Hollywood Park Adds Purse Incentive to Lure Classic Winner to Swaps Field
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2001 4:37 PM
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2001 9:15 PM
Photo: Mike Corrado
Preakness-Belmont Stakes winner Point Given.
Hoping that sweetening the pot will attract more talent, Hollywood officials announced this weekend that the purse for the July 15 Swaps Stakes will be boosted to $600,000 if Preakness-Belmont winner Point Given or Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos decides to run in the race.
The 1 1/8 race is already shaping up to be a classic. Pointed to the race are Blue Grass Stakes winner Millennium Wind, Triple Crown campaigner Congaree, San Rafael Stakes winner Crafty C.T. and Until Sundown, who won this weekend's Affirmed Handicap.
The $100,000 pledge by Hollywood and the Thouroughbred Owners of California officials was specifically targeted for Point Given, who resides in Southern California.
"We understand there might be an interest in running Point Given in the Swaps Stakes," Hollywood Park president Rick Baedeker said. "We hope this demonstrates our desire to make it happen."
Whether Point Given or Congaree can run remains uncertain. Trainer Bob Baffert was suspended Sunday by the California Horse Racing Board for 60 days after they determined one of his horses tested positive for morphine. The horse, Nautical Look, had trace levels of morphine in his system after a race in May 2000 at Hollywood Park.
Baffert wasn't immediately available for comment. As for Monarchos, trainer John Ward had previously committed another of his talented 3 year olds to the Swaps--Hero's Tribute. But Hollywood officials said this weekend they were doubtful that Hero's Tribute would ship west. Hero's Tribute may be pointed to the Dwyer Stakes at Belmont on July 8.
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