Trained by Terri Pompay, Currency Swap collared pacesetter Doctor Chit in the stretch and defeated that rival by 1 ¾ lengths. The winner, a son of Ocala Stud stallion High Cotton, covered 6 ½ furlongs in a sharp 1:15.33.
“He loves it here,” said a beaming Pompay in the winner’s circle after Currency Swap ran his Spa record to 3-for-3, including a maiden victory last year. “He’s been doing really well.”
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.
Jockey Rajiv Maragh 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.”
Owned by Klaravich Stables, Currency Swap boosted his 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 Aug. 25. Although she is based at Monmouth Park, Pompay said Currency Swap is a good shipper and obviously likes the Saratoga surface. Pompay added that while she has other horses she fancies, “he’s the coolest one I’ve got.”
–NYRA Press and Dorothy Callahan contributed to this report.
Currency Swap/NYRA photo