NMR collection/Skeets Meadors
Swaps was the best horse to come out of California in years. He set five world records at a mile or more, three track records, and equalled an American turf record. Even with all these records, owner Rex Ellsworth claimed that he had never really turned the colt loose to see how fast he could run. Swaps' career on the track and as a sire was marked by his competition with Nashua. Both were named Horse of the Year and both sired numerous winners.
At 3 Swaps won the San Vicente, Santa Anita Derby, defeated Nashua in the Kentucky Derby, and won the Will Rogers, Californian, and the American Derby. He then lost a match race and the championship to Nashua. Swaps earned Horse of the Year honors at 4 after winning the Argonaut, Inglewood, American, Hollywood Gold Cup, Sunset, and Washington Park Handicaps. He also fractured a cannon bone which ended his racing career.
Mr. and Mrs. John Galbreath purchased Swaps as a stallion for $2 million. He produced fewer stakes winners than did Nashua, but sired horses of higher quality. Swaps' most successful offspring included Affectionately, Chateaugay, and Primonetta.
Swaps was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1966.
Shoemaker aboard Swaps in '55 San Vincente