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Currency Swap Wins You And I Stakes

Currency Swap breaks maiden at Saratoga.
With a measured victory in the $85,000, seven-furlong You and I stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park, Currency Swap showed the form that marked his 2011 juvenile campaign, which included a win in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course.


Sent off as the 3-2 second choice behind even money favorite Hardened Wildcat, Currency Swap broke alertly from the outside post and was sent to the lead by jockey Rajiv Maragh for the run up the backstretch.


Setting moderate fractions of 23.67 and 47.16, Currency Swap was asked for run at the top of the stretch by Maragh, shook clear, and maintained an easy advantage to the wire, finishing three quarters of a length ahead of Brian, who in turn was 1 ¾ lengths clear of Hardened Wildcat, with Tightend Touchdown and Phil Dancer completing the order. Currency Swap completed seven furlongs in 1:22.43 and paid $5.10 for a $2 win wager.


“When I saw him on the overnight, I was really excited,” said Maragh, who rode the colt in his Hopeful triumph, a race in which eventual Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another ran sixth. “He’s a really talented horse. I got a good draw on the outside, so I had a shot to break and see what was happening. It didn’t seem like the pace was developing fast, so I kind of just took advantage of that and stayed close and he finished strong. He kept on going – it definitely was not the end of his run at the wire. He had more left.”


Owned by Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence and trained by Teresa Pompay, Currency Swap was undefeated last year as a 2-year-old, winning a Saratoga maiden race en route to the Hopeful.


Given six months off, he returned to the races March 16 in a Gulfstream Park allowance, finishing second by seven lengths to eventual Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial winner Gemologist, and subsequently ran 11th in the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Illinois Derby on April 7.


“The two turns and a mile and an eighth in the Illinois Derby was a lot to throw at him, and he had a rough trip besides, so it was good to regroup,” said Pompay. “There were still some nice racehorses in here, but it was a little bit less salty and it will pick his head up.”


The trainer mentioned that for now, the plan is to keep the High Cotton colt sprinting, with a logical next spot the seven furlong, Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens on Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 9.


“I talked to the owners and we wanted to win this and thinking maybe the Woody Stephens and then maybe later in the year trying to stretch him back out and see if he can do it,” said Pompay. “But we want to keep his confidence up and give him a few good races in a row where we know he can be really effective.”




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