Swiss Skydiver Takes on the Boys in Blue Grass
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
A big field of 13 has been entered in the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) Saturday at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. The field offers the winner 100 points towards the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
The big story is Peter Callahan’s filly Swiss Skydiver taking on the boys. The Ken McPeek-trainee is coming in off three straight wins, starting with the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), then the Fantasy (G3) and the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) by four lengths. She has won over three different tracks in her last three starts, and broke her maiden at Churchill Downs, so an eye on a run at either the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks is well within her sights. Mike Smith will ride the daughter of Daredevil, who cost a mere $35,000 as a yearling.
She will have to defeat a salty field of colts as they battle for Derby points. Rushie ships in from California after running third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) last out. The Michael McCarthy runner was an allowance winner at Oaklawn Park on May 2. Javier Castellano rides the son of Liam’s Map.
Enforceable won the Lecomte (G3) at the Fair Grounds in January. He was second in the Risen Star (G2) in February, then fifth at 3-1 in the Louisiana Derby (G2) in March. The son of Tapit, who is a royally bred half or full brother to New Year’s Day, Mohaymen, and Kingly, has not run since March 21. He has been training in Florida with Casse, and will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Art Collector has crossed the wire first in three races in a row for owner Bruce Lunsford. He is now under the care of trainer Thomas Drury Jr. Bernardini sired this bay colt, who has not run in stakes company since a turf race here in the fall. Art Collector has won at six (disqualified from first later), seven, and 8.5 furlongs. Brian Hernandez, Jr. will ride.
Basin was a Grade 1 winner at two, but seeks his first win at three. He was third in the Rebel (G2), and second in the Arkansas Derby (G1), beaten six lengths by Charlatan. Steve Asmussen trains the Jackpot Farm runner, who is a $150,000 yearling by Liam’s Map.
Shivaree breaks from the rail. He was second in both the Hutcheson Stakes sprinting, and the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The Ralph Nicks trainee was third over a mile in allowance company last out. This will be his twelfth start.
Finnick the Fierce, Mr. Big News, Man in the Can, Hard Lightning, Attachment Rate, Tiesto, and Hunt the Front round out the field. Watch and wager on the entire Keeneland meet with TVG.
- October 22, 2021
For good reason, much of the attention on the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) will be on the international runners who come to Del Mar for the 12-furlong contest. In the last decade, just three winners have hailed from the United States, with the other seven coming from Europe. Since 2000, that split is 16 Europe, six for America.
- October 21, 2021
This is the last of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
- October 20, 2021
A superb edition of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is on tap November 6, and the prospective field is a list of one sparkling star after the other.