Java's War make his California debut in the Swaps Stakes.<br><a target="blank" href="!i=2490691729&k=rPC6FMK">Order This Photo</a>

Java's War make his California debut in the Swaps Stakes.
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Mathea Kelley

Shipper Java's War Tops Four-Horse Swaps Cast

Grade I winner takes on Tiz a Minister in small field July 4 at Hollywood Park.

Grade I winner Java's War  will make his California debut for trainer Ken McPeek in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) July 4 against just three opponents at Betfair Hollywood Park.

For 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track, the Swaps has a 2:01 p.m. PDT post time as the third of nine races on the Independence Day program.

Both Java's War and his main challenger, Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) winner Tiz a Minister, are deep closers. That sets up an interesting quandary since only one horse in the field, Chief Havoc, has shown any inclination toward speed.

Owned by breeder Charles E. Fipke, Java's War won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) over the Polytrack at Keeneland April 13 by a neck over eventual Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Palace Malice . He was 14 lengths off the pace in the Blue Grass before launching his bid on the final turn.

In his only start since, Java's War ran a troubled 13th after hesitating at the start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 4. The son of War Pass has won three of eight and earned $672,091.

Java's War will be ridden once again by Julien Leparoux while carrying top weight of 122 pounds.

McPeek shipped Pure Fun to Hollywood during last year's fall meet and the 2-year-old filly responded with a come-from-behind victory in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) Dec. 8.

Tiz a Minister stretches out a sixteenth of a mile after his last-to-first victory in the Affirmed June 2.

Owned by Sayjay Racing and trained by Paul Aguirre, the California-bred son of Ministers Wild Cat  has won three of 13 while banking $420,780.

Came Home in 2002 is the last horse to win the Affirmed and Swaps.

Chief Havoc steps into graded company after an authoritative allowance victory May 30. Owned by Paul Makin and trained by Peter Miller, the Giant's Causeway  colt led all the way and won by 4 3/4 lengths at the Swaps distance.

In his only previous appearance in a graded race, Chief Havoc finished last in the Foxwoods Champagne Stakes (gr. I) in his U.S. debut Oct. 6 at Belmont Park. Trained by England's Jeremy Noseda at the time, the Kentucky-bred was defeated by 11 3/4 lengths by winner Shanghai Bobby .

Dice Flavor, another closer, enters off a fourth-place finish in the Affirmed. Trained by Paddy Gallagher for Oda Racing Stable and US Equine, the Scat Daddy colt was a 9-1 surprise in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) Feb. 16 at Golden Gate Fields.

$150,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II, Race 3, 2:01 p.m.), 3YOs, 1 1/8 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Dice Flavor (KY), M E Smith, 120, P Gallagher
2. Tiz a Minister (CA), C S Nakatani, 120, P G Aguirre
3. Chief Havoc (KY), R Bejarano, 114, P Miller
4. Java's War (KY), J R Leparoux, 122, K G McPeek