By Emily Shields
Swiss Skydiver pulled off a 9-1 upset when she took the $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on March 28 at Gulfstream Park. The sophomore daughter of Daredevil is trained by Ken McPeek, and the victory launched her to the top of the Kentucky Oaks points leaderboard.
The 2020 Longines Kentucky Oaks, postponed from May 1 to September 4, is one of the premier races in the country for three-year-old fillies. Swiss Skydiver now has 110 points towards the race after also running third in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at the Fair Grounds in February.
Second on the board is Bonny South, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) over division leader Finite. Brad Cox trains the daughter of Munnings for Juddmonte Farms. Munnings is also the sire of Finite, who won the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs in November, then took a pair of Fair Grounds Stakes before her loss.
Cox also trains Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner British Idiom, who was pointing for the Ashland at Keeneland before that meet was canceled. The two-time Grade 1 winner was second in her 2020 bow, and has been working steadily at Oaklawn Park. She is now being rerouted to the Fantasy (G3) at the Arkansas track May 1.
On the West Coast, Donna Veloce, Venetian Harbor, and Gamine are all top prospects. Donna Veloce was second in the Breeders’ Cup in just her second start, then won the Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) by more than four lengths. Venetian Harbor burst onto the scene with a nearly 11-length maiden win December 29, then added the Las Virgenes Stakes (G2) by over nine lengths on February 8. Both of those fillies are eyeing the Santa Anita Oaks (G2), which was originally slated for April 4. Gamine, who was effortless on debut March 7, has worked twice since that effort.
Of the five Oaks preps left on the calendar, two were at Keeneland and the meet was scrapped, and one was at Aqueduct which will not reopen before racing switches to Belmont Park. Santa Anita’s racing is up in the air, so the Fantasy may be the last prep already scheduled. Churchill Downs has said they will add more points races this summer.
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