07/04/2013 5:53PM

Hollywood Park: Chief Havoc beats short field in Swaps

Benoit & Associates
Chief Havoc, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, won the Swaps Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths Thursday for his first stakes victory.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Chief Havoc proved impossible to catch in Thursday’s $150,000 Swaps Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, even though some of his rivals took turns trying to soften the heavy favorite.

Chief Havoc ($2.80) ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.17, winning the first stakes of his eight-race career.

To do so, Chief Havoc rushed past Dice Flavor on the first turn to take the lead, repelled a brief challenge from the Grade 1 winner Java’s War entering the stretch, and easily held off Tiz a Minister in the final furlong.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Chief Havoc won by 2 1/2 lengths over Tiz a Minister.

“He responded,” said winning trainer Peter Miller. “He finished up really strong. They took turns at him.”

Chief Havoc set a modest pace of 24.24 and 48.65 seconds, leading by a half-length to a length over Dice Flavor on the backstretch. Java’s War, who won the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in April but was 13th in the Kentucky Derby on May 4, moved between Chief Havoc and Dice Flavor on the turn but could not sustain the rally.

Chief Havoc led by 1 1/2 lengths in the stretch and pulled away in the final furlong.

“I expected to be on the lead,” Bejarano said. “Before the first turn, I felt a little pressure, and I had to ask him a little bit to get to the rail. Little by little, I let him go. I felt I had a lot of horse in the stretch.”

Tiz a Minister, who won the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap here June 2, finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Dice Flavor, who was 1 1/4 lengths in front of Java’s War. The race drew only four runners.

Chief Havoc, by Giant’s Causeway, has won 3 of 8 starts and $180,117. Owned by Paul Makin, Chief Havoc began his career in England, where he was third and second in two starts before making his American debut with a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 6, his final start for trainer Jeremy Noseda.

Chief Havoc made his first start for Miller at Santa Anita in March, finishing sixth against maidens. Since then, Chief Havoc has won 3 of 4 starts, giving Makin and Miller a chance to plan for more stakes later this summer, Miller said.

morton erskine More than 1 year ago
Where was Goldencents? Portland Meadows next stop!
morton erskine More than 1 year ago
Talamo's stock has nowhere to go but up! RB headed down!
MICHAEL More than 1 year ago
Short fields everywhere!......it's going to be tough for this industry to go forward.....
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Bee Eff Dee
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
Four head in a Gr.2 is absurd...
Mark More than 1 year ago
I despise Bejarano as he will shut off the rail regardless of whether it might cause an accident and yet will pick fights in the jockeys room when a jockey won't let him in on the rail when he is trying to get through. I remember a couple of years back when Bejarano fell right in front of Rosario's mount and only the super quick reflexes of Rosario prevented what could have been a life ending accident for Bejarano. The very next day, there was a opening on the rail and Rosario tried to go through it and Bejarano whipped his horse right handed so the horse would drift in to close the rail almost sending Rosario down. It was that day that I knew what kind of person Bejarano really is and you can bet Rosario was wondering if he should have acted just a little bit different the previous day. When you combine that with Bejarano constantly nipping longshots with his odds on mounts and I just assume Bejarano ride somewhere else or perhaps not be so lucky the next time he goes down.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Bejarano wouldn't have been in the top 5 had he ridden in the SoCal colony of the late 80s and early 90s. The fact he wins riding titles reflects how much the colonly has declined. Rosario was the one true star among the younger jockeys out here, and he left to prove himself against the very good colony on the Gulfstream-Keeneland-Belmont-Saratoga circuit. Rosario wanted to prove himself against the best. The only riders used by Eastern trainers in the big national races from among the SoCal colony are Smith, Gomez, and now Stevens, but they are no longer everyday/every race riders any more. How often are Bejarano, Talamo, or Maldonado asked to ride a non-Cali horse in a big race back East?
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
A four horse field for the Swaps. Sad...
MD23 More than 1 year ago
Cheif Havoc is a seconteer three year old. With a good pace and better horses behind him he's a good racehorse; nothing special
Jordan More than 1 year ago
He certainly has much still to prove, namely that he can set a pace faster than 1:13, and if not, whether he can rate off the pace and pass horses. So far, he's had to do neither in his 3 wins. When faced with Manando going 1:11 earlier in the meet, Chief Havoc couldn't sniff the lead and lost by 7.
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
Clearly the outcome of this race was never in doubt. Chief Havoc is a fine runner with a great future. The biggest blunder was to take Java's War out of his comfort zone and have him run close to the pace. What the heck was that all about? If he was allowed his customary back of the pack stance perhaps he could have finished second. Bad experiment not worthy of a repeat performance.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Java War needed the race. with that being said maybe he still isn't good enough to beat Chief Havoc and thats not saying a whole lot. Just as you said a good second tier horse.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
To their credit, Dice Flavor and Java's War were ridden to win the race. Unfortunately for them, it cost each 2nd.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mistake that I bet Leparoux in this race. He only wins when his horse is tons the best. A better ride on Java & he could've won it.