• The week’s top Beyer speed figure in North America
102 Swiss Skydiver
Saratoga (August 15): Alabama Stakes G1 $500,000, 1m2f, dirt, 3yo fillies
Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
Owner: Peter J Callahan
Pedigree: 3yo ch f Daredevil – Expo Gold (Johannesburg)
Swiss Skydiver’s emphatic victory in the G1 Alabama suggested Gamine might not have things entirely her own way next month in the Kentucky Oaks.
The filly’s crushing 3½-length success over Bonny South received a Beyer of 102 – and while that remains some way adrift of the 108 achieved by Gamine at the same venue seven days previously, there are a couple of significant factors pointing towards Swiss Skydiver’s chances at Churchill Downs.
Firstly, she was totally geared down by Tyler Gaffalione at Saratoga, suggesting her final figure could easily have been improved had he not been keen to leave something in the tank for Kentucky on September 4.
Second, Swiss Skydiver is fully proven at the Oaks trip of 1m1f, whereas Gamine, having cut back to 7f for the Test Stakes on her most recent outing.
On the other hand, Gamine has looked every inch a superstar in winning a pair of G1s by a combined margin of 25¾ lengths – and when she stepped up to a mile for the Acorn at Belmont, she hit an imposing 110 on the Beyer scale and won by 18¾ lengths.
That’s probably why the Baffert filly is odds-on for the Kentucky Oaks, and Swiss Skydiver is not. However, also worth pointing out is Swiss Skydiver’s previous form – she is fully seasoned, with a string of graded successes before her G1 breakthrough at Saratoga.
Moreover, she was beaten by only leading Kentucky Derby hope Art Collector when she took on her male counterparts in the G2 Blue Grass, and trainer Kenny Mcpeek is already eyeing the Preakness Stakes after the Kentucky Oaks.
Guess you pays your money and takes your choice.
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