Peter Callahan’s multiple graded stakes winner Swiss Skydiver, the runaway leader atop the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with 310 points, might challenge the boys in Saturday’s 94th running of the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) on the fourth day of Keeneland’s unprecedented five-day Summer Meet.
Nominated to the Triple Crown, Swiss Skydiver, a daughter of Daredevil, also is nominated to Keeneland’s Central Bank Ashland (G1) to be run the same day.
She is trained by Kenny McPeek, who also conditions another Central Bank Ashland nominee, Envoutante, a daughter of Uncle Mo owned by Walking L Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm. Envoutante won an allowance race at Churchill Downs in her most recent race on May 29.
Entries for the Toyota Blue Grass and Central Bank Ashland both will be taken Wednesday.
“I’m not going to decide (the next race for Swiss Skydiver) until the morning of entries,” McPeek said late Saturday morning after Envoutante and Swiss Skydiver each worked at Churchill Downs.
“There’s several factors (in making the decision),” he added. “I need to make sure the other filly (Envoutante) is good to go in the Ashland. Like I said, I’m inclined to keep them apart. We’ll see. I want to check field size, things like that.”
No filly has won the Toyota Blue Grass, and only one filly has run in the race since it debuted at Keeneland during the track’s inaugural Spring Meet in April 1937. She is Hyman Friedberg’s homebred Harriet Sue, who in 1944 won the Ashland and next was fifth to Skytracer in the Blue Grass.
That year, Keeneland’s Spring Meet was held at Churchill Downs.
In 1948, future Hall of Famer Bewitch was scratched from the Blue Grass.
Saturday’s 83rd running of Central Bank Ashland figures to attract a small but select field regardless of where Swiss Skydiver runs.
Three Grade 2 winners are expected to be entered Wednesday: Juddmonte Farms’ Bonny South, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks; Slam Dunk Racing, Doug Branham and Legacy Ranch’s Tonalist’s Shape, winner of the Davona Dale, and Ciaglia Racing, Highland Yard, River Oak Farm and Dominic Savides’ Venetian Harbor, winner of the Las Virgenes.
About the Toyota Blue Grass: Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass, which marks the 25th running of the race sponsored by Toyota, could draw a field of 12, including Swiss Skydiver.
Other notables expected to pass the entry box include Jackpot Farm’s Basin, winner of last summer’s Runhappy Hopeful (G1) and most recently runner-up in a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1); John Oxley’s Enforceable, winner of the Lecomte (G3) and multiple graded stakes-placed, and Bruce Lunsford’s sharp Churchill allowance winner Art Collector.