This Saturday, we'll welcome SWISS SKYDIVER back to the races, as she'll line up against seven others in the $300K Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park. This is a race for fillies and mares, four year olds and upward, going a mile over the dirt. She'll be shortening in distance as she makes her first appearance in the West since last Summer. She'll break from the one hole against a testy field of seven others, including up-and-comers HARVEST MOON and SANENUS.
In preparation for her first start of 2021, SWISS SKYDIVER registered a 5F bullet at Gulfstream Park, going 58.09 seconds, the best of 39 works at that distance. She's been working consistently, never missing a week, dating back as early as the start of February.
We last saw SWISS SKYDIVER in the Breeder's Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland last Fall, where she finished a disappointing 7th against MONOMOY GIRL. Unfortunately, SWISS SKYDIVER stumbled at the break and never recovered enough to fire her competitive run. The racing world would have to wait another day to see the highly anticipated matchup between SWISS SKYDIVER and MONOMOY GIRL. Saturday's stakes race is a step in that direction.
The Beholder Mile runs at a shorter distance than what SWISS SKYDIVER is used to. In 12 career starts, she competed at a mile only once and finished second. This was for an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Churchill Downs back in November of 2019. Nevertheless, her high cruising speed, class, and experience has her towering over this field. She'll be a heavy favorite as she hopes to redeem her disastrous Breeder's Cup race.
She'll break from the one hole and will probably be gunned to the lead. Afterall, she is the class of the field, so the strategy may simply be to run them off their feet. Who can run past her in deep stretch? Our 2020 Horse of the Year AUTHENTIC couldn't; we saw SWISS SKYDIVER repel his challenge in the 2020 Preakness Stakes (G1). SWISS SKYDIVER will be extremely tough to duel with. She's tough as nails, freshened up, and ready to roll.
One competitor looks to give her a run for her money: HARVEST MOON. This filly is also coming off the shelf. She too ran in the Breeder's Cup Distaff (G1) but finished fourth. It might have been too tall a task to send HARVEST MOON on a road trip while stepping up in company to compete in the B.C. Distaff. Well, she's back on home soil. She's 3-for-3 at one mile, and already has a win over the Santa Anita track.
One other mare that could provide a stern test for SWISS SKYDIVER is SANENUS from the Michael McCarthy barn. Watch out for her — she is by SCAT DADDY and is lightly raced with only three starts on her resume. She ran terrific second to FINITE last November in the Chilukki Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs in just her second start. Afterwards, she shipped back to California to try two turns for the first time, and she passed with flying colors, winning by six lengths. But she's never faced anything like SWISS SKYDIVER so far.
SANENUS will need to be on her A+ game. Her workouts leading up to this race weren't dazzling, but hey, she's 5-years-old now, perhaps she's the type to save her steeze for race day. With sentimental betting money flooding to SWISS SKYDIVER we can expect a generous price for SANENUS.