SWEET SWAP TAKES $75,000 JOE HERNANDEZ STAKES BY 1 ¾ LENGTHS

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $198,609 INTO THURSDAY, TOTAL POOL COULD REACH $2 MILLION

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2014)—Sweet Swap, with Joe Talamo up, took no prisoners in easily winning Sunday’s $75,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths, while covering 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.28.

The second choice at 3-1 in a field of seven older horses, Sweet Swap, a 5-year-old full brother to 2010 Santa Anita Derby winner Sidney’s Candy, sat a close second to longshot Rosengold through fractions of 22.39, 44.56 and 1:06.53. Sweet Swap drew alongside the pacesetter crossing the dirt at the top of the lane and went on to his first added stakes victory.

Trained by John Sadler and owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, Sweet Swap paid $8.60, $4.20 and $3.40.

“He has a nice turn of foot, just like Sidney’s Candy,” said Talamo, who rode “Sidney” and was aboard Sweet Swap for the first time on Sunday. “We had a real good trip. We laid second, turning for home, I just had to ask him a little and he exploded.”

A sharp second after stumbling at the break in the 6 ½ furlong turf Clockers’ Corner Stakes Jan. 26, Sweet Swap, a Kentucky-bred horse by Candy Ride, notched his third win from seven tries down the hill and his fifth win from 11 overall starts. With the winner’s share of $45,840, he improved his earnings to $227,133.

“We’ve always had high expectations for him,” said Sadler. “The pace was a little slow today, so I was glad he wasn’t too far back. We’ll go a mile with him on the grass at some point this year—a middle distance on the grass. Depending on how that goes we could stay with that or shorten him up for the Breeders’ Cup (Turf Sprint) in the fall.”

Ridden by apprentice Drayden Van Dyke, Zimmer showed good speed out of the gate and settled into a pocket trip in fifth position crossing the dirt and was game for the place, finishing a half length in front of Pure Tactics.

Off at 14-1, Zimmer paid $12.20 and $7.20.

Pure Tactics, off at 6-1 with Rafael Bejarano, was next-to-last early and put in a solid bid through the lane but was outrun by Zimmer for second. Pure Tactics finished a half length in front of favored Unbridled’s Note and paid $5.00 to show.

Unbridled’s Note, heavily favored at even money with Corey Nakatani, had a perfect trip but was outrun, finishing fourth, a length in front of longshot Clubhouse Ride.

There is a Pick Six carryover into Thursday at Santa Anita of $198,609, and it is expected that Thursday’s total pool could reach $2 million.