Trainer Dale Romans said Silver Max
came out of his sharp front-running victory in the Grade 3 Oceanport
Stakes on Sunday at Monmouth Park in excellent shape and would be
pointed toward the Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap on August
31 at the Spa.
son of Badge of Silver ranked among the leading 3-year-old turf horses
in the country last year, reeling off six straight wins - three of them
in graded stakes - culminating with a score in the Grade 2 Virginia
Derby at Colonial Downs.
shut down Silver Max last year after a ninth-place finish in the Grade 1
Shadwell Turf Mile in October at Keeneland. The colt was slow to return
to form this year, finishing off the board in his first two starts
before finally scoring in an ungraded off-the-turf stakes with a
four-horse field June 1 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs.
that race, Romans tried Silver Max in the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows
Cornhusker Handicap on the dirt and watched him finish a distant third.
The Oceanport was a return to grass racing and a return to form.
freshened him up last year, and he had a rocky start to the year with
the off-the-turf race at Churchill," Romans said. "I tried him back on
the dirt just to see, but we got back to a distance he likes and got
back to the surface he likes, and he ran big."
the Oceanport, Silver Max broke from his inside post and ran an opening
half-mile in 47.08 seconds and then turned on the jets and ran his next
half in 46.77 for a mile in 1:33.85. He finished 5 ¾ lengths in front
of Howe Great, with a winning time of 1:40.02 for the mile and a
how he's won every race he's won," Romans said. "He makes it look like
he's got an easy lead because he's a couple lengths in front, but he
went three-quarters in 1:09. He went 1:33. There aren't many going to be
able to run with him. I like him on the lead because he's one of the
few horses that can go that fast and keep going. He's a good colt."
The Bernard Baruch, like the Oceanport, is run at 1 1/16 miles.