Swiss Skydiver showed up the field of colts by winning the Preakness Stakes, becoming the sixth filly to win in the race’s 145-year history. The last filly to win the race was Rachel Alexandra in 2009. All told, 55 fillies have competed in the Preakness.
In a battle down the stretch, Swiss Skydiver held off Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, showing the grit and competitiveness that has marked her career. Not only did she win the race, she ran the second-fastest Preakness in history at 1:53.28, surpassed only by Secretariat who finished in 1:53:00.
Jockey Robby Albarado gave the filly a great ride, tucking her in behind the leaders until the half-mile, when he saw an opening between Thousand Words and Authentic when Johnny Velesquez abandoned the rail. Albarado angled Swiss Skydiver off the rail and shot through the hole rather than pulling out wide and going around them. It was a gutsy move that paid off.
“If I make that move now, I got a shot,” Albarado recalled thinking. “If I wait, I get smothered.”NYT
Swiss Skydiver and her half-sister Shedaresthedevil have brought a lot of attention to their sire, Daredevil, who was sold to the Turkish Jockey Club by Winstar Farms in 2019. I’m sure there are a lot of people now wishing they could take him back.
This year the Preakness was a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” contest for the Classic. So, Swiss Skydiver earned a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic by virtue of her victory.
Interesting piece of trivia: The filly was named in honor of owner Callahan’s eldest grandchild, Callie Rasnake, who parachuted out of a plane over the Swiss Alps and sent her grandfather a video of the jump.