Fresh off victory in the Grade I La
Brea, Rafael Bejarano, united for the first time with the Gary Mandella-trained
Silentio, made it two stakes wins in-a-row on opening day as he held off 3-1
favorite Battle Force and Mike Smith in the final sixteenth of a mile to win
the Grade II, $150,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes, for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf
by a half-length, getting the distance on a course listed as “good” in
Owned and bred by Wertheimer and
Frere, Silentiobroke his maiden at Santa Anita going one mile on
turf in his debut, on Oct. 1, 2011. He was subsequently given time off
and came back to win an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on turf on Sept. 5 at
Del Mar, prior to running third in a second-condition allowance on Oct. 12 at
“The only thing I’ll take credit for
is we gave him a lot of time for his injury as a 2-year-old,” said
Mandella. “He won last year here and came out of the race with activity
in his tibia…But the bigger thing was he had some cysts in his hocks.
They were dug out surgically and we gave him a lot of time to get over it.”
Although he had never ridden him,
Bejarano was happy with the conditions.
“He really liked the turf today,”
said the likeable Peruvian. “…the way he ran today, he was clear from the
outside (post eight) and it was much better for him…that’s why he gave me a
good turn of foot in the stretch.”
Smith, who had ridden Battle Force
in his two previous starts, was quick to compliment his mount.
“He ran too good to lose,” said
Smith. “I really have to applaud the winner because he beat me today, but
they both ran winning races. I think it will be to our advantage as soon
as we get to go a little further.”
Press Baron, off at 16-1 with Victor
Espinoza, sat close to the pace and finished third, one length behind Battle
Force. The early fractions of 23.14, 46.86, 1:10.78 were carved out by
fourth-place finisher Big Bane Theory and Joe Talamo. Eventual winner
Silentio took the lead at the top of the stretch, stopping the seven furlong
split time at 1:22.59.
Silentio paid $8.40, $4.20 and
$3.00. Battle Force paid $3.80 and $3.20. Press Baron paid $5.60 to
The winner’s share of $90,000
boosted the son of Silent Name’s bankroll to $165,960. His record now
stands at 4-3-0-1.