Silmaril ends her racing career in style by winning the What A Summer Stakes to push her lifetime earnings over the $1-million mark.

Silmaril ends her racing career in style by winning the What A Summer Stakes to push her lifetime earnings over the $1-million mark.

Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

Silmaril Wins, Tops $1-Million Mark

The 7-year-old mare became just the 17th Maryland-bred millionare Jan. 12 at Laurel.

Stephen Quick and Christopher Feifarek’s Silmaril defended her title in the $80,000 What A Summer Stakes Jan. 12 at Laurel Park, carrying her over the $1-million mark in lifetime earnings. The win was her 12th stakes victory, and her next assignment will be a date in breeding shed.

Jockey Jeremy Rose rode Silmaril for trainer Chris Grove. The 7-year-old daughter of Diamond broke last in the field of six, while odds-on favorite Your Flame in Me scurried to the lead. Rose was content to keep his mount wide but within striking distance and when he set her down, the dark bay mare circled four wide through the turn, took command after straightening out at the top of the lane, and galloped away to win by two lengths in 1:10.54 for the six-furlong distance over the main track.

All Giving finished second and La Chica Rica took third. The winner paid $6.

“This is it,” Quick said. “We did what we came out to do today. I hope all the fans appreciated it.”

The Bowie-based mare, who won stakes at five different distances, became the 17th Maryland-bred millionaire with the victory. The $48,000 first place earnings allowed her to move ahead of Urbane on the all-time list. Silmaril now ranks 16th on the list with $1,032,973. The only mares ahead of her are Safely Kept and Shine Again.

Cigar tops the Maryland-bred list with earnings of $9,999,815.

“She won it in style,” Rose said. “When we went cruising by the field, I knew they were not passing her. I wish I could have ridden her more than three times. This is the first time since Afleet Alex that I had goose bumps hitting the wire. I am happy to be the last jockey to ride her.”

Silmaril won two graded races during her career, including the 2005 Pimlico Distaff (gr. III), when she upset Eclipse Award winner Ashado, and finished in the money twice in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II).

“Class prevailed today,” Grove said. “She told me for the last week and a half that she was ready to go. I started crying when I was cinching up the girth knowing it was the last time that I was going to do it. Everyone is really emotional about this mare because she is part of Maryland racing. That is how I wanted her to go out, with an exclamation point on it. That is how true champions go out.”

Silmaril is headed to the breeding shed at Stephen and Sue Quick’s St. Omer’s Farm in Harford County.

(Chart, Equibase)