Xchanger, who crumbled after setting the pace in the Preakness (gr. I) in his last start, atoned with a big effort while capturing the inaugural running of Delaware Park's $300,600 Barbaro Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) for 3-year-olds on Sunday.
With Edgar Prado riding him for the first time, the Mark Shuman trained Xchanger took control in the stretch and held off the 7-10 favorite King of the Roxy by one length in the 1 1/16-mile Barbaro, previously known as the Leonard Richards. The winning time was 1:43 2/5.
Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner, shattered his leg in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and was euthanized in January. His owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, presented the winning trophy.
Prado, of course, was Barbaro's jockey in the Derby and Preakness.
"When I think of Barbaro, I think of greatness," Prado said. "It means so much for me to win the Barbaro Stakes with a horse like this."
Prado had Xchanger in prime position stalking the pacesetter Phone Home on the outside through fractions of :23 2/5, :47 and 1:11. They got first run on King of the Roxy, who drew the rail with Ramon Dominguez and was never comfortable until angled out on the far turn. At that point, though, Xchanger was being urged to the front and the winner kept to the task through the lane after opening up by a couple of lengths. King of the Roxy was gaining with every stride as they reached the wire.
Phone Home, who stubbornly held on until deep stretch for John Velazquez, finished third, 2 3/4 lengths behind King of the Roxy. Second choice Longley flattened out in the stretch, after making a bold move along the inside, and finished fourth. He was followed by Hal's My Hope, Reptilian Smarts, and Point Blake.
Owned by Circle Z Stable, Joseph Masone, and trainer Shuman, Xchanger ended up beating just one horse in the Preakness, finishing 25 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Curlin. Prior to that, the gray son of Exchange Rate--Saragoza (Crafty Prospector) won Pimlico's Federico Tesio by nearly five lengths.
As a 2-year-old, Xchanger captured the Sapling (gr. III) at Monmouth in just his second start. The $40,000 2-year-old purchase has won four of 10 lifetime efforts while banking $471,990. Sunday's victory was worth $180,000.
Oscar Martinez bred Xchanger in Florida.
Sent off as the third choice, Xchanger paid $11.80, $4, and $3.
Phone Home, making his stakes debut in his fourth lifetime start, was $3.80 to show.