By Alan Carasso
Let go at an overlaid 16-1 exiting a front-running victory in the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks Mar. 28, Peter Callahan's Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) locked up with heavily favored Venetian Harbor (Munnings) in upper stretch and proved the superior stayer on the afternoon, reporting home a 2 1/2-length winner of Friday's GIII Fantasy S. at Oaklawn Park. Shedaresthedevil, victorious in the GIII Honeybee S. earlier in the meet, completed a 1-3 finish for her expatriated sire while never a menace to the top two.
Venetian Harbor was exiting a towering 9 1/4-length success in the GII Las Virgenes S. at Santa Anita Feb. 8 and was starting in the Fantasy as Plan C, following the cancellation/postponement of Keeneland's GI Ashland S. and GI Santa Anita Oaks. The 4-5 chalk was drawn well to take full advantage of her pedal-to-the-metal running style and she hit the ground running, racing freely through an opening quarter-mile in a testing :22.25, as Swiss Skydiver slid through at the rail to do the chasing from second. Sensing that perhaps his filly was going too hard on the engine, jockey Flavien Prat attempted to rein in Venetian Harbor, and while she settled some–the half-mile split was :45.43–that little breather allowed Brian Hernandez, Jr. astride Swiss Skydiver to roll up to press the pace just off the leader's flank entering the second turn. The two fillies had the race to themselves on the swing for home and to her credit, Venetian Harbor remained the boss entering the final furlong. But Swiss Skydiver nosed in front a sixteenth from home and edged clear.
A $35,000 Keeneland September yearling, Swiss Skydiver graduated by 5 1/2 furlongs at first asking over seven furlongs at Churchill Nov. 16 and returned on two weeks' rest to be second in a one-mile allowance over the same strip. A close fifth in the Jan. 18 Gasparilla S. at Tampa, the chestnut was a well-beaten third to Finite (Munnings) in the GII Rachel Alexandra S. at Fair Grounds Feb. 15 ahead of her breakthrough score in the GP Oaks in which she set a pace dramatically slower than the one she attended Friday.
Over the last two decades, owner Peter Callahan has campaigned GSWs Fistfite (Two Punch), Scotus (Successful Appeal) and SW & MGISP Beautician (Dehere) with Kenny McPeek.
Swiss Skydiver is a close relative to the stakes-placed Miss Hot Legs (Verrazano) and her dam was sold for $13,000 back in foal to Daredevil at Keeneland November in 2017. Expo Gold produced a colt by the sire in 2018 and a colt by Danzing Candy in 2019 after fetching $15,000 at the CTBA January Mixed Sale that winter. She was most recently bred back to Danzing Candy.
Friday, Oaklawn Park
FANTASY S.-GIII, $400,000, Oaklawn, 5-1, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:42.00, ft.
1–SWISS SKYDIVER, 121, f, 3, by Daredevil
1st Dam: Expo Gold, by Johannesburg
2nd Dam: Clouds of Gold, by Strike the Gold
3rd Dam: Cloudy Colors, by Personal Flag
($35,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP). O-Peter J. Callahan; B-WinStar Farm,
LLC (KY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek; J-Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.
$240,000. Lifetime Record: 6-3-1-1, $437,980. Werk Nick
Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Venetian Harbor, 121, f, 3, Munnings–Sounds of the City, by
Street Cry (Ire). ($110,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP; $205,000 RNA 2yo
'19 OBSAPR). O-Ciaglia Racing LLC, Highland Yard LLC, River
Oak Farm & Dominic Savides; B-Colts Neck Stables LLC (KY);
T-Richard Baltas. $80,000.
3–Shedaresthedevil, 121, f, 3, Daredevil–Starship Warpspeed,
by Congrats. ($100,000 Wlg '17 KEENOV; $20,000 RNA Ylg '18
KEESEP; $280,000 2yo '19 KEENOV). O-Flurry Racing Stables
LLC, Qatar Racing Limited & Big Aut Farms; B-WinStar Farm,
LLC (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $40,000.
Margins: 2HF, 10 3/4, HF. Odds: 16.10, 0.90, 10.00.
Also Ran: Alta's Award, Fire Coral, Lazy Daisy, Lake Avenue-(DH), Ring Leader-(DH), Ice Princess, British Idiom, Harvey's Lil Goil, Kansas Kis, New York Groove, Lady Glamour.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.