News

 
Back to Newslist
In Harness: Connections Eye Another Matchmaker For Alexa Skye
By KEN WEINGARTNER
 

USTA/Ken Weingartner

Alexa Skye won nine of 21 races last year, hit the board an
additional seven times, and earned $184,729.

(Courtesy of USTA Media Relations)

Hightstown, NJ — Alexa Skye was sidelined for four months last summer because of a bone bruise, and after posting some mixed results upon her reappearance in September, is starting to show signs of regaining the form that made her a force in last year’s Blue Chip Matchmaker Series as her connections eye a return to that event seven weeks from now.

Trained by Jeff Cullipher, Alexa Skye was third by a neck on Dec. 10 at The Meadowlands and followed that performance a week later with a career-best 1:49.4 triumph at The Big M. After a respite over the holidays, she was back in action at Yonkers Raceway on Jan. 13, leading most of the way from post seven before getting passed in the stretch and finishing second to Heavens Showgirl A.

“We would have liked to see her finish the job, but she was off nearly a month and had an excuse to be a touch short there,” said Tom Pollack, who owns the mare with Cullipher. “I’m excited to see how she does the next month or so. Fingers crossed, she stays good, and we’ll give (the Matchmaker) another shot this year. It’s kind of cliché but we’re taking it one week at a time.”

Pollack and Cullipher bought Alexa Skye in February 2021 and saw her post five wins and two seconds in eight starts prior to being sidelined. During that time, she went 4-for-4 in the preliminary rounds of the Matchmaker Series before finishing fourth in the final.

For the year, Alexa Skye won nine of 21 races, hit the board an additional seven times, and earned $184,729.

“She was on top of her game when we bought her, and Jeff and Rico (assistant trainer Rico Robinson) did a great job keeping her there. Then we had the setback, and it took some time to heal. We kind of nursed her along. We missed some stakes, but we were trying to do the right thing by her.”

On Thursday, Alexa Skye competes in the $39,000 Open Handicap for fillies and mares at Yonkers. She will start from post one with driver Yannick Gingras and is the co-second choice on the morning line at odds of 3-1. Heavens Showgirl A also is 3-1 while Lit De Rose is the 5-2 favorite.

Alexa Skye, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Pirouette Hanover, has won 18 of 51 races in her career. She has enjoyed racing around the half-mile oval at Yonkers, with five wins and three seconds in nine lifetime starts at The Hilltop.

“I think she can race on any size track, but as we saw last year, she does like the short track for sure,” Pollack said. “But I think her versatility is her biggest asset. She can get around a half, but also is strong enough to finish miles on a mile track, so she’s always going to be in play because of that versatility.”

Alexa Skye will be staked to the Grand Circuit again this year, but Pollack and Cullipher will weigh their options when deciding on which races to make her eligible.

“Seeing how she does over the next couple weeks might help guide that,” Pollack said. “I’m not saying she will be in every race, but she will certainly be in some of them. I think we’ll pick our spots.”

Racing begins at 6:55 p.m. (EST) at Yonkers.

 
Back to Newslist
  
Sign up for the latest from OTB