Sometimes you don’t even need to see the race to know that something special happened. Case in point was today’s sixth race at Oaklawn Park. A filly & mare maiden race for three-year-olds and up going six furlongs did not necessarily seem like the most likely place for a doozy of a performance, but that is what fans lucky enough to see it enjoyed. If you missed it, don’t worry just check out the result chart of the race featuring winner, Silver Hustler. In fact, I think the trip line from the DRF chart tells it all. “Off slowly then bothered, trailed well back, began to advance off the inside early in the turn, set down on the outside for the drive, finished full of run to win going away.” But after reading that, how could you possibly not want to see it?
Sent off as the 9-5 favorite, Silver Hustler was not exactly a secret today in her career debut, but surely anyone that backed her would not have given a plugged nickel for her chances after the first 20 yards of the race. The beginning was that bad for the three-year-old, gray daughter of Political Force. What happened over the next six furlongs is the kind of performance that those in attendance will never forget. It wasn’t until the last 20 yards that she finally looked like a winner, and win she did, blowing by her competition with an explosive rush that carried her to a one-length victory. I’m not sure when the last time I saw one horse pass the others so quickly at the close of the race. It reminded me of Dehere winning the Saratoga Special 19 years ago.
Of course, when Dehere did his thing, it was in a graded stakes race at Saratoga. Who did Silver Hustler beat? Honestly, probably no one that will ever amount to much. Her time was nothing special either, covering the three-quarters in 1:12 3/5, although Oaklawn Park is always slow this time of year. Do these factors bother me? Not in the least. When you see a good horse, you just know it, and this is a filly with a future.
I try not to get too excited after just one race, but in my mind this was the most eye-catching performance I have seen so far this winter at Oaklawn Park. Trained by Grant Forster for owner, Ralph Bodine, Silver Hustler was ridden in her electrifying debut by Channing Hill. It will be interesting to see what her connections do with her next. Perhaps an allowance race befitting her conditions, or maybe they will go bold and place her directly into stakes competition. One thing I do know, after today, you can be sure I will be watching.
[How high will Silver Hustler climb in the HRN Power Rankings for 3-year-old Fillies?]
OK, I’ve teased you long enough … click here to access a video of the race I am raving about. Take a look and tell me what you think.