Ship Cadet broke like a rocket from the starting gate and never looked back on his way to cruising to a one-and-a-quarter length victory in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga on Friday, 18 August.
The two-year-old son of Midshipman, who became his sire’s second juvenile Stakes winner this summer, proved that experience was the key, having previously finished second in both the Listed Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park and the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth. Ship Cadet broke his maiden in his career debut in May when he won a five-furlong turf sprint at Belmont Park.
Originally scheduled for five-and-a-half furlongs on the turf, the Skidmore was moved to the main track due to the abundance of rain at Saratoga during the week. Regardless of the surface switch, a field of nine youngsters went to the post, with Seize the Grey going off as the slight favorite over Ship Cadet. Once the gates sprung the race was all but over, as Ship Cadet jumped out to a clear lead and was never headed. The rest of the battle was to see who finished second, with El Grande O holding off a late closing Seize the Grey for second.
Ship Cadet was bred in California by Mr. and Mrs. William T. Griffin and is the second foal out of Bella Mia, a multiple Stakes winning daughter of Harbor the Gold. Second dam Bella Campana was Stakes-placed during her racing career, and the female family also boasts G1 Ashland Stakes winner, Rings A Chime.
In addition to Ship Cadet, Midshipman is also represented by the talented juvenile filly, Amidst Waves, winner of the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park and who is entered in the Bolton Landing Stakes at Saratoga on 20 August. Midshipman is also represented this season by two-time juvenile place-getter Call Me Andy and Chilean Triple Crown winner, Fortino.