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Derby Dreaming: A Tale Of Two Colts

May 22nd, 2015; the day I fell in love with a little bay colt that many would
soon know. This little bay colt is Swipe, and right from the start he had me dreaming
of the First Saturday in May.
May 22nd was the day that Swipe debuted, he didnt win, but nevertheless I
had a feeling this colt was special. In all honestly when they turned for home in that
race, and he was still so far back I had lost all hope. Then, he came flying down the
outside, just in time to get up for second. After that race Swipe moved straight into
stakes company, a bold move, but I knew hed run his heart out no matter where he
finished. He did just that finishing a distant, but gutsy third in the Tremont Stakes
just a few days before the Belmont.
I had a friend that was there that day and she took some pictures of him for
me. When I received those pictures one thing stood out to me, something that
would make me fall even more in love with him. It was his eyes, they had a kind,
and gentle look to them, but they also looked very thoughtful. If I looked at the
picture the right way, it almost looked like he was staring right at me straight
through my phone screen.

PC: Emily Gricco

Then along came Exaggerator, in fact, he debuted on the same day as the
Tremont, only is race was at Santa Anita. He finished fifth in his debut and even
though it wasnt all that flashy, but something about him just stuck out to me. I still
havent quite been able to put my finger on it. But once again I had had my heart
stolen.
About a month later Swipe went back to California for the Summer Juvenile
Championship Stakes. He wasnt facing the toughest field, but that didnt mean itd
be easy. I knew with his running style, the long stretch at Los Al would suit him well.
The stretch run showed me just how good he was. Not far from the wire it looked
like Mrazek was home free, then my boy came flying down the outside to nail him
right on the wire. Watching him walk into the winners circle for the first time was
the best feeling. Not only had he broke his maiden, but he had done it in a stakes
race.
Soon after this, Exaggerator made his second start. I had a really good feeling
as they loaded into the gates, and as it turns out there was a good reason for that.
He displayed an explosive kick down the stretch to get up for the win by a short
nose. All bias aside, it was one of the most impressive maiden performances I saw
all year.
On August 8th, Swipe made his graded stakes debut in the G2 Best Pal Stakes.
He was facing a pretty good field, including the very highly regarded Nyquist. He
wound up finishing a distant second, but no matter what I was proud of how hed
run. About a week later, Exaggerator made his own graded stakes debut in the G2
Saratoga Special. He drew the dreaded one-hole, but that didnt faze him one bit.
He sat near the back of the pack early, although he was just a few lengths of the
leaders. At the top of the stretch, Exaggerator bulled his way through horses and
fought off a game Saratoga Mischief to win going away.
Following this win, Exaggerator got a little virus so he had to take some time
off, in the meantime Swipe continued to race. Next up for Swipe was the G1 Del Mar
Futurity, where he would face Nyquist for the second time in a row. Once again
Swipe was second, and even though Nyquist won by open lengths, Swipe got closer
this time.
After that Swipe headed back to Santa Anita for the G1 Frontrunner Stakes.
Several people thought he may be able to beat Nyquist in this spot, because of the
extra distance. And in fact, these people were almost right, almost. Swipe came
charging up the rail and even got his head in front twice, but Nyquist bumped him
several times throughout the stretch.
The following weekend Exaggerator returned in the G1 Breeders Futurity.
Hed been training well up to the race, and it wasnt going to be easy going around
two turns for the first time after a seven-week layoff. Exaggerator made the lead in
the stretch and looked like he was gonna draw off, but the time off and the stretchout caught up to him, as Brodys Cause flew past late to win.

Both colts had run well enough to earn a spot in the Breeders Cup Juvenile,
which I was looking forward to watching on tv until my parents surprised me with
tickets. I was ecstatic that I was going to get to see my boys run in person, and
even though it wouldve been nice for one of them to win, 2 nd and 4th in the
Breeders Cup was more than enough to make me proud.
One picture I took of Swipe in the paddock stuck out to me more than any
other picture I took the whole weekend. He was looking straight at me, but the more
I look at it, the more it feels like he was looking straight through me.

There was a picture of Exaggerator that stuck out to me too. It was during the
post parade, and he was bouncing up and down the whole time. My friend and I
agreed that it reminded us of a little jack rabbit, so we started calling him rabbit
whenever we talked about him.

Swipe was done for the year after the Breeders Cup, but Exaggerator still
had one more race in him, the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot. Not only did he
handle a sloppy track in this race, but he showed versatility and fight. Straying from
his usual running style, Exaggerator went straight to the front and never looked
back, holding off a strong challenge from Sunny Ridge.
After that race, I talked to Kimberly McCormack about what Exaggerator was
like as a foal and a yearling. She said that he was always very sure of himself,
probably because his dam always raised very confident foals. He also always ate
his midday meal laying down, and that they would have to walk in and set the pan
by their face. One of the most interesting things I found out about him is that he
loved his Jolly Ball and would play fetch with it. The last thig that stuck out to me in
our conversation was when she said how he always took everything they tried with
him, as if they were just supposed to do it.
Towards the end of the year it was announced that Swipe had had surgery to
remove a bone chip, and that its possible that he wont make it back in time for the
Triple Crown races. I was devastated of course, but unlike many who run from things
like this, I choose to stay hopeful that the little bay colt that stole my heart last may
will make it back in time. I hope that come May 7 th this year, both of my boys will
make it to the starting gate in the Run for the Roses.