Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/18/12)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
SILVER MAX BEING CONSIDERED FOR $125,000 ARLINGTON CLASSIC
All that glitters is not gold, Shakespeare theorized in Merchant of Venice, and Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max has been supporting that premise all spring.
In his last start May 4 – Arlington’s opening day this season as well as Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs – Silver Max captured the Grade II American Turf with an impressive front-running 2 3/4-length effort over the Louisville lawn as Churchill’s supporting feature on Oaks Day.
Now, Silver Max’s trainer Dale Romans is considering bringing his budding grass star to Chicago for the tradition-rich $125,000 Arlington Classic over the local lawn on May 26 as the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.
That all-turf sophomore series will continue with the Grade III American Derby July 14 and conclude with the Grade I Secretariat on Arlington Million Day Aug. 18.
It has been 15 years since any horse swept the Mid-America Triple, but Silver Max appears to have the potential to accomplish that mission.
Romans, of course, is no stranger to the Mid-America Triple, having won the Secretariat in 2004 with Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Kitten’s Joy and then saddling Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado to win the Secretariat two years ago.
Now, following a bullet half-mile move in 49 flat Thursday over Churchill’s grass course while the “dogs” were well out from the rail, Romans indicated to Arlington stakes coordinator George Berry that Silver Max was being strongly considered for next Saturday’s Arlington Classic.
Before winning the American Turf, Silver Max had captured Keeneland’s Grade III Transylvania Stakes over the Lexington lawn by 5 1/2-lengths – also with a wire-to-wire tally – and on March 9 in starter allowance company over the Gulfstream grass, Silver Max won with a front-running 3 3/4-length score.
However, it should be noted that Romans’ legions nominated to the 2012 Triple also include Donegal Racing’s Finnegans Wake, and that son of 2005 Arlington Million hero Powerscourt is also under consideration for the Arlington Classic.
Finnegans Wake, out of a Silver Ghost mare, checked in fourth beaten four lengths by Silver Max in the American Turf, but was steadied in that outing and forced wide late. The Jerry Crawford homebred broke his maiden over the Gulfstream grass on New Year’s Day by rallying from far back in the stretch run and could give Romans a two-pronged attack should Silver Max’s speed be compromised.
ARLINGTON CLASSIC RUN BY NO SPIN MAY 26 ONE STRONG POSSIBILITY
Trainer Tim Ice burst onto the nation’s racing stage in 2009 when he saddled Kilarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Summer Bird to win that year’s Belmont Stakes.
Now, settling in for his second summer at Arlington, Ice is considering a run for Black Gold Racing’s No Spin in next weekend’s 76th renewal of the $125,000 Arlington Classic.
No Spin, who broke his maiden over Arlington’s Polytrack by 5 1/2-lengths last Aug. 7 and finished fourth in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity Sept. 10, transferred his talents to the turf when making his grass debut at Hawthorne in the $60,000 Royal Glint Stakes and won that eight-furlong test by three lengths on Oct. 29.
In his most recent start May 5 – the second grass outing of his career – No Spin finished second, beaten a half-length by Jean and Ted Barlas and Michael Porcaro’s 6-year-old Quite a Handful, who finished sixth in Arlington’s Grade I Secretariat Stakes in 2009.
Ice is also the trainer of Black Gold Racing’s Slamit, who breezed seven-eighths in 1:28 over Arlington’s Polytrack April 28 and remains a possibility for the Arlington Classic.
Slamit, by Grand Slam, broke his maiden at Oaklawn last Feb. 18 and then captured Sam Houston’s $50,000 Spring Stakes, run over muddy going March 10 at the Texas oval.
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