Oceanport S. (gr. III)

(gr. IIIT , 8.5f ,)

SILVER TREE (CH h, 120 lb) $90,000
Hennessy —Blue Begum , by With Approval
B—Vegso Racing Stable, FL.; O—Peter Vegso; T—William I. Mott

Giant Wrecker (CH h, 116 lb) $30,000
Giant's Causeway —Homewrecker , by Buckaroo
B—Edward P. Evans, KY.; O—Edward P. Evans; T—Anthony W. Dutrow

Hotstufanthensome (B g, 116 lb) $16,500
Awesome Again —Don't Read My Lips , by Turkoman
B—Live Oak Stud, KY.; O—Main Street Stable; T—Teresa M. Pompay

Margins: neck, head, 1¾. Others: Ruff and Ready 116($9,000) , Buffalo Man 120($4,500) , Presious Passion 123 , Gentleman Chester 118 , A. P. Magic 117 , Baron Von Tap 116 . Winning Jockey, Kent J. Desormeaux.

He may be an equine senior citizen regularly competing against runners half his age, but what Silver Tree lacks in youth he makes up for in experience. A modern-day iron horse, the 8-year-old just marked his 40th career start, with more than $1.7 million in earnings and 23 added-money top-three performances to his credit.

A multiple graded stakes winner, Silver Tree is enjoying one of his best seasons of racing thus far in 2008. In five starts this year, all in stakes events, he hasnÕt been worse than second.

In his latest conquest, Silver Tree took Monmouth ParkÕs Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Haskell (gr. I) undercard. It was a thriller, as he looked beaten, then boldly split horses just a sixteenth from home for a neck triumph. The popular Bill Mott trainee had been sent to the post as the favorite.

Silver Tree campaigns as a homebred for Peter Vegso of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame. The native Canadian is president of Health Communications, publisher of the inspirational books. Vegso now lives near Boca Raton, Fla., and has a farm, Racing Edge, near Ocala. Approximately 30 mares are based at the 140-acre farm, which also has extensive training facilities.

Vegso bought Silver TreeÕs dam, Blue Begum, at the 1998 Keeneland November breeding stock sale for $200,000. The German stakes-placed With Approval mare was in foal to Hennessy at the time and later foaled a colt Vegso named Orchard Park. That full brother to Silver Tree also won multiple graded stakes. In addition, the two brothers captured back-to-back editions of the $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. Orchard Park stands at Racing Edge.

Blue Begum produced two more colts for Vegso, both winners, before succumbing to colic in 2002.

The sire of 66 stakes winners including Silver Tree and five other 2008 added-money winners, Hennessy died in August of 2007 while standing the Southern Hemisphere season at Haras La Mission in Argentina. His Northern Hemisphere base was CoolmoreÕs Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. Hennessy, a son of Storm Cat who won the 1995 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), died at age 14.ÑJ.W.