Reigning Eclipse Champion Swiss Skydiver made short work of her rivals in the Beholder Mile S. (G1) at Santa Anita on March 13, cruising to a 2 ¾-length victory in her 4-year-old seasonal debut. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Daredevil was ridden confidently throughout by Robby Albarado for owner Peter Callahan and trainer Ken McPeek.
“Yes, she met expectations, but you never know,” McPeek said following his charge’s first start since an uncharacteristic seventh-place finish in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland. “The distance for me was a little bit of a worry because of the run into the first turn. You can’t force anything with her, and you go too fast early, she will wilt a little bit. She cruises through everything, even when she gallops.”
Swiss Skydiver, who broke from the rail, rated off the early pace set by Golden Principal. Albarado guided his mount off the rail around the far turn for running room and once clear she accelerated away to win as she pleased, covering the one-mile distance in 1:36.18.
“When I finally gave her some room there she took off,” Albarado said. “It was all her. I was just a passenger. She’s been phenomenal. She’s been great since day one when I set eyes on her. Kenny has done an exceptional job coming here from across the country to get her a Grade 1. I look forward to the rest of the year with her.”
Winner of last year’s Preakness S. (G1) over males, the Alabama S. (G1), Santa Anita Oaks (G2), Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), and the Fantasy S. (G3), Swiss Skydiver is now an earner of more than $2 million. With her facile score in the Beholder, the three-time Grade 1 winner improved her record to 13-7-3-1. Swiss Skydiver was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm and was sold at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling sale for $35,000 out of the Select Sales consignment.