Race of the Week 2017

War Dancer & Java's War Breeze Together for McPeek

One day after celebrating his 51st birthday, trainer Ken McPeek sent out his prospects for the Grade 1, $1 million Travers for a work in company over the Oklahoma training track.


Breezing together, Magdalena Racing's War Dancer went four furlongs in 49.03 seconds, and Charles Fipke's Java's War went in 49.41. The works were the fourth and fifth quickest of 53 on the track Saturday morning.


War Dancer, a son of War Front, is coming off a victory in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby on the grass, while Java's War exits a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Swaps at Betfair Hollywood Park. Java's War won the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes in April on the Keeneland Polytrack.


"They worked good," McPeek said. "War Dancer worked super. Java got a little late in the work, but, for the most part, it was a good, solid breeze. They're going to work back next weekend. Just want to stay steady and make sure they eat up."


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It's always gratifying when a plan comes together, and trainer Dale Romans was feeling pretty good Saturday morning after Silverette's impressive victory in Friday's $100,000 Sportech Caress.


"That was a good one," Romans said. "We talked about her just the other day. I thought she would win. She worked good on the turf, and her pedigree was screaming for turf. It was a fast race."


Making her grass debut after winning three of nine starts on dirt, 4-year-old Silverette won the 5 ½-furlong Caress by a neck over Spun Cap, running through fractions of 21.39 seconds, 43.70 and 55.19, hitting the wire in 1:01.27. The final time was just .68 seconds off the track record set by Fiddlers Patriot in 2010.


"There was one [horse, Rosa Salvaje, who finished seventh] that went in front of her, but she didn't last long," Romans said. "I've never seen those [fractions] anywhere, period. She's a pretty special filly. It's nice when it happens like you expect it to happen."


Romans indicated Silverette would be pointed to the $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap on September 2 at Parx Racing, with an eye on the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint November 2 at Santa Anita.


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Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg will be at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 10, to sign his new book, "JACK, From Grit To Glory, A Lifetime of Mentoring, Dedication and Perseverance," a biography written by Chris Kotulak. The signing will be conducted near the paddock beginning at 1 p.m.


The book is filled with many anecdotal recollections from a variety of horsemen and is a chronological account of the tremendous hardships and accomplishments Van Berg, 77, faced in his career and personal life.


Van Berg was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1985 and is the son of Marion H. Van Berg, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970. A living legend and the last of a vanishing breed of horse trainers, Jack Van Berg is known for his gruff voice, John Wayne-like swagger and benevolent nature.




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