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Romans Points Silver Max Toward Baruch

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.

 

The 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.

 

Romans 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.

 

Following 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.

 

"We 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."

 

In 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 sixteenth.

 

"That's 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.

 

 

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