Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sweet Swap, ridden by Joe Talamo, pressed the pace before moving to the front and claiming Sunday's $75,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes at Santa Anita.
Sweet Swap was sent off as the 3-1 second pick in the seven-horse field behind even-money favorite Unbridled's Note. Making his 2014 debut Sunday in the 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint was last year's Californian winner Clubhouse Ride who went off at 10-1.
Trained by John Sadler, Sweet Swap stalked pacesetter Rosengold on Santa Anita's downhill turf course. Unbridled's Note, the defending race winner, was racing in fifth and Clubhouse Ride was last.
Heading into the stretch, Sweet Swap and Rosengold were on even terms with Unbridled's Note in third. Clubhouse Ride, with jockey Tyler Baze, was rallying from the outside.
Sweet Swap cleared the field down the stretch and posted a 2 1/4-length victory over 14-1 longshot Zimmer. Pure Tactics rallied to finish third followed by Unbridled's Note, Clubhouse Ride, Moonshine Bay and Rosengold.
The time for the Joe Hernandez was 1:12.28 on a firm course.
Owned by Hronis Racing, Sweet Swap picked up $45,000 for his first win of the year. The 5-year-old chestnut horse has won five of 11 career starts for $226,293.
With Talamo riding for the first time, Sweet Swap was coming off a second in the Clockers' Corner Stakes at Santa Anita last month. He has three wins from seven starts on Santa Anita's downhill course.
Sweet Swap returned $8.60, $4.20 and $3.40. Zimmer paid $12.20 and $7.20, and Pure Tactics paid $5.00 to show.