HOLLYWOOD PARK : Multifaceted Silver Music Wins Swaps
Silver Music might not be the best 3-year-old in the country, but the gray son of Silver Ghost is versatile and consistent.
Since coming to California earlier this year, the Virginia-bred hasn’t been worse than second in five starts, and nearly four months after becoming a stakes winner on turf, he did the same on the main track in the $213,800 Swaps at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
In a race suited for his late-running style, Silver Music, the 2-1 second choice, moved up on the outside down the back stretch, then went on to win by four lengths under Chris Antley in 2:00 3/5 for the 1 1/4 miles.
Dramatic Gold, the 3-1 third choice who led by a length at the quarter-pole, finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of 17-10 favorite Valiant Nature.
Owned by Lauren and M. Roy Cohen, the son of Mr. Prospector has won five of 17 and his ability to handle dirt or turf gives trainer Wally Dollase many options.
Dollase, who has eight victories from only 23 starters at the Hollywood Park meeting, believes the colt might be better on the main track, but he could return to the turf in the La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 14.
“I’ve tried him on both surfaces and now he looks superior on the dirt,” Dollase said. “The whole secret to this horse is that he’s so easy to manage and easy to rate.
“Everybody else out there is running their eyeballs out and this guy is just saying, ‘Don’t run away, boys, I’ll catch you.’ I can’t be responsible for that. He’s just one of those horses who has a good mind.
“I haven’t had many too many Mr. Prospector line horses and this horse is not an imposing individual at all. But he has guts, quality or class . . . whatever it is. I mean, he’s like a puppy dog in the paddock, so calm and quiet. He just trains like a quality animal and I think it must be the quality of that Mr. Prospector line.”
Antley, who has lost only once in four tries with Silver Music, is also impressed by the Virginia-bred’s versatility.
“This horse is really something,” he said. “Dirt, grass, distance. He’s won at 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf (the Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita) then come back and won at 1 1/4 miles on the dirt.
“He had me a little worried today on the turn. He actually slowed down his run because he had been running on the bridle all the way down the backside. Around the turn, he eased up a bit, but he (surged) again in the lane. Then, in the last eighth of a mile, he found his best stride again.”
Valiant Nature, in his first start on the Hollywood Park main track since his 16-1 upset of Brocco in the Hollywood Futurity last Dec. 19, set the pace for six furlongs, dropped back, then came on again and finished nearly two lengths in front of Pollock’s Luck. Valiant Nature is winless in his last five starts.
“He had the lead, but he couldn’t keep up at the half-mile pole,” jockey Laffit Pincay said. “Then, coming down the stretch, he started coming on again. I almost got second.”
After Pollock’s Luck, Wild Invader and R Friar Tuck completed the order of finish. The last three finishers in the Swaps were the first three in the Affirmed Handicap three weeks earlier.
Grand Flotilla, a 14-1 shot when he upset Bien Bien and Arcangues in the Hollywood Turf Handicap on May 30, will be a much shorter price in the $250,000 Sunset Handicap today.
Coupled with Sir Mark Sykes, the 7-year-old roan is the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the Sunset, which is run at 1 1/2 miles on the turf. Gary Stevens, who rode Grand Flotilla for the first time in the Turf Handicap, will again be aboard for trainer Jenine Sahadi. Sir Mark Sykes, fourth at 31-1 in the Golden Gate Handicap in his U.S. debut on June 18, will be ridden by Corey Black.
Mashaallah, who added Lasix and won the restricted Jim Murray Handicap in his second American race, is the 2-1 second choice. The rest of the field includes Stark South, Emerald Jig, Semillon and Liyoun.
In the other stake on the card, Golden Klair is the 8-5 favorite in the $300,000 Vanity Handicap at 1 1/8 miles. Andestine, who was third behind Golden Klair in the Hawthorne Handicap before beating her in the Milady, is the 5-2 second choice. The other entrants are Mz. Zill Bear, Exchange, Fondly Remembered, Potridee, Wendy’s Daughter and Southern Truce.
Horse Racing Notes
Silver Music paid $6 and earned $123,800 for his owners. . . . Samourzakan, owned in part by Hollywood Park CEO R.D. Hubbard and trained by Bob Hess Jr., won the $100,000 Laurance Armour Handicap at Arlington Park. Juvenal Diaz rode the 5-year-old Shardari horse, who won for the first time in five American races. . . . Tempest Dancer, making her first start since January, won the $105,750 Ellis Park Budweiser Breeders’ Cup. Ridden by Fabio Arguello Jr. and trained by Brad MacDonald, Tempest Dancer paid $16.20 and covered the seven furlongs in 1:23. Favored Arches Of Gold was second.
Mr. Purple and the filly Serena’s Song were among eight 2-year-olds entered for Monday’s $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship. The other six entrants were Fox Mountain, Sierra Diablo, Cold N Calculating, Tyson’s Revenge, Cyrano and Desert Pirate. . . . Corey Nakatani will be at Arlington Park today to ride Eagle Eyed for trainer Bobby Frankel in the $300,000 American Derby. Eagle Eyed won the Arlington Classic in his last start. Also in the Derby, which will be simulcast between the third and fourth races at Hollywood Park, is Cinema Handicap runner-up Vaudeville.