Charles Fipke's Java's War, winner of the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes April 13 and a troubled 13th in the Kentucky Derby, heads a field of five or six likely starters in the Grade II, $150,000 Swaps Stakes.
The Swaps, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track, will be run Thursday, July 4, kicking off a loaded Fourth of July weekend at the Inglewood track. In honor of Independence Day, veterans and active duty personnel – with proper military identification – will receive free grandstand admission.
The Friday, July 5 program will mark the final night racing card at Betfair Hollywood Park. Post time is 7:05. A concert featuring 80z All Stars after the races are concluded and beer will be offered for $1 from 7-9 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, will feature the signature event of the Spring/Summer meet, the Grade I, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 1-4 miles on Cushion Track. Defending champion Game On Dude is expected to head the field. A 75th anniversary commemorative DVD will be given away – one per paid admission while supplies last.
Trainer Ken McPeek confirmed to vice president-racing and racing secretary Martin Panza Thursday morning that Java's War will be arriving at Betfair Hollywood Park July 1 and will be stabled in the barn of Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg.
A son of War Pass out of the Rainbow Quest mare Java, Java's War has won three of eight starts with earnings of $672,091. He came to prominence last year with a fast-closing third in the Grade I Breeders Futurity at Keeneland. He hesitated and got away slowly in the Kentucky Derby May 4, all but dooming his chances in the 19-horse field. Julien Leparoux, who rode Java's War in the Blue Grass and Kentucky Derby, once again has the mount.
Other Swaps contenders include Tiz a Minister (trainer Paul Aguirre, jockey Corey Nakatani), who came from far back to win the Grade III Affirmed Handicap June 2; Power Broker (Bob Baffert, no rider), who won the Grade I Front Runner at Santa Anita last Sept. 29 and coming off wins at Churchill Downs and Belmont Park; Dice Flavor (Paddy Gallagher, Mike Smith), victorious in the Grade III El Camino Real Derby Feb. 16 at Golden Gate Fields; and Chief Havoc (Peter Miller, no rider), a dominating allowance winner May 30.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2017 Paulick Report.