Florida-bred star Currency Swap may have the Sunshine State in his blood, but his heart is in New York.
At least that is what his race record shows.
In seven career starts, the son of Ocala Stud stallion High Cotton has four wins – all in New York and three of which are at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs. Currency Swap broke his maiden at Saratoga then won the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes at the Spa last year. This year, the Terri Pompay trainee has won the $83,000 You and I Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York and Sunday took the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) back at Saratoga.
Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Currency Swap was hustled away from the gate and quickly took position just behind the speedy Doctor Chit, who had put daylight on the field of seven in the first few strides of the race. Down the backstretch, Doctor Chit maintained a length lead on Currency Swap in second as he rolled through fast fractions of :21.34 for the opening quarter-mile and an almost equally fast :44.04 for the first half.
Around the far turn, Currency Swap began to make his move and at the top of the stretch was on equal terms with Doctor Chit with Laurie’s Rocket just to their outside. Those three fought to the sixteenth pole when Currency Swap began to kick clear and eventually hit the finish line a length and three-quarters in front. Doctor Chit hung on for second, a neck in front of the late running Unbridled’s Note in third with yet another neck back to Laurie’s Rocket in fourth. Then came the Florida-bred tandem of Fort Loudon and Gun Boat followed by Politically Correct. Fort Loudon did not fire and Gun Boat broke poorly and was never able to get back into the swift race. Final time for the six and one-half furlongs was a sharp 1:15.33.
“[Currency Swap] loves it here [at Saratoga],” Pompay said beaming after the Amsterdam. “He’s been really doing well. I looked at him [during the race] and it was like he was doing it easy. I’d rather have him sit and stalk than be on the pace.”
And that is exactly what Maragh did. “[Currency Swap] is an amazing horse,” Maragh said. “He’s got a lot of speed. All the way he was giving me a lot of energy and came on strong. From day one, this horse always showed a lot of ability. I wasn’t concerned with the pace. I just wanted to have a clean trip and be in a stalking position, regardless of how fast they were going.”
Currency Swap returned $5.60 for a $2 win ticket, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. Doctor Chit paid $3.90 and $3.30 while Unbridled’s Note flashed $5.40 to show. He earned $120,000 for owner Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables Inc. of Boston, Mass., and William Lawrence and now has career bankroll of $508,300.
– Photo of Florida-bred Currency Swap by Coglianese