Michael Moran had a decision to make this week: Run his talented 4-year-old gelding, Silent Roar, in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga or the equally as enticing Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) at Monmouth Aug. 5. Each were worth $150,000. Although entered in both, Moran ultimately chose to send the son of Unbridled's Song out in the Oceanport.
It turned out to be the right decision.
Silent Roar came off the pace, made a bold four-wide move around the final turn and galloped by Kiss the Kid and favorite Kip Deville to capture his first graded stakes victory. Now a winner in five of career 10 tries, Silent Roar ran the 1 1/16-mile on the turf in a new course record of 1:38.99 and paid $12.20, $6.00 and $3.20.
Longshot Kiss the Kid filled out the exacta (1-3), which paid $178.00. Kip Deville, an Oklahoma-bred who went off at 4/5, finished a disappointing third. The trifecta (1-3-4) paid $607.60.
Moran, who owns and trains Silent Roar, had raced the Kentucky-bred in the Caesar Rodney Stakes at Delaware Park July 15 (finishing third), but prior to that gave him two straight races over the Monmouth turf. Both efforts were impressive, including a ½-length victory in $45,000 allowance company May 26. His winning time of 1:40.42 that day was not nearly as fast as the Oceanport.
"He has a lot of talent," said Moran. "You just don't know which horse will show up, the aggressive type or the one that wants to lay back. He's a smart horse and he'll pick them off in the lane."
Jockey Stewart Elliott was aboard in the Oceanport, as he was in the other two Monmouth efforts.
"Mike said the horse will probably sit about five or six lengths off the pace," said Elliott. "We ended up sitting a few more lengths off today, but we got a good trip. When I started to ask him he really picked it up for me."
Smart Enough set opening fractions of 23.43 and 46.67, while Kip Deville saved ground and looked to be in prime position as they headed for home. Ridden by Edgar Prado, Kip Deville made his move along the rail, easily overtook Smart Enough in the stretch, and battled with Kiss the Kid on the inside. But Elliott moved Silent Roar smartly in the middle of the racetrack and won by a length going away.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Icy Atlantic finished a length and a quarter back in fourth.