Giving jockey Joe Talamo his second consecutive win in the Grade 2, $150,000 Swaps Stakes, the English Channel colt led throughout, prevailing by three-quarters of a length over Nonios and five other fellow 3-year-olds.
Racing in blinkers for the first time since Feb. 9, Blueskiesnrainbows earned his third win in eight starts for Bad Boy Racing LLC and Whizway Farms and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
The victory in 1:50.89 for the 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track was a record fifth in the Swaps for Baffert. The trainer had been tied for most in a race first run in 1974 with fellow Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas.
Losing for the first time in four starts against his own age group, Nonios finished second. Liaison was third.
Now 2-for-2 locally, Blueskiesnrainbows received token pressure from All Squared Away and Called to Serve through pedestrian fractions (24.15, 48.18 and 1:12.88 for six furlongs) and had more than enough left to increase his earnings to $221,242.
“Joe did a great job of slowing it down,’’ said Baffert after a Spring/Summer meet high ninth stakes victory. “I thought I could run first and second, but Liaison kind of struggled a little bit with the slow pace. I was a little disappointed, but they ran their races. I’ll get them down to Del Mar and decide what to do with them.’’
–Hollywood Park Publicity