McPeek, Gaffalione’s Agent Pointing Fingers Over Preakness Decision With Swiss Skydiver

Tyler Gaffalione rode top 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver to win the G1 Alabama and then to a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, and according to her trainer Ken McPeek, was scheduled to ride her in her next start, as well. This week, McPeek told the Thoroughbred Daily News that Gaffalione’s agent, Matt Muzikar, had reneged on their agreement.

“I announced that we’re going to run in the Preakness and Tyler was on board,” McPeek said on the podcast. “By maybe 6:00 that night, his agent tells us that he can’t ride. And I’m like, ‘Look, you’ve given us a two-race commitment [GI Kentucky Oaks and Preakness].’ He said, ‘Oh well, sorry, I’ve got to ride for Chad Brown at Keeneland.’ I said, ‘You can’t do this. It’s dishonorable.’ I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I’ve never had something like that happen. I still find it dishonorable. Shame on Tyler Gaffalione and his agent.”

Muzikar responded Friday, telling TDN that McPeek had informed him, nine days prior, that Swiss Skydiver would be running in the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland, held on the day after this year’s Preakness Stakes. Thus, Muzikar began booking Gaffalione mounts for Keeneland that weekend.

When McPeek announced that he planned to run the filly in the Preakness at Pimlico instead, seven days ahead of the race, Muzikar wasn’t able to get out of his commitments at Keeneland on Saturday. McPeek wound up giving the Preakness call on Swiss Skydiver to Robby Albarado, who won the race.

“What did he expect us to do? Not take business for the Preakness card or at Keeneland and sit there and wait for Kenny McPeek because the world revolves around him?” Muzikar said. “Knocking me and the jockey, he crossed a line.

“Tyler had nothing to do with this whole situation, so I don’t like him knocking the jockey. Tyler is the greatest kid and the greatest jock I have had in the 26 years I have been doing this. He did nothing to him.”

Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News.

The post McPeek, Gaffalione’s Agent Pointing Fingers Over Preakness Decision With Swiss Skydiver appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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