Buckram Oak Farm's 4-year-old Silver Train emerged as a star in the 3-year-old sprint division last fall and he'll try to pick up where he left off in Saturday's $200,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) in his 2006 debut at Gulfstream Park.
A field of 10 is set to compete in the seven-furlong event with Silver Train the likely favorite.
A son of Old Trieste, Silver Train stepped up late last year, winning the Jerome Mile (gr. II) by five lengths and a desperate head decision over Taste of Paradise in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) under regular rider Edgar Prado, who retains the mount. Silver Train was assigned top weight of 120 pounds.
Trained by Rick Dutrow, Silver Train derailed Lost in the Fog's previously undefeated career in the Breeders' Cup, but the Eclipse Award went to the latter for his long and successful campaign back and forth across the nation. Silver Train finished second in the balloting.
Opposing him Saturday will be 4-year-old gelding Sir Greeley, to be ridden by John Velazquez, and the 4-year-old Middle Earth with Jeremy Rose aboard. Both horses have had two starts over the track, including a victory.
Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Timber Bay Farm and Mrs. Thomas Walsh's Sir Greeley was impressive winning a one-mile allowance on Feb. 2 by 1 ½ lengths over Funny Cide with Sun King third. Nick Zito trains Tracy Farmer's Middle Earth, who won an allowance by four lengths on Jan. 8 and finished second behind the very fast Blazing Purrsuit in another on Feb. 5.$200,000 Richter Scale Breeders Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II, Race 6, 3:25 p.m.), 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Middle Earth (KY), 112, Jeremy Rose
2. Mister Fotis (FL), 115, Rafael Bejarano
3. Silver Train (KY), 120, Edgar S. Prado
4. Wild Tale (KY), 114, Cornelio H. Velasquez
5. Judiths Wild Rush (KY), 115, Shaun Bridgmohan
6. Bull Ranch (KY), 112, Jerry Baird
7. Tour of the Cat (FL), 112, Rajiv Maragh
8. Universal Form (FL), 114, Manoel R. Cruz
9. Sir Greeley (KY), 116, John R. Velazquez
10. Pirate King (FL), 113, Mark Guidry