Skip Away got his 5-year-old season off to an impressive start with a 2-3/4-length victory in the $300,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.
Skip Away, the North American champion older horse and a finalist for 1997 Horse of the Year, took control leaving the far turn and finished ahead of Unruled, a 97-1 shot. Sir Bear was third at 49-1 and Wagon Limit fourth at 38-1.
In Arcadia, Calif., Silver Charm and Gentlemen both dominated their races, setting up a showdown in the Santa Anita Handicap and creating a dilemma for jockey Gary Stevens.
Stevens rode Gentlemen to a 6-length victory in the $300,000 San Antonio Handicap, then came back two races later to pilot Silver Charm, the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion, to a four-length win in the $500,000 Strub Stakes.
Sometime before the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, Stevens will have to choose which of the outstanding runners he will ride in the 1-1/4-mile race.