Sky Mesa colt takes ‘flight’ in Tropical Park Derby
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Sky Flight, making his stakes debut in Saturday’s $75,000 Tropical Park Derby, rallied in the Gulfstream Park stretch to give the 3-year-old Sky Mesa colt his third straight victory.
After breaking from the rail post position, Sky Flight settled in the back half of the 12-horse field through fractions of :23.31 and :46.02 for the first half-mile. Jose Lezcano took Sky Flight off the rail on the far turn, splitting foes at the top of the lane to take aim on pacesetter Cement Clement. Sky Flight collared him in mid-stretch and drew clear to win by a length in 1:40.25 for the 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
“The race seemed to set up for us. He was going good and I wasn’t going to rush him, ask him to do something he doesn’t want to do,” Lezcano said. “He was comfortable and when I asked him to run he closed really well.”
“He’s been forwardly placed in his other races, but obviously the pace was a lot hotter today. Jose did the right thing and had him a little farther off the pace and it set up perfectly,” Norm Casse, assistant trainer to his father Mark said. “Jose rode a great race.”

With the victory, Sky Flight is 3-0-0 in four starts, with a maiden win at Keeneland in October followed by an allowance score at Churchill Downs. He has earned $105,445 for owner John Oxley, who purchased the Kentucky-bred for $80,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling sale.

Sky Mesa is the nation’s co-leading sire of 2-year-old stakes horses in 2014 with nine, led by Best Pal S. (G2) winner Skyway.
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