Swiss Skydiver Reroutes to Santa Anita Oaks
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Swiss Skydiver was originally hoping to grab a spot at Royal Ascot, but travel logistics have her rerouting to the $200,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita Park this Saturday.
The prestigious 1 1/16-mile race drew four after the scratch of Smiling Shirlee, with Swiss Skydiver a 6-5 choice on the rail. Ken McPeek trains the daughter of Daredevil, who won both the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in March and the Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park in May. She broke her maiden impressively at first asking over the Churchill Downs racing strip, making her a credible threat for the 2020 Kentucky Oaks.
In the Fantasy, Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver was a 16-1 shot and outran California’s leading sophomore filly, Venetian Harbor. That rival was more than 10 lengths clear of the third place runner, and is not in the race today. Mike Smith has the call for the first time.
Facing Swiss Skydiver is a pair of Bob Baffert trainees and the talented filly Speech. Merneith is 2-1 morning line for Baffert after breaking her maiden sprinting at Oaklawn by more than 10 lengths. The $600,000 American Pharoah daughter ran second by a nose here in a February 23 maiden race over a mile, and has had five strong workouts since her victory. Drayden Van Dyke will ride.
Regal Beauty, Baffert’s second starter, is 10-1 on the morning line after breaking her maiden here against elders May 17. The daughter of Malibu Moon had been second and fifth in her two previous tries, but appears to have blossomed of late. Her dam is by Giant’s Causeway, and Abel Cedillo will ride for Gary and Mary West.
Speech has run second in three straight races, but ran Gamine to a neck at Oaklawn Park over the distance last out. She is graded stakes placed over the trip when running behind Donna Veloce in the Santa Ysabel, and trainer Michael McCarthy gave her a bullet move May 23 with five furlongs in :59 flat. Flavien Prat will ride the daughter of Mr Speaker.
The Santa Anita Oaks is one of seven stakes on Saturday’s blockbuster program. Watch and wager on all racing in California, including Golden Gate and Los Alamitos, with TVG.
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