With no suitable male heir, Swaps has faded from the breeding headlines, but his daughters left a more important legacy.
Just more than 60 years ago a trim California-bred with unorthodox connections came East to shock the racing establishment by scoring an upset win in the 1955 Kentucky Derby.
The son of an $8,000 mare and a stallion that stood for $2,500 in the year of his conception, the flashy chestnut became the first California-bred since Decidedly in 1962 to win the Run for the Roses.
Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's California Chrome kept his Triple Crown hopes alive with a smooth trip victory in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course May 17.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner California Chrome's first two dams were bred in Maryland by Dr. Thomas Bowman in partnership with Milton Higgins III. Both mares are products of Northview Stallion Station sires.
A day after his latest spectacular victory, California Chrome bounced around in his stall April 6, holding court with media and munching cookies.
Every time he runs, California Chrome is more impressive than his last start, and the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5 was no exception.
A California-bred eye-catcher with flashy white markings, but in his case, handsome is as handsome does.
Favored California Chome proved he belongs on the Triple Crown trail with a front-running stampede to victory in the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 8 at gleaming Santa Anita Park.
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