Benefiting from a well-timed ride by jockey Javier Castellano, Buckram Oak homebred Eurosilver swept around the leaders on the outside on the second turn and drew off to a decisive victory in Saturday's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II) at Keeneland.
A late-developing son of Unbridled's Song -- Russian Tango, Eurosilver was sent off at 12-1 odds, with Value Plus the 2-1 choice. Value Plus, a $1.1-million yearling purchase, took the early lead while being stalked by a group that include Distressed Debt and Value Plus, who made a move into the runner-up spot down the backstretch. After a quarter-mile was completed in :22 4/5 and :46 2/5 for the half, Eurosilver made his move on the front-runners and ran on by them for a 4 3/4-length victory over another longshot, Tiger Hunt.
The winner. bred in Kentucky by his owner, paid $25.80, $12.00, and $9.20. Tiger Hunt returned $10.80 and $7.60, with Limehouse taking third and paying $8.80. Final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43 2/5. Value Plus finished fourth.
A Nick Zito-trained colt, Eurosilver finished second to stablemate Silver Wagon in his career debut and followed with a 5 3/4 length triumph over maiden company in his second start. The Breeders' Futurity was the third start for the colt, who has earned $284,000.
The Breeders' Futurity marked the second graded win for the Buckram Oak-Zito-Castellano team during the first two days of the Keeneland meet. On Friday, they were triumphant with Najran in the Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. III).
"I really love this horse because he's never had dirt in face and he didn't even mind it," Castellano said. "He just ran right into it. There's not too many 2-year-olds that do that. When a few horses started stopping on the turn, I just swung him outside and he just took off. It was great."
"The more mature he gets the more professional he becomes," said Tim Poole, assistant to Zito, who was in New York to saddle Birdstone to win the Champagne Stakes (gr. I). "He (Eurosilver) did take a little longer to come to hand because he is a big individual. We're not going to ask a horse to do something that they're not capable of. We'll only ask them to move forward when they start coming to hand."