Swiss Skydiver took her show to the West Coast, gobbled up some more Kentucky Oaks points, further cemented herself as a division leader -- and hardly broke a sweat in the process.
The 3-year-old Daredevil filly got out to an easy lead in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Santa Anita Oaks and cruised gate-to-wire in a four-horse field. The Kenny McPeek trainee – a bargain $35,000 yearling purchase in 2018 – now has collected three straight victories, all in races paying 100 Road to the Kentucky Oaks points to the winners.
Swiss Skydiver was 9-1 on March 28 when leading at every call of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), then a 16-1 longshot May 1 when taking the Fantasy Stakes (G3) over a Grade 1-level field at Oaklawn Park.
Swiss Skydiver’s backers at the window weren’t so lucky this time, as the Peter Callahan-owned filly went off Saturday at 3-5 odds. Only three other runners – Merneith and Regal Beauty from Bob Baffert’s barn, and the Michael McCarthy-trained Speech – made it to the starting gates to challenge her.
Under jockey Mike Smith, Swiss Skydiver strolled through fractions of :22.92 and :46.55. She was never seriously challenged, making the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.20 for a win that paid $3.20.
Speech was second, with Merneith third.
Santa Anita Oaks - Group II
1.700 m - for 3yo mares - 200.000 USD
???? Santa Anita
Swiss Skydiver (USA)
(Daredevil - Expo Gold , by Johannesburg )
J : Mike Smith
T : @KennyMcPeek
B : @WinStarFarm
O : Peter J. Callahan pic.twitter.com/7GBZEk4CCc— ???? (@WorldRacing1) June 6, 2020
As a quirk of the short field, all four runners Saturday picked up points toward the Kentucky Oaks, rescheduled for Sept. 4. Swiss Skydiver now owns 310 points and could run for another 100 on July 11 back home in Keeneland’s rescheduled Ashland Stakes (G1).
“She’s good, just keeps getting better too,” said McPeek, who flew in Friday from his Churchill Downs base. “I was reluctant to bring her, we thought maybe we ought to wait for the Ashland with a short field and everything. ...
"They went 22 and change early, which kind of surprised me, but she’s got it in her. She’s getting better too, I think."