After finishing first with Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max and third with Michael J. Bruder’s Guys Reward in Saturday’s $224,800 Firecracker (Grade II), trainer Dale Romans said
that both horses exited the race in good order.
“They both came out great,”
Romans said. “It was a good comeback race for Silver Max and we were
very pleased with both of their efforts.”
Romans has won the Firecracker a record four times, taking the race with Guy’s Reward in 2012, Thorn Song in 2008 and Kitten’s Joy in 2005.
Romans was unsure where his two stakes horses would make their next two starts but mentioned both the Aug. 2 Fourstardave Handicap (GII) at Saratoga and July 27 Oceanport (GIII) at Monmouth as possibilities.
“We’ll wait and see how
things play out in that division,” Romans said. “We’ll take a look at
the Oceanport and the Fourstardave though.”
Should either horse take a shot at the Fourstardave, they will likely have to face two-time horse of the year Wise Dan, who missed the Firecracker due to surgery but is expected to return in the Fourstardave
according to his trainer Charlie LoPresti.
Max won the 2013 Shadwell Turf Mile (GI) at Keeneland last October,
handing Wise Dan his only loss of the year. The race actually was held
on the Polytrack and run at the distance of 1 1/16 miles due to extreme
Wise Dan responded by
taking the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI) last November, while Silver Max
finished fourth. Out of four total meetings between them, Wise Dan holds
the 3-1 record advantage.