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Java's War Makes Trek to California for Swaps

Java’s War, winner of the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes earlier this year, will make his California debut in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

A Grade II for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track, the Swaps is the third of nine races on the 4th of July program. Post time is 1 p.m. Track gates will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts. Veterans and active duty personnel – with military identification – will receive free general admission.

Owned by breeder Charles E. Fipke and trained by Ken McPeek, the War Pass colt out of the Rainbow Quest mare Java has won three of eight and earned $672,091.

Last after a slow start in the Blue Grass April 13 at Keeneland, Java’s War rallied strongly in the center of the track to defeat eventual Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice by a neck.

The bay hasn’t been out since finishing a troubled 13th in the Kentucky Derby May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Graded stakes success at Betfair Hollywood Park would be nothing new for McPeek. The trainer shipped Pure Fun here during the 2012 Autumn meet and the Pure Prize filly responded with a come-from-behind victory in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet last Dec. 8.

Tiz a Minister stretches out a sixteenth of a mile after a last-to-first victory in the Grade III Affirmed Handicap June 2.

Owned by Sayjay Racing, LLC and trained by Paul Aguirre, the California bred son of Ministers Wild Cat has won three of 13. Out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tiz a Mistress, he’s banked $420,780.

Came Home (2002) is the last horse to win the Affirmed and Swaps.

Chief Havoc steps into graded company after an authoritative allowance victory May 30.

Owned by Paul Makin and trained by Peter Miller, the Giant’s Causeway colt out of the A.P. Indy mare La Reina won by 4 ¾ lengths at the Swaps distance. He’s 2-for-7 with earnings of $90,117.

In his only previous appearance in a graded race, Chief Havoc finished last in the Grade I Champagne in his United States debut last Oct. 6 at Belmont Park. Trained by Jeremy Noseda at the time, the Kentucky bred was defeated by 11 ¾ lengths by winner Shanghai Bobby.

Dice Flavor enters off a fourth place finish in the Affirmed. Trained by Paddy Gallagher for Oda Racing Stable and US Equine, the Scat Daddy colt out of the Afleet mare Afleet Summer has won two of seven and earned $166,500.

Dice’s Flavor’s lone win in 2013 was a 9-1 surprise in the Grade III El Camino Real Derby Feb. 16 at Golden Gate Fields.


From inside out, the field for the Swaps Stakes: Dice Flavor, Mike Smith rides, 120 pounds; Tiz a Minister, Corey Nakatani, 120; Chief Havoc, Rafael Bejarano, 114 and Java’s War, Julien Leparoux, 122.

 

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