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Silver Max Meets Strong Test in the Oliver

Silver Max Arlington Classic
Photo: Four Footed Fotos

The $200,000 Oliver stakes is the jewel of the Indiana Downs meet.  The one-mile turf affair for 3-year-olds always attracts top class horses, trainers, and jockeys, and this year is no different. In the past, Oliver participants have gone on to run in big races such as the grade II American Derby, grade II Del Mar Derby, grade II Oak Tree Derby, grade II Dixie and grade I Manhattan.

 

Indiana Downs lacks a much needed graded stakes race. I believe after you see the field contesting this year’s Oliver you will agree with me that it is of graded stakes quality. The Oliver is a perfect spot for trainers looking for a strong turf race for their 3-year-old colts. Let’s take a look at this year’s field.

 

 

 

1. 7/5 Quick Wit- Sharp Humor (Distorted Humor) Thank the Academy (Royal Academy)

 

Lanerie C.J. – Dale Romans

 

Quick Wit is the first of 3 horses entered for trainer Dale Romans. The Sharp Humor colt broke his maiden on dirt in a sprint at Gulfstream Park in January.  He ran a good 3rd to Thunder Moccasin and Il Villano in the Hutchenson. In his last 3 races he’s faced the likes of Trinniberg, Hierro, and Belmont Stakes runner-up Paynter. He’s coming off of a brutal trip while finishing 3rd (moved up to 2nd via dq) beaten only a head in an Allowance race on the turf at Churchill Downs. I could see Quick Wit closing ground late to pick up the pieces for 2nd or 3rd, but I don’t see him beating his stable mate Silver Max.

 

 

 

1 A. 7/5 Silver Max- Badge of Silver (Silver Deputy) Kissin Rene (Kissin Kris)

 

Albarado R.J. – Dale Romans

 

Silver Max is coming off wins in the grade III Transylvania, grade III American Turf and the $125,000 Arlington Classic. Max is the perfect definition of a professional race horse. He’s never finished worse than 2nd on the turf and he’s coming off of 4 straight wins. This could be the best 3 year old turf horse in the country. He’s solely the one to beat in the Oliver. Romans could be using this spot as a prep race for the grade I Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on Arlington Million day.

 

 

 

1x. 7/5 Cozzetti- Cozzene (caro) Lemon Drop Ceilo (Lemon Drop Kid)

 

Lanerie C.J. – Dale Romans

 

Cozzetti is 1 for 8 life time with that win coming in a maiden race. He’s coming out of a 7th place finish to I’ll Have Another in the Preakness. He’s winless on turf and his deep closing style might compromise his chances as this field lacks speed. He’s faced some of the top 3 year olds in the country, but I don’t think turf is his best surface. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cozzetti scratched since Romans has 2 others and he’s also named Lanerie on Quick Wit.

 

 

 

2. 6/1 Travel Advisory- Stormy Atlantic (Storm Cat) Fire of Freedom (Street Cry Ire)

 

Goncalves L R– Kellyn Gorder

 

Travel Advisory has run into Silver Max in his last two races, but he hasn’t disrespected himself finishing second in both races. The Stormy Atlantic colt has shown an affinity for the grass never finishing worse than second.  He might also be compromised by his late running style, but if someone pressures Silver Max early he could run them all down late.

 

 

 

3. 7/2 Howe Great- Hat Trick (Sunday Silence) Ginger Sea *Saf* (Western Winter)

 

Prado E S – Graham Motion

 

Howe Great has been very impressive in 7 starts with 4 wins a 2nd and a 3rd. He hit the gate in his last race before being defeated by Silver Max. He has a versatile running style with the ability to lay close to the pace or close from the behind. He fought off triple crown participant Dullahan to take the grade III Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream. Howe great is 3 for 4 on the grass and looks to sit a great trip behind Silver Max. If he’s good enough it could be a “Great” win for Team Valor and Howe Great.

 

 

 

4. 20/1 DIEZ- Rock Hard Ten – (Kris S.) Provisions  (Devil’s Bag)

 

Lebron V – Darrin Miller

 

Diez is very lightly raced only with only 2 starts. He’s coming off a 5th place performance in the Needles stakes at Calder. He has yet to stretch his talent around 2 turns and being out of Rock Hard Ten he should relish a distance of ground. Normally I love to play Rock Hard Ten’s going a route of ground for the first time, but this group is just too classy for him.

