Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, the son of High Cotton finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of Doctor Chit, who was a neck ahead of late-moving Unbridled’s Note. In returning to the scene of his greatest victory – the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful last September – Currency Swap completed the 6 ½-furlong race in a sharp 1:15.33.
With Gun Boat, Fort Loudon, Currency Swap and Doctor Chit in the field of seven, the Amsterdam appeared loaded with speed. When the gate opened, however, Gun Boat stumbled badly on the inside, and Doctor Chit set sail from the outside post, opening up a one-length lead through a torrid quarter-mile in 21.44 seconds and a half in 44.04.
Maragh, too, quickly got away from the gate on Currency Swap and gained a tracking position off the rail. When the field reached the turn, 25-1 shot Laurie’s Rocket moved three wide to the leaders. Maragh asked Currency Swap for more run, and the big colt responded.
“All of the way, he was giving me a lot of energy and came on strong,” Maragh said. “I wasn’t concerned with the pace. I just wanted to have a clean trip and be in striking position, regardless of how fast they were going. I got a good outside trip on Doctor Chit. I just stalked and pounced.”
Laurie’s Rocket finished fourth, followed by Fort Loudon, Gun Boat and Politicallycorrect.
The winner, owned by Klaravich Stables, paid $5.60 for a $2 win bet as the 9-5 favorite. The $120,000 winner’s purse pushed Currency Swap’s lifetime earnings to $508,300 in seven starts.
Pompay, who wore a bracelet woven with hair cut from Currency Swap’s tail, said the colt isn’t through with Saratoga yet. She immediately announced that if all is well he will run in the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods King’s Bishop, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, on the Travers undercard August 25.