Silver Max Skips Over Slop in Opening Verse

Track conditions not an issue for multiple graded stakes winner at Churchill June 1.

Multiple graded stakes winner Silver Max  was the class of the $62,415 Opening Verse Stakes June 1 at Churchill Downs once an off-the-turf edition prompted the scratches of Turallure, Keep Up , and Corporate Jungle. The change of surface didn't give the 4-year-old gelding any trouble as he skipped away by 9 1/2 lengths on a sloppy, ealed main track under jockey Robby Albarado (VIDEO).

Registering his first win for trainer Dale Romans since the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) last July, Silver Max ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.34 after claiming the advantage from the start. He clicked through a quarter in :24.31 while five lengths ahead, ran a half in :48.67 maintaining a four-length lead, had his margin reduced to 3 1/2 after a move from Daddy Nose Best  as three-quarters went in 1:13.41, and easily pulled away from that one approaching the stretch to open back up by seven lengths.

Time for the mile was 1:37.80, after which 8-5 Silver Max sailed home with Daddy Nose Best left well in his wake, even-money favorite Cease finishing 23 lengths behind him, and Middie last of all.

Silver Max returned $5.20 and $3.80 while Daddy Nose best paid $5.40. There was no show wagering.

Silver Max came off a fourth behind defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the May 5 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT) at Churchill. Bred in Kentucky by Steve Snowden, Seth Lauffer, and Will Lauffer out of the Kissin Kris mare Kissin Rene, he improved his record to eight wins and five seconds from 18 starts. The Opening Verse was his sixth stakes win.

Silver Max was purchased for $20,000 by Romans at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky 2010 select yearling sale when consigned by Watermill Farm, agent.