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ARCADIA, CA – The 2020 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner and Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Swiss Skydiver returned with a strong effort off the bench to win Saturday’s $300,000 Beholder Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
Swiss Skydiver broke a half-step slow from the rail as the 7/5 favorite under Robby Albarado and was forced to rate in mid-pack heading into the clubhouse turn after Golden Principal outkicked her for the early lead.
Swiss Skydiver looked loaded as she rounded the far turn but had to wait until room appeared; along with being stuck behind the pacesetter, she was pinned in by Harvest Moon, who made a bid near the top of the stretch.
When Harvest Moon’s attempt failed, Swiss Skydiver surged between her and Golden Principal, then quickly took command as Albarado kept her to a ride through to the wire.
The Kenny McPeek trainee crossed 2 3/4 lengths clear, completing the fast dirt mile route in 1:36.18.
“Being on the inside, circumstances dictate that you need to get away clean to get some kind of a forward position,” Albarado said. “I knew we had speed in the race, but if I could get her in position, get her to clip off 12 (seconds) every 1/8 (of a mile), she comes home pretty fast. Pretty much up the backside, every point I felt like she was right there with me the whole way. She was taking deep breaths around there. When I finally gave her some room there, she took off. It was all her, I was just a passenger.”
As Time Goes By rallied five-wide in the stretch to take second as the 9/5 second choice, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Golden Principal.
Harvest Moon, This Tea, Clockstrikestwelve, and Miss Stormy D completed the order of finish.
Swiss Skydiver’s win, her sixth in a graded stakes and third in a Grade 1, improved her overall record to 13-7-3-1 with $2,025,480 earned for owner Peter Callahan, who along with McPeek purchased her for $35,000 as a yearling. The 4-year-old Daredevil filly was returning from a seventh-place finish behind Monomoy Girl in November’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), a race where she stumbled out of the gate and never got comfortable.
“I’ve never had a horse, colt or filly, eat like she does,” McPeek said. “Maybe we’ll go hunt Monomoy Girl now; we’ll see.”
Swiss Skydiver returned $4.80 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. As Time Goes By brought back $3.40 to place and $2.80 to show. Golden Principal paid $3.40 to show.
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