Swayin to and Fro seeks third straight in What A Summer

Baxter Racing Stable’s claimer-turned-multiple stakes winner Swayin to and Fro, riding a two-race win streak, looks to make it three stakes in a row in Saturday’s $100,000 What a Summer at Laurel Park.

Swayin to and Fro had seven wins, one third and $289,000 in purse earnings from 11 races since being claimed by trainer Mario Serey Jr. for $16,000 out of a maiden victory last May at historic Pimlico Race Course, her third career start.

The 4-year-old South Carolina-bred became a stakes winner in the restricted Shine Again against older horses last fall at Pimlico. Her two most recent efforts have been her best, winning the seven-furlong Safely Kept by 3 ½ lengths Nov. 26 and the 6 ½-furlong Willa On the Move, also over her elders, by 6 ½ lengths Dec. 30.

“I think she’s ready to go,” Serey said. “Every time when I work and gallop the filly she makes me happier because she’s a really good talent. She’s grown up now. I think she’s going to be very tough again.”

Including her maiden triumph, Swayin to and Fro put together a five consecutive wins last year before finishing fifth in the Seeking the Pearl at Colonial Downs in her stakes debut, one race before the Shine Again. She was off the board in two of her subsequent three starts prior to her current streak.

“She was a baby in the beginning but now she has grown up, so I put a little more pressure on her. Every time I put a little more pressure on her, she shows me more talent,” Serey said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she won easy again. I think she [was] the best 3-year-old filly in Maryland. She’s going to be really, really tough.”

Regular rider Grant Whitacre will be aboard from Post 4.

She will face just five rivals, the most prominent of whom is C J I Phoenix Group and No Guts No Glory Farm’s Fille d’Esprit. Trained by John Robb, Fille d’Esprit won five stakes in 2022 but finished a disappointing fourth, as the favorite, in the Willa On the Move. Regular pilot Xavier Perez has the mount.