09/03/2011 1:07PM

Saratoga: Power World has benefit of experience

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Tom Keyser
Currency Swap, with Rajiv Maragh riding, wins his racing debut, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 98.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Power World may not possess the gaudy speed figures that some of his rivals do, but he does have more experience, something that could give him an edge in a highly contentious renewal of Monday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga.

A field of 10 2-year-old maiden winners will contest the seven furlongs of the Hopeful, the highlight of an 11-race closing-day program that also includes the Grade 3 Glens Falls for fillies and mares at 1 3/8 miles on turf.

Power World, a son of Distorted Humor, rallied from 11 lengths back to win a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race at Churchill Downs on June 11. He came back to finish second to Ex Factor in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill on July 2 before running second to the East Coast’s leading 2-year-old, Overdriven, in the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes here on July 24. Power World’s three races are the most of any member of this field, and his two stakes appearances equals that of the rest of the field combined.

The Hopeful is a Breeders' Cup Challenge race, with its winner getting a guaranteed fees-paid berth in the BC Juvenile.

BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE: Racing schedule, replays, and past winners »

“I can’t describe the importance of experience with 2-year-olds,” said Neil Howard, who trains Power World for Donald Adam. “Even if a 2-year-old runs a mediocre or so-so race first time, it’s so different the second time. Whenever a 2-year-old wins first-time out you feel like there’s something a little extra special there.”

Howard believes Power World may not show his true talent until he gets stretched out further in distance, but the colt should appreciate the added ground of the Hopeful.

“Seven-eighths is still going to be a little trying for him, but if he runs his race it’ll give him a chance to come at the end,” Howard said.

Edgar Prado will ride Power World from post 4.

J C’s Pride and Currency Swap are the two horses entering the Hopeful off of eye-catching maiden wins that earned high Beyer Speed Figures. After finishing second to Overdriven in his debut at Belmont, J C’s Pride came back to set a Saratoga course record of 56.54 seconds for five furlongs winning here on July 27. Now, he stretches out in distance while breaking from the outside in a 10-horse field.

“He’s going to break running and be in the clear. Hopefully he can make the lead without rushing,” trainer Robert Barbara said. “If someone wants to rush up inside of him, I think that’ll be okay. I’m fine with his experience. All he needed was his first race to learn what it was all about.”

Currency Swap, trained by Saratoga native Terri Pompay, won his debut at Saratoga by six lengths, running 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.02 while earning a Beyer Figure of 98. Pompay said normally she would be concerned about experience, but not with this horse.

“He’s just a professional – nothing seems to rattle him,” Pompay said. “A lot of horses need to have experience under their belt, I think he’s going to love going longer and longer. Seven-eighths should be a good distance for him.”

Currency Swap will be coupled with Clip the Coupons, as both are owned by Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence. Clip the Coupons, who won a maiden race going six furlongs here on Aug 13, is trained by second-leading trainer Chad Brown.

Doug O’Neill has shipped Best Pal Stakes runner-up I’ll Have Another from Southern California in part to separate him from Basmati – another horse he trains for owner Paul Reddam - as well as Creative Cause, the West Coast’s leading 2-year-old who is running in Wednesday’s Del Mar Futurity.

“For a horse that’s only run a couple of times, he’s a very mature colt,” O’Neill said Saturday by phone from Del Mar. “I know it’s asking a lot for a 2-year-old to ship that far, but if anyone can handle it he can. I’m flying over there pumped up and hopefully see him run a big race.”

While trainer Todd Pletcher doesn’t have Overdriven to run, he will send out the uncoupled entry of debut winners Hunt Crossing and Big Blue Nation. Big Blue Nation was purchased privately after he won at Churhchill on July 3.

Vexor, Trinniberg, and Laurie’s Rocket complete the field.