Swiss Skydiver

The X-Ray Files: Elliott Walden

The TDN sat down with WinStar Farm President and CEO Elliott Walden for the next installment in this ongoing series presented in cooperation with the Consignors and Breeders Association (CBA). Through conversations with buyers and sellers, the series looks to contribute to the discussion on radiograph findings and their impact on racetrack success. Elliott Walden had already enjoyed Classic success as a trainer with 1998 GI Belmont S. winner Victory Gallop when he joined WinStar Farm in 2002. He has served as CEO of the operation-- which has produced success...

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McPeek: Swing High, Swing Hard

Call it going with his gut. Literally. They cut out a whole stretch of it, and with it went much of the caution, the aversion to risk, that seems to stifle so much of the adventure in other trainers. "The truth is that when I was younger, I was probably real conservative," Kenny McPeek admits. "Early in my career, I was mostly dealing with claiming horses, with the odd allowance or stake horse here and there. Then I had a misdiagnosed ruptured appendix. It walled off and they did emergency...

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Swiss Skydiver Delivers First Foal in Japan

Champion Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) delivered her first foal, a filly by Europe's 2014 Horse of the Year Kingman (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) on Feb. 15 at Northern Farm in Japan, according to the farm's Twitter and Facebook accounts. The 6-year-old mare, who defeated males in the 2020 GI Preakness S. and also won the GI Alabama S. and GI Beholder Mile, was purchased for $4.7 million by Katsumi Yoshida at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Fall Mixed Sale and was then sent to England, where she was bred to Kingman at Juddmonte...

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Bidding Now Open for Fasig-Tipton December Digital Selected Sale

Fasig-Tipton has catalogued 143 entries for its December Digital Selected Sale, which may now be viewed at Bidding is open as of Thursday, Dec. 8 at 12 p.m. ET and closes Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. ET. The catalogue features selected horses of racing age, breeding stock, weanlings, and yearlings. There are offerings located throughout the United States, including California, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. "We have put together a very exciting catalogue for this inaugural December Digital auction," said Leif Aaron,...

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Envoutante Ships In For Beholder Mile

Four of the previous five winners of the GI Beholder Mile were either already in possession of an Eclipse Award or would go on to become a champion later in their career. The Ken McPeek-conditioned 2020 champion 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) made light work of last year's renewal and the barn will look to defend their title this weekend with Walking L Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm's Envoutante (Uncle Mo). Same as she did during her 3-year-old season in 2020, the dark bay was kept busy with seven starts...

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McPeek Shopping For Yearlings in Argentina

More so than perhaps any top trainer in the sport, Ken McPeek is always thinking outside the box. And he's at it again. McPeek is in the midst of a three-day excursion to Argentina, where he is shopping for yearlings. It's not at all uncommon for American trainers to buy yearlings overseas, but to do so in the Southern Hemisphere is largely unchartered territory. That's because Southern Hemisphere horses are born primarily in the months of August, September, October and November. For U.S. racing purposes, they turn a year older...

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Veteran Jockey Robby Albarado to Retire

Jockey Robby Albarado, a winner of more than 5,000 races and the regular rider of Hall of Famer Curlin, has decided to retire. The 48-year-old rider will end his career Saturday at Turfway Park, where he has a mount in the seventh race. The news of his retirement was first reported by Daily Racing Form's Marty McGee. "It's time," Albarado told DRF. "I've been thinking about this for quite a while now." Albarado told McGee that he plans on becoming a jockey agent next year. Albarado started out at the...

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Stars Align at Fasig-Tipton November

by Jessica Martini, Brian DiDonato, and Christie DeBernardis LEXINGTON, KY - The Fasig-Tipton November Sale opened Tuesday afternoon with strong returns for its weanling offerings before exploding with frenetic bidding from an internationally diverse buying bench on a wide selection of superstar mares that ultimately produced a sales record gross of $103,699,000 for 149 head. That figure bested the auction's previous record of $89,473,000 which was set in 2018. The average of $695,966 was the second highest in sale history, falling short only of the 2008 average of $772,297, while...

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Swiss Skydiver Off To Japan Following $4.7M Sale

Peter Callahan's Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil--Expo Gold, by Johannesburg) didn't turn a single hair for the entirety of the five minutes and change that she stood in the ring at Fasig-Tipton November Tuesday evening, and when the dust had settled, the chestnut filly had sold for $4.7 million to the bid of Northern Farm's Shingo Hashimoto. It took just a bit more than the 1:53 required for Swiss Skydiver to win last year's COVID-delayed GI Preakness S. for the bidding to wander into the $3-million territory, with interested parties both inside...

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'Special Filly' Swiss Skydiver Will Be Missed at McPeek Barn

In just a few weeks, champion Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil - Expo Gold, by Johannesburg) will sell at the Fasig-Tipton 'Night of the Stars' Sale. On an evening heralded for its abundant opportunity, her trip through the ring will be marked with anticipation for what is to come as she begins her broodmare career. But until then, there's just a bit of melancholy for her fans in looking back on her remarkable racing career. What was it, exactly, that made Swiss Skydiver so unforgettable? It could have been her extraordinary toughness...

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Champion Swiss Skydiver to be Sold at Fasig-Tipton

Peter J. Callahan's reigning Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil--Expo Gold, by Johannesburg) will be offered at Fasig-Tipton's The November Sale, also known as the Night of the Stars, according to a press release from trainer Kenny McPeek. Runnymede Farm will serve as agent. Swiss Skydiver is currently out of training after finishing off the board in the Aug. 28 GI Personal Ensign S. "It's been an honor to train her over the last three years," said McPeek. "She's sound and healthy. Her owner, Peter Callahan, and I thought...

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The Process: Ken McPeek

With thousands of horses on offer from the top of the market and on down, Keeneland September is unlike any other yearling sale and requires serious hard work and focus to shop effectively. We've caught up with several prominent buyers to find out how they attack the auction from pre-sale preparations and into the two weeks of selling. This first installment features trainer Ken McPeek, whose prowess at finding top athletes for value--often with less fashionable pedigrees--is well documented. Among McPeek's long list of KEESEP finds are Hall of Famer...

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