American Quarter Horse runner Silent Cash Dasher on Sunday won at Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw, Okla. Owned and trained by Gary Earp of Jay, Okla., the gelding by Dash Easy is 16 years old.
In a sport with the majority of its participants competing in futurities for 2-year-olds and derbies for 3-year-olds, Silent Cash Dasher has captured the hearts of many racing fans because of his longevity.
Earp said the gelding led nearly all the way from the gates to the wire and finished nearly a length in front.
The race was a triumph of age. A retired heavy equipment operator, Earp is 65 years old. Jockey Roy Brooks turned 68 on Aug. 1. The horse that finished second in the race was the 4-year-old Bay To Bay, while show-finisher Miss Susie First is 5. The second-oldest horse in the race was 10 years the gelding's junior.
Foaled April 20, 1993, Silent Cash Dasher is the second-oldest American Quarter Horse to ever win an official race in North America. The oldest is Go Devil, who was foaled April 3, 1949, and won at Missouri Meadows on August 29, 1965.
The Oklahoma-bred Silent Cash Dasher was running for a claiming price of $15,000. He went to post in the 10th race, with a $9,600 purse, plus another $1,200 for Oklahoma-breds. The gelding had failed to win in his five previous races this year.
"I run him at Tulsa a couple times and he had a muscle in a back leg that had been kind of swelled up on him," Earp said. "He'd run a couple of bad races down there, so I didn't think nobody would bother him, pick him up."
In his career, which spans 13 seasons at the track, Silent Cash Dasher has won 19 of 87 races, with 11 seconds (including one in a stakes) and 11 thirds (including one stakes). Silent Cash Dasher has earned $166,747.
Earp said the horse recovered from the race just fine, and he's now looking for a suitable starter allowance race to enter him in so he can't be claimed.
"They were announcing it on the loudspeaker a race or two before the deal, that in race 10 it would be the oldest horse running in America," Earp said. "Boy, the whole crowd down there was rootin' for him. And when he won, why, they were all down there for the win picture. That's something unusual, isn't it?"
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.