Silverfoot, a 10-year-old gelding who captured the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) three consecutive years, is finally riding off into the sunset of his career.
The gray or roan gelding broke his maiden on his first try at 3 in 2003 and since then has won or placed in 14 of 40 starts. He will retire with earnings of $949,503.
“He’s such a wonderful horse…he was so much fun to be around and brought so much joy to everybody that was around him,” said Ann Britt, who raised the gelding at her Mare Gate Farm near Finchville, Ky. Silverfoot will now spend the rest of his days at the farm where he was born.
Silverfoot, who took the 2004-2006 runnings of the Louisville Handicap, also captured the 2005 Kentucky Cup Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs, and the 2008 Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) and 2009 Tin Man Stakes, both at Arlington Park. He was additionally a close second in the 2005 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT).
Campaigned as a homebred in all his starts by Stephanie Clark’s Detroit-based Chrysalis Stables, the Kentucky-bred son of With Approval had finished unplaced in his last five starts, the most recent of which was this year’s running of the Louisville Handicap May 22.
“(Silverfoot) has such a sense of humor,” said Britt, a veteran breeder who keeps around 15 mares at Mare Gate, including Silverfoot’s dam Northern Silver. “He was always dancing…he has this little shuffle he does, and it was almost like he was listening to some sort of celestial music. He does that in his stall, and every once in awhile, he’ll do it in his pasture.”
Britt, who started out in the industry working at Churchill Downs and at one time also worked for Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, said Silverfoot is the best horse she has ever raised.
“He was charcoal gray when he was born, and now he’s almost snow white,” she said of the gelding, who is still owned by Clark. “I know it’s very selfish, but you’ll never know how much I’m happy to have him back—he’s like a four-legged human.
“I’ve had a lot of other successful horses come off the farm. That helps a lot—when you can see your hard work paying off for your clients,” Britt continued. “But of course Silverfoot has been the horse that makes you come to the barn early in the morning and stay late, hoping you’ll get another one.”