Filly races to vic tory

Swiss Sky­diver caps off un­usual Triple Crown year

Daily Southtown (Sunday) - - SCOREBOARD - By Stephen Whyno

BAL­TI­MORE — Filly Swiss Sky­diver added an­other mem­o­rable moment to cap off a topsy-turvy Triple Crown sea­son.

Jockey Robby Al­barado made a power move to pass fa­vored Authen­tic around the far turn, and Swiss Sky­diver went head to head and beat him by a neck af­ter a stretch duel in the Preak­ness Stakes run with­out fans Satur­day. She’s the sixth filly and first since Rachel Alexan­dra in 2009 to win the Preak­ness, which this year served as the third leg of the Triple Crown for the first time.

“She’s just such a spe­cial filly,” said trainer Kenny McPeek, who won the Preak­ness for the first time for his sec­ond Triple Crown race vic­tory. “Just a real honor to be around a horse like this.”

At odds of 11-1, Swiss Sky­diver pulled off an up­set of 3-2 fa­vorite Authen­tic, who came in off win­ning the Ken­tucky Derby. It be­came a two-horse race with the rest of the field 10 lengths be­hind.

Je­sus’ Team was a dis­tant third at 40-1 and Art Col­lec­tor fourth at 2-1. The 145th run­ning of the Preak­ness at a mostly empty Pim­lico Race

Course came four weeks af­ter the Ken­tucky Derby and 3 1⁄ months since the


Bel­mont as they­were held out of or­der for the first time since the 1930s.

McPeek won a Triple Crown race for the first time since 2002 Bel­mont with Sar­ava, which was the big­gest up­set in the his­tory of that race. Swiss Sky­diver was the first filly to run the race since 2014, when Ria An­to­nia fin­ished last.

“I didn’t feel like that much ten­sion,” McPeek said. “I feel likewe­had her well-pre­pared.”

Al­barado got rid of any ten­sion more than half­way through, tak­ing the chance given to him by John Velazquez when Authen­tic’s Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez aban­doned the rail.

“I had an op­por­tu­nity,” said Al­barado, who won his sec­ond Preak­ness af­ter 2007 aboard Curlin. “I took advantage of the rail. Johnny stayed off the fence there, made a con­scious de­ci­sion to­move at that time. Give or take now. If I make that move now or I wait and get smoth­ered.”

Swiss Sky­diver avenged her loss in her only other com­pe­ti­tion against colts, when she fin­ished sec­ond to Art Col­lec­tor in the Blue Grass Stakes on July 11. She since won the Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga on Aug. 15 and fin­ished sec­ond in the Ken­tucky Oaks on Sept. 4.


Swiss Sky­diver (4) with Robby Al­barado aboard runs the rail for a win dur­ing Satur­day’s Preak­ness Stakes.

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