Silver Train, Bandini Work for Richter Scale

(from Gulfstream Park notes)
Buckram Oaks Farm's 4-year-old Silver Train, winner of the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), worked six furlongs in 1:14 Friday morning at Palm Meadows as he prepares for his expected season debut in the $200,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. II) going seven furlongs March 4.

Jockey Edgar Prado was aboard the son of Old Trieste for trainer Rick Dutrow, who declared the colt ready to go. "He went great. He's doing better than ever. It was just what I wanted. Now we have to see if it was just what he wanted. Edgar was very happy with it, too."

Silver Train was a distant second in the voting for champion sprinter last year behind Lost in the Fog, despite handing that colt his only career loss in the Breeders' Cup. Dutrow is taking a long view of this year's campaign and points to the fact that his charge still has a few things to prove.

"I wouldn't be disappointed if he didn't win this first race," said Dutrow. "There are bigger races down the road that we're zeroing in on, but he's ready to run and doing as well as he ever has. I know if this race was at Belmont, (winning) would be a foregone conclusion, but he has to show up at another racetrack. I haven't seen him do that yet."

Three of Silver Train's victories have come at Belmont Park, including the Sprint and the Jerome Handicap (gr. II) last September. He raced twice at Gulfstream last year with his best result a third-place finish in a first-level allowance last February.

Another nominee for the Richter Scale is Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's 4-year-old Bandini, who drilled three-quarters at Palm Meadows Friday morning in 1:14 1/5. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the son of Fusaichi Pegasus  hasn't run since his 19th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Pletcher has not committed Bandini to the Richter Scale.

Bandini made three starts at Gulfstream last winter, winning two and finishing second by three-quarters in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). He went on to win the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland by six lengths prior to the Derby.