 

 

 

5. 20/1 A Z Ridge- Toccet (Awesome Again) Unusual Spring (Unusual Heat)

 

Kuntzweiler G – Dan Mcfarlane

 

Az Ridge is 2 for 11 life time with his biggest win coming in the $72,000 ATBA stakes as a 2 year old at Turf Paradise. He’s trying turf for the first time and facing much tougher. He will need the race of his life just to compete with this salty group.

 

 

 

6. 20/1 Potomac River- English Channel (Smart Strike) Reba’s Approval (With Approval)

 

Vargas J P – William R Helmbrecht

 

The lightly raced son of English Channel is coming off of a 7th place finish in the same allowance race where fellow Oliver participants Temerine and Quick Wit ran 1st and 2nd. The William Helmbrecht charge is royally bred, but needs a lot of improvement to find himself in the winner’s circle against these talented colts. A big race for Potomac River might only be good enough to catch a piece of the trifecta or super.

 

 

 

7. 8/1 Mr. Prankster It’s No Joke (Distorted Humor) Cremedelacramer (Avenue of Flags)

 

Mena M – Mike Maker

 

Mr. Prankster is “back home again in Indiana.” He broke his maiden at Hoosier Park. He’s ultra-consistent with 3 wins in 9 starts hitting the board in 8 of those races. He’s coming off a solid 3rd place finish while setting the pace in his first start on turf at Belmont Park.  He’s quite versatile, with tactical speed and the ability to close if needed. He might be able to pressure Silver Max early, but I don’t think he can overpower him late. He’s definitely a horse to use in exacta’s and trifecta’s.

 

 

 

8. 12/1 Temeraine– Arch (Kris S.) Lonely Fact (Known Fact)

 

Sellers S J – Tom Proctor

 

Temeraine made a huge improvement when hitting the lawn for the first time in his last race. He won via dq, but he showed an incredible turn of foot late. He has one of the nicest turf pedigrees I’ve seen in a long time. He’s a deep closer, but if I think even if the pace is slow he’ll still show that blazing turn of foot. He’s a very live long shot that I would play on top and under Silver Max in exacta’s and trifecta’s.

 

 

 

9. 15/1 North of Never-  North Light Ire* (Danehill) Sweet Solairo (Bernstein)

 

Torres F C – Anthony Granitz

 

North of Never seems to always run the same race. He’s a deep closer who’s coming off a 4th place finish to Silver Max in the Arlington Classic. He gets one of Arlington Park’s top jockeys to ride. He’s only won one race, but he does seem to have a little talent. I believe he’s a little over matched in here today. Only a superfecta possibility.

 

 

 

10. 5/1 Senor Rain- El Nino (Storm Cat) Make My Marq (Marquetry)

 

Gomez G K – Peter Miller

 

Senor Rain is the lone Indiana Bred in the field, though he’s only made one start in the Hoosier state. He gets one of the nation’s leading jockeys to fly in from California for the mount. He’s faced the likes of I’ll Have Another, Daddy Nose Best, Lucky Chappy, and Creative Cause. He’s coming off of a strong 2nd place finish in an $80,000 optional claimer on the turf. He was only beaten a nose by the Bob Baffert trainee American Act, two back in the Harry Henson Stakes at Hollywood Park. He has to break strong with this far outside post, but I’m just not sure if he’s good enough. Look for trainer Peter Miller to leave Senor Rain in Indiana to compete for the strong Indiana Bred stakes purses later in the meet.

 

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Older Comments about Silver Max Meets Strong Test in the Oliver...

Four scratches in the Oliver ... yuck.
Siver Max easy. Heard Romans is using this as a prep for the Virginia Derby
Temeraine is my live long shot. He's very dangerous if he gets some pace to run at.
This isn't even funny. The triple entry will obviously win with Silver Max on top! He will get the lead and never look back.
That is an awesome field. It seems like more and more, the turf is the place to be! SIlver Max got votes in the NTRA poll. Nice rematch with Howe Great.
Darn! I would've gone if it was on a weekend!

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