Point Determined and A.P. Warrior, who staged a dramatic battle in last month's Affirmed Handicap (gr. III), figure to have the spotlight to themselves once again Saturday in the $350,000 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds.
Just two others were entered in the 1 1/8-mile event – Arson Squad, who finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Affirmed, and the outsider Potential.
Point Determined, trained by Bob Baffert, beat the John Shirreffs-conditioned A.P. Warrior by a nose while carrying one pound (121-120) more in a stirring stretch run June 17. For the Swaps, A.P. Warrior, to be ridden again by David Flores totes 120, while Point Determined, partnered again by Victor Espinoza, received 118.
The two colts have emerged as the leading California 3-year-olds still in training this season after the grueling Triple Crown series. Point Determined also beat A.P. Warrior by 1 ½ lengths while finishing second to the sidelined Brother Derek in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Both were far up the track in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) one month later, with Point Determined finishing ninth and A.P. Warrior 18th.
In their only previous meeting, A.P. Warrior beat Point Determined by a half-length while winning the San Felipe (gr. II) in March at Santa Anita.
The Maryland-bred Point Determined worked five furlongs in :58 4/5 at Santa Anita July 4 and Baffert pronounced the son of Point Given
ready for action.
A.P. Warrior, a son of A.P. Indy
, put in his final drill July 3, working five furlongs in 1:01 while finishing up well for Shirreffs.
Trainer Bruce Headley hopes the Pennsylvania-bred Arson Squad, third in both the Affirmed and Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial (gr. II), can duplicate the winning success of his Surf Cat in last year's Swaps. Alex Solis rides.$350,000 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II, Race 3, 1:02 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey, ML Odds
1. A. P. Warrior (KY), 120, David R. Flores, 6/5
2. Potential (KY), 112, Jon K. Court, 20/1
3. Point Determined (MD), 118, Victor Espinoza, 1/1
4. Arson Squad (PA), 114, Alex O. Solis, 3/1