With Wise Dan still progressing in his comeback from May 16 colic surgery, favoritism and a highweight assignment in Saratoga's $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) go to Dale Romans trainee Silver Max.
Making his first start since finishing fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I), favored Silver Max wired his seven rivals in Churchill Downs' Firecracker Stakes (gr. IIT), covering the mile in 1:34.21.
Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan saw his nine-race win streak come to an end Oct. 5 at Keeneland when Silver Max delivered a front-running score in the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (gr. II), which was moved to the main track.
Silver Max ran legitimate fractions early and had plenty left to finish up late in the $245,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 31 at Saratoga Race Course.
Last year's Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) winner Silver Max flashed speed from the gate to add the July 28 Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth to his portfolio for trainer Dale Romans and owners Mark Bacon and Dana Wells.
Multiple graded stakes winner Silver Max was the class of the $62,415 Opening Verse Stakes June 1 at Churchill Downs, and moving the race off the turf didn't give the 4-year-old gelding any trouble.
It didn't go as smoothly as planned but odds-on choice Silver Max got the job done anyway in the $600,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT), registering his sixth consecutive turf win on yielding ground at Colonial Downs July 21.
Silver Max, who is riding a five-race win streak, returns to Arlington Park for the American Derby (gr. IIIT) Saturday, July 14.
Front-running Silver Max, staked to an uncontested lead by Shaun Bridgmohan, cruised to a two-length victory in the $125,000 Arlington Classic May 26 at Arlington Park for his fourth consecutive win.
Silver Max took the lead soon after the start and was never headed as he staved off a couple of late challengers to win the American Turf Stakes (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs May 4.
Silver Max, allowed to clear the field early, left his rivals in the $100,000 Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) behind leaving the turn and romped to his first graded stakes win on opening day of the Keeneland spring meet.
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