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Currency Swap Wears Down Trinniberg in Hopeful

Currency Swap wore down 68-1 shot Trinniberg with a gritty run through the final yards Monday afternoon to take the 107th running of the $250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course and give hometown trainer Teresa Pompay her first Grade 1 win.

Kept on the outside about four lengths off the lead by jockey Rajiv Maragh as Trinniberg zipped through opening fractions of 21.91 seconds and 45.14 over the sloppy track, Currency Swap began cutting into the front-runner's lead on the turn, drawing alongside in midstretch. Digging in, the longshot refused to fold, and the two slugged it out to the end, with Currency Swap hitting the wire three-quarters of a length in front.

"I wasn't sure I was going to win it until after I had passed the wire," said Maragh.

In covering the sloppy seven furlongs in 1:26.16, Currency Swap's victory was a thrill not only for Pompay, who grew up in Saratoga Springs, but for her many friends and relatives in attendance.

"I was so excited I thought I was going to pass out," said Pompay, who began galloping horses at the Spa when she was 16. "It's been exciting and fun because I knew I was bringing a good horse. This horse is so special. I'm so proud of him that he came through."

The Three Chimneys Hopeful was the second straight win in as many starts for the 2-year-old High Cotton colt, who one month ago swept to an eye-catching six-length victory in his debut at Saratoga's 143rd meet. The win also earned the colt, owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November as part of the "Win and You're In" series.

"This is just the start, because now we can go forward from here," said Pompay. "Obviously we'd like to do the Breeders' Cup ... I think this horse is going to get better as he gets older, and I think he'll like the added distance as well."

Part of a coupled entry that was sent off as the 9-5 favorite, Currency Swap returned $5.80 for a $2 win bet to his backers in the closing-day crowd of 16,241. The winner's purse of $180,000 boosted his bankroll to $210,000, triple what his owners paid for him at the Fasig-Tipton yearling sales in Kentucky last July.

"It's been a long time between Grade 1s for us," said Klaravich owner Seth Klarman, noting his last Grade 1 winner was Subordination in the 1998 Eddie Read at Del Mar. "We were excited about this horse before he even ran. We'll see how he comes out. Logically, the next spot would be the Champagne [Grade 1, October 8, Belmont Park]."

Trinniberg, who paid $32 to place and $11.40 for show, was 3 ¾ lengths clear of Big Blue Nation. Completing the order of finish were Laurie's Rocket, Power World, I'll Have Another, Hunt Crossing, Vexor, and Clip the Coupons, the other half of the entry.

"Shoot, I thought we'd get it," said Bisnath Parboo, trainer of the runner up. "But that's racing. I think he needed the experience of the mud. I think he'll run better going shorter than longer."

J C's Pride, the second choice, was pulled up on the turn and vanned off but showed no apparent signs of injury or lameness, according to NYRA Chief Examining Veterinarian Dr. Anthony Verderosa.


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