01/24/2015 6:48PM

Castletown prevails by head in Swft Stakes

Coady Photography
The 2-1 favorite Castletown (11), ridden by Jorge Carreno, narrowly scores in a three-horse photo in the Swift Stakes.

PHOENIX – Castletown likely confirmed he ranks at the top of the local sprint division at Turf Paradise on Saturday – but only just. The 7-year-old Castletown ($6.40) was a game victor in a stirring renewal of the $35,000 Swift Stakes.

Owned by Mercedes Stables LLC and trained by Robertino Diodoro, Castletown was coming off a big optional claiming win here Dec. 7 (he won his only prior start here last May as well).

 Under Jorge Carreno, Castletown was part of a three-way pace battle Saturday with Rockin Home and Omar. Those three continued to race abreast and did so all the way around, with Castletown, the 2-1 favorite, just proving best by a head in the 5 1/2-furlong event. Rockin Home, at 24-1, ran splendidly, dueling every step of the way before coming up just a head shy in second. He finished a nose ahead of a very game Omar, the 3-1 second choice, in the field of 12.

Castletown ran the distance in 1:02.67 and the winner’s share of $21,181 gives him earnings of $264,761 from 8 wins in 17 starts.

This win likely makes Castletown the horse to beat for the meet’s marquee event, the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup on Feb. 14, barring some top sprinter coming in from Southern California.