07/27/2012 3:22PM

Saratoga: Currency Swap back at Spa for Amsterdam

Barbara D. Livingston
Currency Swap (left) will attempt to continue the success he had at Saratoga when he won last year's Hopeful over Trinniberg.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Currency Swap returns to the scene of his finest hour, coming back to Saratoga for Sunday’s $200,000 Amsterdam. The Grade 2, 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam serves as a prep for the meet’s lone Grade 1 race for 3-year-old male sprinters, the seven-furlong King’s Bishop on Aug. 25.

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Currency Swap defeated a strong field of maiden special weight rivals launching his career here a year ago as a prelude to his victory over Trinniberg in the Grade 1 Hopeful on closing day of the 2011 meet. Currency Swap, a son of High Cotton trained by Terri Pompay, came out of the Hopeful with a tiny chip in his ankle, which cost him a chance at the Breeders’ Cup and compromised any real hopes he had of getting on the Kentucky Derby trail earlier this year. He did make a last-ditch attempt to earn his way into the Derby field, trying the Grade 3 Illinois Derby, but after a poor effort, Pompay made the decision to limit her speedster to one-turn races the remainder of the year.

Currency Swap bounced out of the Illinois Derby to win the seven-furlong You and I overnight stakes before coming out second-best in his rematch with Trinniberg in Belmont Park’s Grade 2 Woody Stephens on June 9. Both those races were decided at seven furlongs.

“I’m really excited about this race,” said Pompay. “He’s obviously shown he loves the track, and with Trinniberg not running I think we’re the horse to beat. His last work was very good over a very slow track at Monmouth.”

Fort Loudon has shipped up from Calder off the best race of his career, a game neck decision over the odds-on Trinniberg in the Grade 3 Carry Back. The key question in the Amsterdam is whether he can repeat that type of effort returning on just three weeks’ rest. Fort Loudon, whose 103 Beyer Speed Figure for his performance in the Carry Back is the highest in the field, was transferred from his south Florida-based trainer Stanley Gold to Nick Zito for the Amsterdam by owner-breeder Fred Brei.

Currency Swap and Fort Loudon may be the only two graded stakes winners in the Amsterdam but there is plenty of other talent in the compact lineup, including the red-hot Doctor Chit, who has won his last three starts, including an overnight stakes at Belmont in his first try over dirt. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Doctor Chit will break from the outside, in post 7, in his graded stakes debut.

“He’s handled everything we’ve thrown at him so far,” said Pletcher. “I thought he handled the dirt very well last time. This is obviously a good step up in class. He’s got a great post, and even though there’s a lot of other speed in the field we’re just going to let him do his thing, wherever that lands him.”

Like Doctor Chit, Unbridled’s Note and Gun Boat are coming into the Amsterdam off career-best performances.

Unbridled’s Note easily handled lower-level optional claiming rivals going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs on June 17, while Gun Boat exits a similarly impressive and well graded entry-level allowance win earlier this month at Hollywood Park.

Politicallycorrect, who scratched out of Friday’s Curlin around two turns for the Amsterdam, is coming off a second-place finish behind the heavily favored Prospective in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at 1 1/16 miles.