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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017
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Silver Rock Hopes for Clean Trip

Conditioner Patrick Biancone says he’s always tried to train 4-year-old Silver Rock to settle down in her races early. 

 

He believes her tendency to get headstrong in the initial stages of a race compromised her going two turns.

 

But when trying five furlongs for the first time last out in the $100,000 Jenny Wade Handicap at Penn National, Biancone thinks Silver Rock’s lackadaisical beginning cost her the race.

 

“We’ve always taught her to break a step slow to settle her down early in races,” Biancone said.  “But going five furlongs, if you break a step slow, suddenly you’re way back in the pack.”

 

In the Jenny Wade, Silver Rock found herself well back before encountering serious traffic issues around the far turn.  Last by 12 lengths at the top of the stretch, the daughter of Rock of Gibraltar made up good ground to only finish four lengths back at the finish.

 

In Saturday’s Candy Éclair Stakes, Biancone wishes the experience of her last race will aid Silver Rock into turning in a better performance.

 

“I really think she should at least finish in the money,” Biancone said.  “Last time was her first time going five furlongs and that experience should really help her.”

 

Despite running in two-turn races to begin her North American career for Biancone, the Irish-bred Silver Rock is better suited for turf sprints, according to her conditioner.

 

“The way she trains,” Biancone said.  “She’s much better when we train her for sprints.  She’s much less aggressive and finishes better.”

Joe Bravo will ride Silver Rock from post position No. 2 in Saturday’s Candy Éclair.

In other news around the Biancone barn, the trainer reported that Bernard Weill’s Grade 3 winner Violon Sacre came out of his sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Oceanport on Haskell Day in fine shape and will point toward a title defense in the $250,000 PTHA Presidents Cup at Parx on Sept. 17.

 

The Oceanport was Violon Sacre’s first start of the year.

 

“He’ll head to the race he won last year in Philly,” said Biancone, referring to the Presidents Cup.  “He came out of the race here a little stiff, but he’s fine.”

 

Biancone also reported that Oceanport runner-up Sayif will run next in the Grade 3 Cliffhanger on Sept. 4.

 

MONMOUTH HORSES LOOK TO STAY HOT IN SARATOGA GRADE 1’S

 

 

This Saturday at Saratoga, locally-stabled Teaks North, winner of this year’s United Nations (G1), will look to continue the streak of Monmouth Park-based horses capturing Grade 1 events at the Spa.

 

The Justin Sallusto-trained 4-year-old is one of the headliners of Saturday’s Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational, looking to become the third Oceanport-based horse to win a Saratoga Grade 1 event in as many weeks.

 

Last Sunday, Sean Avery – winner of this year’s Longfellow at Monmouth Park – and jockey Joe Bravo captured the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt.

 

On July 31, Ask the Moon, who was sent to Monmouth Park a month earlier by trainer Martin Wolfson, captured Saratoga’s Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap.

 

The newly-minted Grade 1 winning 6-year-old, who has run 12 times at Monmouth Park throughout her career including a third-place finish behind Rachel Alexandra in last year’s Lady’s Secret, will be nominated to Monmouth’s Grade 2 Molly Pitcher on Sept. 28.

 

“Marty is definitely considering the Molly Pitcher,” said Wolfson’s assistant trainer Heather Irion.  “She’ll be nominated to the race and we’ll just have to see what he decides to do.”

           

 

 

 

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