The Julio Canani-trained pair of Silic and Ladies Din, the one-two finishers in last year's Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), repeated that performance Sunday with Silic finishing 1/2-length ahead of Ladies Din. In the 1999 renewal, Silic lasted for a nose victory over his stablemate. With Corey Nakatani in the irons, Silic completed the mile in 1:33.36 over firm turf.
"This is great because Shoemaker was one of my idols when I started training," said Canani. "He rode a lot for me, and I put him up on the last horse of his career (Patchy Groundfog). I've had a great relationship with him. When I started, I was nobody and he was the great Willie Shoemaker."
After a rough run into the first turn with many bumps exchanged, First Titanium settled in the lead followed by Auction House, with Silic tucked in on the rail. First Titanium continued to lead through the second turn, with the pack bunching as they straightened for home. Nakatani guided Silic through an opening, and the 5-year-old took control with several rivals forced wide. Ladies Din closed down the center of the track to make second but was never a threat to the winner.
"Nakatani deserves credit. He got the trip," said Kent Desormeaux, jockey of Ladies Din. "These horses are of equal talent. I had to go around while he got through. That was the difference."
Sharan finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Ladies Din. White Heart was fourth, followed by Takarian, Elaborate, Lord Smith, Mula Gula, First Titanium, Montemiro, and Auction House.
Silic (Sillery--Balletomane, by Sadler's Wells) was bred in France by Simoes de Ameida Armenio and is owned by Lanni, Poslosky, and Schiappa. Silic earned $304,800 of the $488,000 purse with the win, his eighth in 15 career starts. In his last start, he won the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) after a one-length victory in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIIT). As a 3-year-old in France, he won the Prix de la Jonchere (Fr-III) at a mile on soft turf. Silic currently has seven wins from 12 career starts at one-mile on turf.
Due to common ownership, Silic and Ladies Din raced as a coupled entry. They returned $3.40, $3, and $2.20 and led a $1 exacta, completed by Sharan, worth $20.80. (Chart,