San Gabriel H. (gr. II)

(gr. IIT , 9f ,)

BADGE OF SILVER (DK B/ h, 118 lb) $90,000
Silver Deputy —Silveroo , by Silver Hawk
B—Trackside Farm, KY.; O—Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K.; T—Robert J. Frankel

Atlando (IRE) (B g, 116 lb) $30,000
Hernando (FR) —Atlantic Blue , by Nureyev
B—Skymarc Farm Inc., IRE.; O—Gary A. Tanaka; T—Darrell Vienna

Toasted (DK B/ g, 117 lb) $18,000
Hennessy —Burrows , by Seattle Song
B—James D. Haley, KY.; O—Port, Sidney L. and Trust 720270; T—Laura De Seroux

Margins: 2½, 1, neck. Others: Estevan 115($9,000) , Don Incauto (ARG) 117($3,000) , Hendrix 118 , Choctaw Nation 116 , Rhythm Mad (FR) 117 , Burning Sun 115 . Winning Jockey, Patrick A. Valenzuela.

The new year got off to a flying start for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, North America’s Eclipse Award-winning owners of 2004, when Badge of Silver made his turf debut a winning one in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park Jan. 1.

The 6-year-old Badge of Silver was a distant eighth in the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct Nov. 26 in his previous start. The son of Silver Deputy had finished second in the 2004 Cigar Mile to Lion Tamer, his best effort in a grade I event.

Originally trained by Ronny Werner, Badge of Silver was moved to the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Robert Frankel in the autumn of 2004. He was purchased by the Ramseys for $85,000 at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale from the consignment of Trackside Farm, agent for the breeding partnership of Liberation Farm, Oratis Thoroughbreds, and Trackside. Badge of Silver’s dam, Silveroo, died in 2000.

Liberation Farm is the breeding entity of Rob Whiteley, who formerly ran Carl Icahn’s Foxfield, a commercial breeding operation that dispersed in 2004. Oratis Thoroughbreds is the nom de plume for retired heart surgeon Chris Elia, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. It is named after Oras, a small village in Cypress where Elia was born (an Oratis is someone from Oras). Trackside, located in Versailles, Ky., is owned by Tom Evans.

The partnership between Elia and Whiteley, which now consists of about 40 mares (all boarded at Trackside), began in 1996 when Elia performed triple-bypass heart surgery on Whiteley. “He does very good work,” Whiteley said of Elia 10 years after the operation, “and that’s why I keep him close to me.”

Whiteley’s recovery from his condition and the surgery has been nothing short of remarkable. A competitive runner, Whiteley finished second in the 60-year-old and up age group in the U.S. Half Marathon (13 miles) on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in November.

Whiteley’s Liberation Farm owns approximately 80 other mares alone or in partnership and was a partner in breeding 2005 stakes winners Roman Ruler, Henny Hughes, Keeneland Cat, Easy Million, Holy Fashion, and Make My Heart Sing, along with Badge of Silver.

Silver Deputy is the sire of 60 other stakes winners. He stands at Fred Seitz’ Brookdale Farm near Versailles, Ky. His 2006 fee is $30,000.—R.S.P.