Calder Race Course, 7th Race - September 22, 2007
MIAMI -- Silk Ridge and Wise Answer left little doubt who reigns over their respective divisions after registering one-sided victories in the $150,000 Brave Raj and $150,000 Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder on Saturday.
Silk Ridge ($3.40) set a stakes record with her 5 1/4-length victory over Asi Asi in the Brave Raj for 2-year-old fillies. The victory was the third in a row for Silk Ridge, a daughter of Eltish. Earlier, she won the first two legs of the filly division of the Florida Stallion Stakes and will seek to complete a sweep when she returns in the $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes on Oct. 13.
Under confident handling from jockey Manuel Aguilar, Silk Ridge controlled the pace, setting comfortable fractions of 23.76 seconds, 48.17, and 1:13.52 over a fast track. Silk Ridge settled into the stretch with a comfortable advantage, then extended her lead while kept under pressure to the wire. Her final time of 1:44.60 for the one mile and 70 yards eclipsed the old stakes mark of 1:45 shared by Supah Gem and Ivanavinalot.
Asi Asi chased Silk Ridge from the outset and finished a length clear of Calico Bay for second. Yonagucci, coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga, was rated off the winner's pace while saving ground and finished a tiring fifth in the field of seven juvenile fillies.
Trainer Gordon Potter said he didn't expect Silk Ridge to be in front in the Brave Raj.
"I wasn't too worried about the two turns, but I was worried about Yonagucci," he said. "I hadn't originally planned on running her in this race - I was going to train her up to the My Dear Girl - but she was doing so good I thought she might hurt herself if I didn't run her."
Potter said he hadn't ruled out entering Silk Ridge in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies if she were to run well again in the My Dear Girl. Silk Ridge is owned by Karen Keen.
Wise Answer ($4.40) was an easy winner of the middle leg of the colts and geldings division of the Stallion Stakes, the seven-furlong Affirmed, three weeks earlier. He was equally as impressive on Saturday, dominating the one mile and 70-yard Foolish Pleasure by 4 3/4 lengths over 36-1 longshot Sr. Henry.
Wise Answer was able to overcome his outside post to prompt the early pace of Carson's Legacy, shook free after the opening half-mile, opened a long lead around the second turn, and was never seriously menaced.
Sr. Henry saved ground, came out to bump with Hypocrite in early stretch, then outfinished that rival by 1 1/4 lengths for second. Hypocrite stumbled at the break, unleashed a big run around the second turn, but could not sustain his rally after bumping with Sr. Henry.
Wise Answer, who earned only $67,500 of the $150,000 purse because he is not Breeders' Cup eligible, covered the distance in 1:45.04. The J.D. Farms homebred was ridden by Ray Fuentes.
"I guess there was some question going into the race about his going two turns, but I was pretty confident he would," said trainer David Brownlee, who added that Wise Answer's next race will be the In Reality Stakes Oct. 13.
* Snow Cone ($5) finished full of run down the center of the course under leading jockey Elvis Trujillo to prove a one-length winner over 56-1 Arch Nemesis in the $100,000 Judy's Red Shoes Stakes. Sweet Exchange, who made the lead in early stretch, weakened late to finish another neck back in third. Snow Cone, a 3-year-old daughter of Cryptoclearance, is a homebred owned by Live Oak Plantation. She is trained by Marty Wolfson, who was at Kentucky Downs on Saturday.
* Fair Weather Stan ($44.40) outgamed fellow longshot Fearless Eagle by a nose following a stirring stretch long duel to capture the $100,000 Needles Stakes. Imawildandcrazyguy finished another 3 1/4 lengths back in third while making his turf debut. Soldier's Dancer, the even-money favorite in a full field of 12 3-year-olds, could not overcome a tough trip and finished a well-beaten fourth.
Jose Rivera 2nd rode Fair Weather Stan for owner Joel Sainer and trainer David Braddy. Fair Weather Stan completed an all stakes pick four that returned $640 for a $2 wager.