After living up to his billing with a win in the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) last month, fast-improving Coil appears ready to strike again in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) July 9 at Hollywood Park.
The 1 1/8-mile Swaps, the fourth race on Hollywood's Gold Cup card, drew six 3-year-olds. Trainer Bob Baffert entered Coil as well as Uncle Sam in the Cushion Track event.
Coil, a son of Point Given out of the Theatrical mare Eversmile, was making his stakes and route debut in the 1 1/16-mile Affirmed June 11. Sent off the 9-10 choice in another short field, the chestnut colt went for an early bid and opened up a commanding lead at mid-stretch. He then held firm for a one-length tally as Runflatout made a strong late charge.
Since then, Coil has had a couple of published workouts, including a six-furlong bullet drill in 1:11 2/5 July 3.
Coil will be ridden from post 3 by Martin Garcia with high weight of 118 pounds. He has won three straight for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman since finishing third in his debut last October during the Oak Tree meet. All four of Coil's starts thus far have come at Hollywood Park.
Baffert, who is tied with D. Wayne Lukas for most wins in the Swaps with four, also entered Kaleem Shah's Uncle Sam. The gray/roan Tapit ridgling disappointed as the favorite in the Lone Star Derby last time, finishing eighth of nine after a wide journey. He worked six furlongs in 1:12 on the same day Coil last drilled.
Trainer John Sadler opted to enter West Point Thoroughbreds' Runflatout in the Swaps after the Flatter ridgling worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 July 3.
Runflatout was a willing runner-up to Coil in the Affirmed, which was his second route test following a disastrous try in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita in March.
Also in the Swaps field is Spud Spivens, who finished third in the Affirmed, five lengths behind Coil.
Trainer Henry Moreno, 81, is hoping for more pace this time for the gelded son of Tizbud.
“This is a come-from-behind horse,” said Moreno from his Santa Anita headquarters July 6. “The further they go, the better he is.”
The California-bred bay had maiden and allowance scores at Hollywood this meet prior to the Affirmed.
J. Paul Reddam's Boxeur des Rues, coming off a nose victory in an optional claiming allowance race on turf May 30 for trainer Doug O'Neill, and Robert S. Evan's homebred Dreamy Kid complete the field.
$150,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II, Race 4, 2:34 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Runflatout (KY), G K Gomez, 112, J W Sadler
2. Spud Spivens (CA), A Quinonez, 114, H Moreno
3. Coil (FL), M Garcia, 118, B Baffert
4. Uncle Sam (KY), R Bejarano, 114, B Baffert
5. Dreamy Kid (KY), J Talamo, 114, N D Drysdale
6. Boxeur des Rues (KY), J Rosario, 114, D F O'Neill
Blinkers On: Dreamy Kid