LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 5, 2013) -- Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max turned back the challenge of 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan at the top of the stretch to win the 28th running of the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) by 1 ¼ lengths.
Because of heavy rain earlier in the afternoon, the race was taken off the turf course and run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. More than 1½ inches of rain fell in the Keeneland area in a two-hour span after the storms began after 4 p.m.
Silver Max is trained by Dale Romans and was ridden by Robby Albarado. It was the second Shadwell Turf Mile victory for Romans, who won the race in 2008 with Thorn Song. Albarado earned his fourth victory in the race with his other scores coming on Nothing to Lose in 2004, Thorn Song and Court Vision in 2009.
The victory secured a berth for Silver Max to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be held Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
Albarado put Silver Max on the lead out of the gate and moved toward the rail from the No. 9 post position while Wise Dan was floated wide in the first turn. Silver Max carved out a first quarter-mile in :23.79 and the first half in :46.73 while running unopposed on the lead.
Meanwhile, John Velazquez had Wise Dan in the clear on the far outside and moved into second as the field approached the far turn. Wise Dan moved to within a length of the leader approaching the top of the stretch but could get no closer as Silver Max completed the distance in 1:42.06.
The victory was worth $450,000 and raised Silver Max’s career earnings to $1,658,403 with a record of 22-11-5-1. Silver Max is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Badge of Silver out of the Kissin Kris mare Kissin Rene.
Silver Max returned $17, $4.40 and $4. Wise Dan returned $2.60 and $2.10 and finished 3 ½ lengths in front of Willcox Inn, who returned $4.80 to show under James Graham.
Winning Prize finished a neck back in fourth and was followed in order by Coalport, Skyring, Summer Front, Hogy, Turallure and Handsome Mike.
Saturday’s attendance was 27,849.
“We want to thank all the fans who, despite the inclement weather stayed, throughout the afternoon and enjoyed some spectacular racing,” said Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason.
Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. (ET). Highlighting the Sunday card is the 58th running of the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. The Juddmonte Spinster will go as the eighth race with a 4:49 p.m. post time.