Charles Fipke’s Java’s War, winner of the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes
April 13 and a troubled 13th in the Kentucky Derby, heads a field of
five or six likely starters in the Grade II, $150,000 Swaps Stakes.
The Swaps, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track, will be
run Thursday, July 4, kicking off a loaded Fourth of July weekend at the
Inglewood track. In honor of Independence Day, veterans and active
duty personnel – with proper military identification – will receive free
The Friday, July 5 program will mark the final night racing card at
Betfair Hollywood Park. Post time is 7:05. A concert featuring 80z All
Stars after the races are concluded and beer will be offered for $1 from
Saturday, July 6, will feature the signature event of the
Spring/Summer meet, the Grade I, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 1-4
miles on Cushion Track. Defending champion Game On Dude is expected to
head the field. A 75th anniversary commemorative DVD will be given away – one per paid admission while supplies last.
Trainer Ken McPeek confirmed to vice president-racing and racing
secretary Martin Panza Thursday morning that Java’s War will be arriving
at Betfair Hollywood Park July 1 and will be stabled in the barn of
Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg.
A son of War Pass out of the Rainbow Quest mare Java, Java’s War has
won three of eight starts with earnings of $672,091. He came to
prominence last year with a fast-closing third in the Grade I Breeders
Futurity at Keeneland. He hesitated and got away slowly in the Kentucky
Derby May 4, all but dooming his chances in the 19-horse field. Julien
Leparoux, who rode Java’s War in the Blue Grass and Kentucky Derby,
once again has the mount.
Other Swaps contenders include Tiz a Minister (trainer Paul Aguirre,
jockey Corey Nakatani), who came from far back to win the Grade III
Affirmed Handicap June 2; Power Broker (Bob Baffert, no rider), who won
the Grade I Front Runner at Santa Anita last Sept. 29 and coming off
wins at Churchill Downs and Belmont Park; Dice Flavor (Paddy Gallagher,
Mike Smith), victorious in the Grade III El
Camino Real Derby Feb. 16 at Golden Gate Fields; and Chief Havoc (Peter
Miller, no rider), a dominating allowance winner May 30.