The well traveled 6-year old added the Carter to his victory earlier this year in the General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel while topping the $1 million mark in career earnings.
“The pace worked out really good,” Javier Castellano said after riding his first Carter winner. “They went very, very fast. It was a key to the race because it set up perfectly for me.”
Less than half hour after a paceless Wood Memorial (gr. I), there was a scramble for early supremacy in the Carter. Fastest of all was Latent Heat, who ripped off fractions of :21.76 and :44.34 while flanked by Kazoo to his inside and the 2-1 favorite, Keyed Entry, to his outside. To his credit, Latent Heat got far the better of those two rivals, but once he shook them and turned for home he had little left.
Diabolical was first to get there, but Silver Wagon soon followed, sweeping right by to take the winners’ share of $180,000 in a time of 1:21.46. Diabolical, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez took second by three quarters of a length. Ah Day, who was last early, passed the three speedsters and finished third under Mario Pino.
“He’s been training lights out since we got him back from Florida,” said winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., whose brother Anthony won the Bay Shore (gr. III) with Bill Place two races earlier and was the trainer of record when Silver Wagon won the General George. “Down there, he didn’t want to train. As soon I get him back here, he runs to the track. I just can’t figure it out.”
For Velasquez, the near miss on Diabolical cost him his third consecutive stakes win on the day. “The horse was very good down the stretch. I looked outside and saw Javier coming. My horse dug in, but was just not good enough today.”
Silver Wagon, who won the Sports Page (gr. III) over the Aqueduct course Nov. 4, improved his lifetime record to 7-3-6 in 24 starts with earnings of $1,159,193. The gray horse by Wagon Limit has won five of 12 tries at the seven-furlong distance.
Dutrow said Silver Wagon will “without a doubt” be pointed to the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park May 28. To his backers the third choice paid $6.90, $3.70, $3.00. Diabolical returned $5.70, $3.80. Ah Day’s show return was $4.10. Latent Heat, Keyed Entry and Kazoo trailed. Wild Jam scratched.