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Skinner: You Can't Buy Desire

Published: April 5, 2012 2:26 pm ET

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Delaware-based trainer Jason Skinner ships in a promising pair of three-year-old pacers, including a $1,500 bargain, for the $12,500 second bracket of the Spring Survivor Series, carded as race two on the 12-race Saturday program at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Skinner, 28, is from Ridgly, Maryland, and manages a 10-horse stable based at Gateway Farm in Harrington, Delaware, along with his fiancé, Susan Ehlers.

“I’ve actually won a couple of races at the Meadowlands,” said Skinner. “I saw this series coming up and thought I had a couple of nice three-year-olds to fit it.”

Winter Night (post five and program number five), a son of Western Terror, opened some eyes with a furious rally for third in :26.3 in his Big M debut last week with Corey Callahan in the bike.

“I don’t know how nice Winter Night is, but I’m excited about him,” admitted Skinner. “I couldn’t believe we got him for $1,500 as a yearling at Harrisburg. I went to the sale with Billy Moffett, and I actually missed the colt I wanted bad, which went for $15,000. When this guy came up, I loved his breeding, and I was the only one to bid on him. We had just arrived and it was early in the session. He was on the smaller side and his conformation was so-so, but he was a sharp looking colt.”

Like his rivals in the series, Winter Night is lightly raced.

“He only made three starts at two because he got hurt. He was a good feeling colt, but kept getting in trouble. He cut himself on the gate trying escape his stall and we had to stitch him up. Finally, I gelded him and he’s come around. You can see by his races at Dover Downs he just never spits the bit, gives you everything he has and goes right to the wire every time. He has so much desire and you can’t buy that.”

Skinner also has Atomic Bliss, who was a parked out fifth in the first bracket. The son of Blissfull Hall leaves from the rail (program number two), and makes his eighth career start after being unraced at two.

“Last week, he got parked out, but that was my fault,” noted Skinner. “He was running in at Dover Downs and I kept him rigged the same. Corey [driver Corey Callahan] was telling me he was getting roughed gaited and couldn’t hold him in. So, I’m taking the headpole off on the inside and hopefully he’ll get a better trip.

“Atomic Bliss is owned by David Neilson, who’s a friend of the breeder Daryl Bier. The horse was just okay with some other trainers. When they sent him to me I managed to get him gaited and qualified. I noted in his first qualifier he was pacing a lot in his last three-quarters. He was green, but we knew he could be alright. He’s doesn’t train well, but he just impresses me more and more. I think Breakin The Law is definitely the horse to beat in this series,” Skinner said.

Skinner is a third generation horseman who has been involved in the sport since a very young age.

“My grandfather and father trained horses. My grandfather, James Skinner used to ship up to Freehold. We always had some horses around, so I grew up in it. It’s been mostly horses for me. I never considered doing anything else. I could never get enough of it and still can’t. I would like to have a few more than the 10 horses we currently have. I’m in the hunt to claim some others. We concentrate on Dover Downs, which has a week left, Harrington, Chester and Pocono Downs.”

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

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