Castletown Wins Swift Stakes in Three-Way Photo
In gutsy performances by a trio of horses, Castletown got the head bob in a three-way photo to win the $35,000 Swift Stakes Saturday at Turf Paradise. In winning the Swift, Castletown ($6.40) stamped himself as the pre-race favorite for Turf’s premier sprint event, the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup, on February 14. From the gate break, Castletown, Rockin Home and Omar, a stablemate of Castletown, remained within a half-length of each other until finishing in that order, separated by a head and a nose at the wire. Trained by Robertino Diodoro for Mercedes Stables, Castletwon, ridden by Jorge Carreno, covered the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.67. It was the eighth victory in 17 starts for the 7-year-old Castletown who now has over a quarter-million dollars in career earnings.
Twelve of the Fleet Footed in Swift Stakes
The Swift, at 5 ½ furlongs, is the traditional prep race for the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup on February 14. Coming as no surprise, speed is in abundance in the Swift. The question is, who is the swiftest among the swift who will dictate the lead? Of the 12 entrants, seven like to play the catch-me-if-you-can game. So, something has to give. Of the seven horses it appears that Tannersmymuscle and Rockin Home may have a slight edge to be being the leader of the parade. Both horses are capable of ripping off :22 flat opening quarters in :44 half–mile splits. Trained by Eric Kruljac, Tannersmymuscle has won four of 11 efforts, including his most recent allowance win locally Dec. 27. The 5-year-old has finished in the money in all five of his Turf starts, including three wins.