Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver logged an abundance of travel miles during a championship season last year, racing at nine different racetracks, on both coasts and numerous spots in between. Now she’s readying to take flight again.
Trainer Kenny McPeek said Feb. 26 after she worked five furlongs in 1:00.90 at Gulfstream Park that she is pointed toward either the $300,000 Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park or the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, both March 13. One of McPeek’s other top older females, Walking L Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Envoutante, is intended for the race Swiss Skydiver does not pursue.
“We’re leaning toward ‘Swiss’ going to the Beholder and Envoutante going to the Azeri,” McPeek said by telephone from South Florida. “As of today, that’s the likely direction we’re going to go.”
Swiss Skydiver, a 4-year-old daughter of Daredevil , won the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) in California last year and the Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn.
Last year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) winner has been away since stumbling at the start of the Nov. 6 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland, where she finished seventh, and Envoutante has been out of action since winning the Falls City Stakes (G2) by six lengths at Churchill Downs Nov. 26. The latter, a 4-year-old by Uncle Mo , also breezed Friday, five furlongs in a bullet :59.11.
The second fastest five-furlong work at Gulfstream Friday was turned in by McPeek’s top 3-year-old filly, Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) winner Simply Ravishing, who went the distance in :59.27. She won her first three races last year for owners Harold Lerner, Magdalena Racing, and Nehoc Stables before running fourth in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Golden Rod Stakes (G2) last fall.
“That was a pretty amazing breeze—she did that like an older horse,” McPeek said. “I could run her next weekend but I don’t have anywhere to go with her. At this point I’m going to sit tight and wait for the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).”
That race is a $200,000 contest at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream on the undercard of the Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa (G1) March 27. The Gulfstream Park Oaks is a Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep that awards points on a 100-40-20-10 scale to its first four finishers.
Simply Ravishing currently has 13 points, ranking 10th on the Oaks leaderboard.
Simply Ravishing trains ahead of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland
Simply Ravishing is part of a group of talented 3-year-old fillies McPeek has pointed for stakes over the next four weeks. Crazy Beautiful runs in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Feb. 27; Oliviaofthedesert and Tabor Hall are aimed at the Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn March 6; and Il Malocchio, third in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, goes in the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) March 20.