Badge of Silver returns to action with a win Friday at the Fair Grounds.

Badge of Silver returns to action with a win Friday at the Fair Grounds.

Lou Hodges Jr.

Badge of Silver Sizzles in Fair Grounds Return

(from Fair Grounds report)
Badge of Silver, starting for the first time in 10 months, made a triumphant return Friday in the featured $34,000 optional claiming event at Fair Grounds.

Ridden by regular rider Robby Albarado, Badge of Silver ($2.80) took command early, leading the field through a half-mile in a crisp :45.84. At the head of the lane, Captain Thunder moved up on the outside to challenge, but was soon repelled by the brilliant son of Silver Deputy, who cruised home under a hand ride to hit the wire with a 2 3/4-length advantage.

Badge of Silver's final time of 1:08.88 marked the fastest six-furlong effort of the meet.

Said Albarado, "He's an unbelievable horse."

Badge of Silver won the first three starts of his career by a combined 26 lengths, including a 10-length romp in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) a year ago at Fair Grounds. He followed that up with a puzzling fifth-place effort as the favorite in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), where it was discovered after the race that he had flipped his palate. A month later, Badge of Silver fractured a cannon bone in preparation for the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, denying him a Triple Crown bid and the remainder of his 3-year-campaign.

His victory on Friday improved his career record to four wins in five starts and earnings of more than $182,000 for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Ronny Werner, giving the owner/trainer duo their second victory of the day.

"He broke sharp and bounced out there," said Werner. "He was a little antsy his first out, but he finished strong and galloped out nice. I was very, very pleased."

Werner said that Badge of Silver would be considered for the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) on Feb. 29.

(Chart, Equibase)