Caesar Rodney S.

(T 8.5f ,)

SILVER TREE (CH h, 117 lb) $120,000
Hennessy —Blue Begum , by With Approval
B—Vegso Racing Stable, FL.; O—Peter Vegso; T—William I. Mott

Ballast (IRE) (CH g, 117 lb) $40,000
Desert Prince (IRE) —Suedoise (GB) , by Kris (GB)
B—M3 Elevage and Haras d'Etreham, IRE.; O—Richard C. Thompson; T—H. Graham Motion

Silent Roar (GR/RO g, 117 lb) $22,000
Unbridled's Song —Jane's the Name , by Trempolino
B—Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd., KY.; O—Michael J. Moran; T—Michael J. Moran

Margins: 1, nose, 1¼. Others: Shake the Bank 117($12,000) , Defer 117($6,000) , Tune of the Spirit 121($300) , Wood Be Willing 117($300) . Winning Jockey, Edgar S. Prado.

Race favorite Silver Tree didn’t disappoint, as he defeated Ballast by a length in the Caesar Rodney Stakes at Delaware Park July 15. The 7-year-old son of Hennessy has now won three of five starts this year, including a victory in the March 4 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIIT), which came after a six month layoff.

Bill Mott trains Silver Tree for Peter Vegso, who has campaigned such graded stakes winners as Splendid Blended, Orchard Park, and Go Between. Orchard Park is a full brother to Silver Tree, and during his career he won the Palm Beach (gr. IIIT), Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT), and Gravelines Stakes. He and Silver Tree also both captured the Virginia Derby.

“He has been such a wonderful horse,” Vegso said of Silver Tree, who may be pointed to the Cox Plate (Aust-I). “He is an old campaigner, he knows what it is about, and he is back to enjoying it. We love him.”

Vegso bred Silver Tree in Florida in the name of his Vegso Racing Stable. Silver Tree and Orchard Park are out of the stakes-placed With Approval mare Blue Begum, who began her career in Germany and placed in two stakes races there before returning to United States. Vegso bought the chestnut mare in 1998 for $200,000 at the Keeneland November mixed sale from Glencrest Farm, agent, while she was carrying her first foal, Orchard Park.

Bred in Kentucky by Donald MacRae, Blue Begum is out of the unraced Nijinsky II mare Bogus. Out of the winning Relic mare Chappaquiddick, Bogus is a half-sister to grade I winners Tiller (by Herbager) and Endear (by Alydar) as well as grade II winner Digress (by Topsider) and stakes winner Routine (by Northern Dancer). Endear only produced two foals, but one of them was multiple grade I winner Lure (by Danzig), who won back-to-back editions of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) in 1992 and 1993. Chappaquiddick is out of the winning Dante mare Baby Doll II.

Blue Begum only produced four foals for Vegso, but all four are winners. Her last offspring is a 5-year-old War Chant gelding named Honoring Blue, who is in training with Duane Knipe. Orchard Park currently stands at Vegso’s farm, The Racing Edge, in Ocala, Fla. Blue Begum died in 2002 as the result of colic.

Hennessy is the sire of 56 stakes winners including additional 2007 added-money winners Sunrise Bacchus (Jpn-I), Mary Delaney (gr. II), India (gr. III), Liquor Cabinet (gr. III), Dance The Waves (Aust-III), and Western Art (in England). The 14-year-old son of Storm Cat stood the 2007 season at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., for a fee of $60,000.—A.H.D.