Dana Wells and Marc Bacon's Silver Max rolled to his fifth consecutive win Wednesday in the $211,100 Oliver Stakes at Indiana Downs. The Badge of Silver colt showed his customary speed from the start under Victor Lebron, was left untouched through splits of :23 4/5, :47 and 1:10 3/5, and drew off in the stretch to win by a lopsided margin of 6 3/4 lengths in track-record time of 1:33 4/5 for one mile on the firm turf.
The 1-10 favorite, Silver Max returned $2.20 to win and $2.10 to place. There was no show wagering after half of the 12-horse field, including five of the 10 betting interests, were scratched.
The winner's entrymate, Cozzetti, rallied for second by a neck over Travel Advisory. Completing the order of finish were Az Ridge, Potomac River and Mr. Prankster. Scratched from the field was another of Silver Max's entrymates, Quick Wit, as well as Howe Great, Diez, Temeraine, North of Never and Senor Rain.
Runner-up in his first five starts, Silver Max has lost only once in seven subsequent outings. After belatedly graduating from maiden company on January 13, the colt returned a little more than two weeks later in the Grade 3 Holy Bull. Over a sloppy main track Silver Max struggled in the final furlong, finishing fifth in a field of six.
Returned to the turf for his next start, Silver Max easily captured a starter allowance/optional claimer in wire-to-wire fashion. He did the same again in the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland by 5 1/2 lengths on April 6, and in the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs by 2 3/4 lengths on May 4. Last time, he led gate-to-wire to win the the May 26 Arlington Classic at Arlington Park by two lengths.
Trained by Dale Romans, Silver Max might reappear in the Grade 2, $600,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. He will do with a record of 12-6-5-0, $503,464.
Bred in Kentucky by Steve Snowden, Seth Lauffer and Will Lauffer, Silver Max was a $20,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling. Produced by the Kissin Kris mare Kissin Rene, he is half-brother to stakes winner True Kiss. This is the extended family of Grade 1 winner Yes It's True, Grade 2 winner Kiss a Native, and Grade 3 hero Prince of the Mt.