Even faced with a surprise challenge, Silver Max kept his cool. An
out-of-control longshot had overtaken Silver Max down the backstretch
Saturday night in the 1 1/4-mile Virginia Derby, a development that
often spells doom for a front-running type.
But Silver Max, ridden by Robby Albarado, maintained an even pace,
regained the lead entering the far turn, and then had enough left to
defeat Lucky Chappy by a length in the 15th running of the Grade 2,
$600,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va.
“That was an adventure,” said trainer Dale Romans, who was on hand
from Saratoga. “This is a special horse. He proved he can handle the
mile and a quarter. It’s going to take a real good horse to beat him.”
Silver Max now has won six straight races, all on turf, and will head
to the Aug. 18 Secretariat Stakes as a major contender for Romans and
owners Mark Bacon and Dana Wells. He returned $3.80 as the favorite in a
field of eight 3-year-olds after finishing in 2:04.05 over a yielding