Silver Max, returned to the turf by trainer Dale Romans after two tries on the main track, led every step of the way and improved his position late to win the $170,000 Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) at Monmouth Park by 5 3/4 lengths July 28.
Silver Max, owned by Mark Bacon and Dana Wells, is a 4-year-old colt by Badge of Silver who last visited the winner's circle two starts back after taking the off-the-turf Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs. Before that, he last won a year ago in the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT).
The Oceanport score made Silver Max a millionaire with nine wins from 20 starts for $1,058,403. Last season he also won the American Turf Stakes (gr. IIT), the Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT), the Oliver Stakes, and the Arlington Classic Stakes.
In the Oceanport, jockey Robby Albarado sent Silver Max to the lead from the inside gate and he cruised on the front end through fractions of :23.84, :47.08, and 1:09.81. Tune Me In kept in close contact a length back and to the outside, but nobody else in the 10-horse field was making an impact.
Turning for home in the 1 1/16-mile contest, Silver Max spurted away. Howe Great, who moved in from the outside gate to obtain a good tracking position throughout, ran well but was never getting to the winner, who hit the line in 1:40.02 on firm turf. Howe Great finished 1 3/4 lengths clear of third-place Hudson Steele.
Silver Max was purchased for $20,000 by Romans from the 2010 Fasig-Tipton July Kentucky select yearling sale when consigned by Watermill Farm, agent. He was bred in Kentucky by Steve Snowden, Seth Lauffer, and Will Lauffer out of the Kissin Kris mare Kissin Rene.
"He's a super quick horse capable of laying down speedy fractions," Romans said. "In my barn only Little Mike can match his fluid stride. He just keeps going and going."
Added Albarado, "He broke great and I just held on; there wasn't much to it. I got him nice and relaxed and it wasn't really contested."
Silver Max paid $10.80, $5.60, and $4. Howe Great returned $5.60 and $3.80, while Hudson Steele was good for $4. The $2 exacta returned $63.