‘Silver Lining’: Due To EHV Disruption At Saratoga, Swiss Skydiver Will Aim For Whitney

Trainer Kenny McPeek told the Thoroughbred Daily News on Wednesday that he plans to start star filly Swiss Skydiver in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes on Aug. 7 at Saratoga. The 4-year-old Daredevil filly had been targeting this Sunday’s G3 Shuvee at the Spa, but entries from Barn 86, where McPeek’s horses are stabled, are currently not being accepted due to an EHV-1 quarantine.

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) placed Barn 86 under a precautionary quarantine on Thursday, July 15 due to a positive case of Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) in that barn.

The unnamed, unraced filly, who is trained by Jorge Abreu, was sent to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on Sunday, July 11, after developing a fever. She was then tested for a number of potential ailments, and a positive test for EHV-1 was returned on Thursday, July 15. The filly is currently recovering.

Subsequently, the New York State Veterinarian and New York State Equine Medical Director implemented a 21-day quarantine of Barn 86 retroactive to Sunday, July 11. Should there be no additional cases in Barn 86, the quarantine will be lifted on Aug. 1.

The 46 horses stabled in Barn 86, which is home to stalls for Abreu and trainer Kenny McPeek, will continue to be monitored daily for fever and other signs of illness. As of Tuesday, July 20, no horses in Barn 86 have developed a fever or displayed any symptoms of the illness.

Horses from Barn 86 have been allowed to train, with separate training hours from the general population.

McPeek believes the nine furlongs of the Whitney would be a good fit for Swiss Skydiver, and noted that she has been training well. The filly has not raced since finishing third in the G1 Apple Blossom on April 17.

“There might be a silver lining to this after all,” McPeek told the TDN.

The Whitney is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic this November at Del Mar.

Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News.

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