54| Richard Stone Reeves (American, 1910-2005)
Signed & Inscribed
Oil on board, 11" x 14"
Auction Expired because there were no bids
$12,000 - $15,000
Rex Ellsworth bred and owned Swaps and he was trained throughout his career by Mesh Tenney. Swaps was the son of Khaled, a stallion imported by the Aga Khan's and his dam, Iron Reward, was a half-sister to the Kentucky Derby winner Iron Liege. In the 1955 Kentucky Derby Swaps and jockey Willie Shoemaker defeated the odds-on favorite, Nashua with Eddie Arcaro in the saddle. Arcaro was quoted before the race as saying that a horse named Summer Tan was the primary threat in the Derby which led to a little bit of back and forth between the two camps which ultimately ended in the challenge of a match race. Nashua followed up the Derby loss with wins in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Swaps, nursing a split hoof wall, returned to the West Coast to rest, but ended up running in several races?breaking or equaling six track records at various distances, on turf and on dirt.
The match race between Nashua and Swaps was set to take place on August 31, 1955. Swaps tuned up early for a prep and on August 20th ran in and won the prestigious American Derby, setting a course record of 1-3/16 miles on the turf in 1:54-3?5 (a record that stood for over 50 years and maybe still stands). However, Swaps re-injured his foot was not able to run to his full potential in the match race and Nashua won easily and went on to become the Horse of the Year in 1955. The following year, at the age of four, Swaps was named Horse of the Year, beating Nashua by 78 votes to 45. William H.P. Robertson wrote in his "History of Thoroughbred Racing in America" that Swaps "entered stud with the largest collection of recognized world records (five) in history, and a lifetime performance summary, as follows: 25 starts, 19 wins, two seconds, two thirds, earnings of $848,900."
Swaps stood at John Galbreath's Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Kentucky and spent his last five seasons at Spendthrift Farm. Swaps sired 35 stakes winners, among his most successful offspring were Chateaugay, winner of the 1963 Kentucky Derby and the 1963 Belmont Stakes, and the U.S. Hall of Fame filly, Affectionately.
25 career starts 14 starts at Hollywood Park 14-10-1-2, at Hollywood park he went 10-1-2.
Swaps won the following stakes races at Hollywood Park
Will Rogers Stakes by 12 lengths; first stakes race in which Swaps was the betting favorite; favored in all subsequent races.
Californian Stakes set a new world record for 8-1?2 furlongs with time of 1:40-2?5, "almost casually"
Westerner Stakes- front-running effort, "drew out at will" in the stretch to open a 10-length lead, won by 6 lengths after being eased at odds of 1-20; win betting only for a five-horse field