05/12/2012 1:53PM

Belmont Park: Currency Swap appreciates return to sprint in You and I

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Currency Swap will point for the seven-furlong Woody Stephens next.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Rebounding from a tough trip as the favorite in the Illinois Derby, Currency Swap disposed of Tightend Touchdown early and drove clear to win Saturday’s $85,000 You and I overnight stakes for 3-year-old sprinters at Belmont Park.

Currency Swap, last year’s Hopeful Stakes winner in a field that included Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another, broke alertly under Rajiv Maragh and took a short lead from Tightend Touchdown through a soft first quarter in 23.47 seconds. He widened the lead readily before completing a half-mile in 47.16 seconds, and held off a late run from Brian to win by three-quarters of a length.

“He needed a race to pick his head up after the last one and coming back off the layoff,” said winning trainer Terri Pompay. “Everything moves forward from here. I talked to the owners and we wanted to win this, and thinking maybe the Woody Stephens [June 9] and then maybe later in the year trying to stretch him back out and see if he can do it.”

Currency Swap ($5.10), now 3 for 3 in races at seven furlongs or less, ran seven furlongs in 1:22.43 on a fast main track, sprinting home the last furlong in 12.13 seconds. Brian was a clear second by 1 3/4 lengths a over Hardened Wildcat, the even-money favorite.

Hardened Wildcat, making his first start since a runner-up finish in the Bay Shore for Chad Brown, and also looking toward the Woody Stephens, was bumped at the break when Tightend Touchdown broke inward. He took his customary early position near the back, and could make no serious headway while compromised by the pedestrian pace.