Ridden by Stewart Elliott, Silent Valor entered the Sapling off a dominating 6 1/4-length score in the slop May 16 at Belmont Park when breaking his maiden at second asking. The son of Lion Heart went gate-to-wire in that one, but came from well off the pace to earn his first stakes win Aug. 31. He is trained by Todd Pletcher.
Officer Ipod, who took over while rounding the turn and had a 2 1/2-length advantage at the top of the lane, settled for second under Joe Bravo. Rereadthefootnotes was third in a field of six. The final time on a fast main track was 1:10.26.
Early in the Sapling, it was Saratoga Storm who took the lead. With Juan Leyva aboard, he cruised through a quarter-mile in :22.01 while Officer Ipod raced close up in the second and Wild Proof made a strong move along the rail to also get into contention. Rereadthefootnotes was never far behind.
Officer Ipod, who was runner-up in the Sanford (gr. I), took over after a half-mile in :44.99 and began distancing himself from the rest of the field as they came out of the turn. But Silent Valor, next-to-last after four furlongs, was just getting revved up and used a four-wide entry into the lane to get into striking position. He edged closer to the leader nearing the sixteenth-pole and streaked to the front seconds later.
“He’s a real easy horse to ride,” said Elliott. “He does whatever you ask him to. He’s a push-button type of horse. This colt really has a nice future ahead of him.”
Going off as the slight favorite, Silent Valor paid $5.80, $3.60 and $2.10. The exacta (6-4) returned $28.20, with the trifecta (6-4-1) netting $92.
Bred in Kentucky by Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton and Mark Mullen, Silent Valor is out of the Valid Appeal mare Few Choice Words. He was purchased at the Keeneland September 2007 yearling sale for $320,000.
Dueling Alex finished fourth, followed by Wild Proof and Saratoga Storm. Valiancy was scratched.