Silver Medallion continued to show his affinity for the turf, rallying five-wide around the final turn and fighting off pacesetter Yummy With Butter in the stretch to win his second graded stakes in a row by a neck in the $100,000 Ft. Lauderdale (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) Jan. 14 at Gulfstream Park.
Entering off a victory in the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) Dec. 2 at Calder, Black Rock Stables’ Silver Medallion was sharp yet again, coming from next to last in a field of 12 after a half-mile to score under Javier Castellano. The 4-year-old son of Badge of Silver won for the fourth time on turf and has hit the board in all but one of his eight starts on that surface.
Todd Pletcher trains the bay colt, who was bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones and is out of the Stalwart mare Another Vegetarian.
Yummy With Butter, who was disqualified for interference in the stretch, led the way for most of the 1 1/16 miles under Paco Lopez, setting fractions of :24.40, :49.24, and 1:13.64. Mutual Trust, the 9-5 favorite, pressed the pace the whole way with Jose Lezcano aboard, while Santiva and grade I winner Flat Out , who was making his turf debut, were close to the pace.
Silver Medallion was uninvolved for six furlongs, racing in 10th under a patient Castellano, but launched his winning five-wide move at the three-eighths pole to get into contention. He was involved in a three-way bumping match with Mutual Trust and Yummy With Butter in upper stretch, but eventually forged a narrow lead inside the sixteenth pole and held on for the win.
After the race Lezcano lodged a claim of foul against both Silver Medallion and Yummy With Butter, but stewards decided to only disqualify Yummy With Butter, who initiated the contact and was placed sixth. After Yummy With Butter’s disqualification, Hollinger was moved up to second, and Kindergarden Kid to third. Guys Reward was fourth, followed by Mutual Trust.
The final time on the firm turf was 1:43.04.
“I didn’t want to be that far back. I don’t know what happened. I guess he just missed the break,” Castellano said. “From there, I just had to use my own judgment. He’s not really an aggressive horse coming from behind, but when I asked him I was like ‘wow’.” It was such a big pack and I couldn’t go inside so I had to try to loop the field. He gave me a lot of run and I was very proud of him.”
Silver Medallion improved to 5-2-1 from 12 starts overall and earnings of $426,123. He also has the grade III El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields to his credit. Steven Marshall, who purchased a majority interest in the horse after El Camino Real, owns Black Rock Stables.
“He didn’t get away that well and ended further back than we expected,” Pletcher said. "Javier had to make a decision to let him settle (rather than rush up), and then he came with a good run for three-eighths. We’ll see how he comes out of it, but we’ll probably bring him back in the Gulfstream Turf (Handicap, gr. I, Feb. 11).”
Sent off as the second choice, Silver Medallion paid $9.80, $4.60, and $3. The exacta (10-9) returned $93.20 and the $1 trifecta (10-9-12) was worth $378.10.