Downs. The ironically named filly proven no worse for wear after a serious thunderstorm delayed the race, keeping the juveniles in the paddock for almost an hour, and rapidly turned the way from fast to sloppy. The Normandy Farms homebred, who romped by nine lengths in her Keeneland unveiling Apr. 27 to become her sire’s first North American winner, was sent postward as the 6-5 favorite while receiving Lasix for the first time here.

Away without incident from the one-hole, the chestnut quickly moved up to duel longshot Rockin Royalty ( Early Flyer) on the front end through a sharp first quarter in: 21.48. Edging away a little bit as she reached the half in: 46.09, Sunny Skies kept on receiving in the lane, skipping clear to a 1 1/2 -length victory. Maiden and 17 -1 shoot Upset Brewing ( Justin Phillip) was second and 10 -1 opportunity Waki Patriot ( Awesome Patriot) checked in third. McPeek and jockey Robby Albarado teamed up to win the GIII Bashford Manor S. two races earlier with ” TDN Rising Star “ Ten City( Run Away and Hide ). The conditioner also won race seven with Harlan Strong( Arg)( Harlan’s Holiday ).

” A plenty of credit goes to our staff at Keeneland ,” McPeek told.” This filly has been a bit of a handful to train. She doesn’t like the stalls that are at Keeneland, so we were shipping her backward and forward to my develop center[ Magdalena Racing ], but would bring her back to the track to breeze. She’s coming around very well .” A A A He continued.” Robby[ Albarado] did a great job to get her in position and to nurse her speed around the turn. We’ll likely keep her here this summer and point towards the[ GII] Pocahontas[ S. Sept. 19 ]. I think you’ll find her and Ten City as workmates this summer .”

Owner/ breeder Nancy Polk’s Normandy Farm captured last year’s Pocahontas with Daddy’s Lil Darling( Scat Daddy ), who was runner-up in the GI Kentucky Oaks May 5.

Pedigree Notes :

Sunny Skies is the first black-type win for Darley’s first-crop sire Animal kingdom, who proved to be quite versatile with wins on clay, turf and synthetic. Winner of the 2011 GIII Spiral S ., the Graham Motion pupil scored a 20 -1 upset in that year’s Kentucky Derby, finished second in the 2012 GI Breeders’ Cup Mile and won the 2013 G1 Dubai World Cup. Sunny Skies is a half-sister to GII La Jolla H. win Sky Cape. Her now 22 -year-old dam rendered a Union Rags colt in 2016 and foaled an American Pharoah filly Apr. 25 of this year.

Friday, Churchill Downs
DEBUTANTE S ., $ 100,000, Cd, 6-30, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:11.83, sy.
1- #SUNNY SKIES, 120, f, 2, by Animal kingdom
A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 1st Dam: Skyscape, by Marquetry
A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 2nd Dam: Emley’s Hill, by Dewan
A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 3rd Dam: Matane, by Avatar
($ 47,000 RNA Ylg’ 16 KEESEP ). O/ B-Normandy Farm LLC( KY );
T-Kenneth G. McPeek; J-Robby Albarado. $57,660. Lifetime
Record: 2-2-0-0, $93,660.* 1/2 to Sky Cape( Najran ), GSW,
$452,208. 2 – Upset Brewing , 118, f, 2, Justin Phillip-Tipperary Moon, by
Malibu Moon. ($ 30,000 Ylg’ 16 KEESEP ). O-Allied Racing Stable,
LLC; B-Castleton Lyons& Kilboy Estate( KY ); T-William Bradley.
$18,600. 3 – Waki Patriot , 120, f, 2, Awesome Patriot-Tacky Waki, by
Miswaki. ($ 1,200 RNA Ylg’ 16 KEESEP ). O-Donna Hancock&
Charles W. Brown; B-Brandywine Farm( Jim& Pam Robinson)
( KY ); T-John A. Hancock. $9,300. Margins: 1 3/4, NK, 4HF. Odds: 1.30, 17.60, 10.70.
Also Operated: Red Dread, Lady O’Toole, Amberspatriot, She’s a Julie, Patrona Margarita, Genuwine, Caroline the Great, Chelada, Rockin Royalty. Scratched: Therighttobeararms. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton .

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