Why McPeek chose the Whitney for Swiss Skydiver

Why McPeek chose the Whitney for Swiss Skydiver
Photo: Evers/Eclipse Sportswire

As reported earlier, Kenny McPeek decided to enter Swiss Skydiver in the Whitney (G1) after a quarantine on his Saratoga barn meant she could not run in Saturday's Shuvee (G2) as planned.

McPeek told Horse Racing Nation Wednesday that he knows the competition will be tough, with horses such as Maxfield, Silver State and Knicks Go among the possible starters.

But, he said, "fillies have won this race before. It's not my first choice, but I don't have any control over the fact that they're not going to let me run in the Shuvee. My preference would be to have an easier race first time back, but the powers that be said that's not going to, timing-wise, going to work. But she's capable of beating some of these horses. Is it ambitious? Yes. But so was the Preakness, so."

Swiss Skydiver's win over Authentic in the 2020 Preakness was the highlight of a very successful – and busy – year for the 4-year-old filly.

This year, she has raced only twice, winning the March 13 Beholder Mile (G1) and finishing third behind Letruska and Monomoy Girl in the April 17 Apple Blossom (G1).

She has been working at Saratoga, going four furlongs in 52.5 seconds on July 10, a week after posting a bullet 48.4-second breeze at the same distance.

McPeek also is rethinking his plans for other horses in his Saratoga barn that were pointed to graded stakes.

"We're working through a lot of that," he said. "Crazy Beautiful should be pointing towards the Alabama. I think they're going to invite her to the to the Saratoga Oaks – she has broken her maiden on turf."

Crazy Beautiful was slated to run in Saturday's Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) after wins in the Delaware Oaks (G3) and the Summertime Oaks (G2) in her last two starts.

The Saratoga Oaks (G3) is scheduled for Aug. 8 on the turf, and the Alabama (G1) is Aug. 21.

Tabor Hall also was expected to run in the CCA Oaks, and McPeek said she has been nominated to the Aug. 7 Test (G1).

"And then King Fury, we're hopeful that they're going to give us an opportunity to run in the Jim Dandy (G2). If they don't, then he's going to be invited to the Saratoga Derby (G1). And then the ultimate goal with him is the Travers (G1)."

King Fury opened his 2021 campaign with a win in the Lexington (G1) and then was a late scratch from this year's Kentucky Derby because of a fever. He rallied to finish second to Masqueparade in the Ohio Derby (G2) last out.

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