INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 22, 2012)—The first three finishers – Nonios, Liaison and Holy Candy – in the Affirmed Handicap June 3, are among nine 3-year-olds nominated to the $150,000 Swaps Stakes.
A Grade II at 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track, the Swaps will be run for the 39th time Wednesday, July 4 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Named in honor of the horse many consider the greatest California bred ever and a nine-time stakes winner at Hollywood Park, the Swaps will highlight a special holiday program that begins the second-to-last week of the Spring/Summer meet.
Owned by Green B. Smith, Jr. and trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Nonios made his first start away from Golden Gate Fields in the Grade III Affirmed, winning by a half-length at nearly 16-1.
A son of Pleasantly Perfect and the Touch Gold mare Stylish Manner, Nonios has won three of four and earned $99,000.
Another Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert, nominated Blueskiesnrainbows in addition to Liaison.
Winner of the Grade I CashCall Futurity over Cushion Track last Dec. 17, Liaison was runner-up as the even-money favorite in the Affirmed. Owned by Arnold Zetcher LLC, the son of Indian Charlie and the Victory Gallop mare Galloping Gal is 3-for-9 with a bankroll of $507,560.
Blueskiesnrainbows returns to Southern California after finishing ninth of 13 in the Grade II American Turf May 4 at Churchill Downs.
That off-the-board effort came after a close third – beaten a half-length – after he set the pace at 42-1 in the Santa Anita Derby. The winner of the April 7 Derby, I’ll Have Another, went on to capture the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before tendonitis ended his career one day before the Belmont Stakes.
Owned by Bad Boy Racing LLC and Whizway Farms, Blueskiesnrainbows is a son of English Channel and the Deputy Minister mare Cho Cho San. He’s won twice in seven starts and earned $131,242.
Baffert is tied with fellow Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas for most Swaps wins. Baffert’s fourth came with Misremembered in 2009.
The other Swaps nominees are All Squared Away, the 70-1 winner of the Grade III Lexington April 21 at Keeneland, Called to Serve, Empire Way, Fly Lexis Fly, a Group I winner in Peru, and the Hollendorfer-trained Rousing Sermon.
Entries for the Swaps Stakes will be taken Sunday, July 1.
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