Swiss Skydiver stretches legs this a.m. ahead of the Kentucky Oaks

September 1, 2020

Trainer Kenny McPeek sent Peter J.Callahan’s multiple graded stakes winner Swiss Skydiver to the track for her regular morning exercise designed to keep her happy and allow her to “just stretch her legs” ahead of Friday’s race. On Monday, the Daredevil filly drew post position one of nine and was installed as the 8-5 second choice on the morning line.

“I’ll have to study the pace, but all it takes is one horse to get off a little awkward to change everything, so we’ll leave that up to Tyler(Gaffalione),” McPeek said. “I have seen the other horses train and there are some that are training really well. We’ll have our work cut out for us either way.

“Nine horses, it’s a good number. It’s tough race to win. I learned that with Take Charge Lady. She was 4-5 several years ago and she got upset by Farda Amiga, who ran the race of her life. So there are no guarantees. Our filly is doing super.”Swiss Skydiver has won four stakes this year between 1 1/16 miles and 1 ¼ miles, while her main rival Gamine, the even-money favorite, has only raced beyond a mile once in her four-race career.

“Her form is pretty well proven, so we’ve done our job. I think the question mark with Gamine is that she hasn’t done two turns on a regular basis. When she did, she had to fight for it. We ran on the same racetrack that weekend at Oaklawn and I don’t think there’s a lot separating them. It’s going to be fun to watch. That’s what makes me confident. (Bob Baffert’s) filly is going to have to do something she hasn’t experienced and it’s something we’ve done over and over all year.”Although she is a lightly framed filly, McPeek says Swiss Skydiver always has distinguished herself from other top fillies he has had.

“They’re all different. My filly is just so hickory. All week she’s done nothing but dive into the feed tub. The biggest problem we have is keeping her settled when we don’t feed her right away. That’s a real rarity. Most fillies aren’t this sturdy. She loves what she does and eating is her number one thing to do. It makes a trainer’s job really easy.”

Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

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