this week, trainer Dale Romans said he believed his 4-year-old turf ace
Silver Max not only could recapture his top form but become one of the
leading runners in the country.
After a sharp gate-to-wire score in the Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, Romans knew his confidence was well-founded.
still feel the same way," Romans said in the winner's circle after
Silver Max ran the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:42.31. "Last year, I might have
overdone it with him. I ran him a lot of times in those 3-year-old
races. He was a little tired at the end of the year. He's coming into
the summer and fall a lot more fresh, and I think he could be by the end
of the year one of the best turf horses around."
a field of five over yielding turf for the Bernard Baruch, Silver Max
faced far more pace pressure than Romans expected, as Tetradrachm chased
through an opening quarter-mile in 23.88 seconds and a half in 47.34.
six furlongs, Tetradrachm was finished, and Silver Max had a two-length
lead at the top of the stretch. Saving ground throughout, jockey Rosie
Napravnik turned loose long shot Paris Vegas for a stern drive, but they
could never cut into the margin.
Max won by two lengths, while Paris Vegas was 6 ¼ lengths clear of
third-place finisher Tetradrachm. Turallure and So Long George completed
the order of finish.
made him work a lot more today than I thought he would," Romans said.
"If you had told me he was going to go that fast for the first
[half-mile], I'd say he'd be 15 [lengths] in front. They made him run
Jockey Robby Albarado said Silver Max doesn't need a lot of coaxing to get going.
try to be a quiet and patient passenger on him and let him do all the
work," Albarado said. "They came to me a little earlier than I
anticipated, at about the half-mile pole. But he's just got such a high
cruising speed, and he holds it."
Max proved himself one of the top 3-year-old turf horses in the country
last year, ringing up a six-race winning streak that included victories
in the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland, the Grade 2 American Turf at
Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs.
a slow start to his 4-year-old season, Silver Max has gotten hot,
taking three of his past four starts. Before the Bernard Baruch, he went
gate-to-wire in the Grade 3 Oceanport at Monmouth Park.
the victory, Silver Max, owned by Mark Bacon and Dana Wells, improved
his lifetime record to 10 wins from 21 starts, with five seconds and a
third. The $150,000 winner's purse increased his lifetime earnings to