Keeneland, 8th Race - April 14, 2007
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Silent Name separated himself from what appeared to be a highly competitive field Saturday when drawing off to a four-length triumph in the Grade 2 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup on the Blue Grass Stakes undercard at Keeneland.
With Corey Nakatani aboard for trainer Gary Mandella, Silent Name was always near the lead in the seven-furlong Commonwealth BC. He used a burst of speed at the top of the stretch to quickly put the issue to rest, while Lewis Michael was along to hold second by a half-length from Steel Light in a field of 11 older horses. Midnight Lute, the 11-10 favorite, was another half-length back in fourth.
Silent Name, a Japanese-bred 5-year-old by Sunday Silence, returned $14.40 as fourth choice after finishing in 1:121.26 over Polytrack. He is owned by a partnership that includes Stronach Stables and brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer.
"This horse trained exceptionally on the Polytrack last fall when we were here for the Shadwell Mile, and I thought if we ever got the chance, we could come back for a race like this," said Mandella. "It was one of those rare things that you think about six months ahead of time, and it actually comes to fruition."
Victory in the $400,000 Commonwealth BC was worth $248,000, lifting the winner's bankroll to $636,431. Prior to the Commonwealth, Silent Name had raced exclusively in two-turn turf races since being imported from France.
"He's a very good grass miler, but I think he's a superior one-turn horse," said Mandella.
Keeneland, 6th Race - April 14, 2007
Jenny Wiley: My Typhoon gets up
Earlier Saturday, My Typhoon ($14.80) wore down Precious Kitten in the final yards of the Grade 2, $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes to narrowly prevail while Wait a While, the 1-2 favorite, labored home fifth in a field of six fillies and mares.
Ridden by Eddie Castro, My Typhoon won for the seventh time in 17 starts when finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.37 over Polytrack. The Jenny Wiley was transferred from turf to Polytrack because of wet conditions.
My Typhoon, an Irish-bred 5-year-old trained by Bill Mott, is owned by the Live Oak Plantation of Charlotte Weber.
"She always tries, and this really gave a great effort today," said Mott.
Trainer Todd Pletcher had cautioned beforehand that Wait a While might not be at her best unless the turf was very firm. Wait a While trailed much of the way, then briefly made headway while wide in the far turn before flattening out.
"She was herself, and she tried to give her usual performance," said her jockey, Garrett Gomez. "But you could just tell she couldn't get a hold of the racetrack."
Precious Kitten, always prominent under Rafael Bejarano, finished a neck behind the winner and another 4 1/4 lengths before Fantastic Shirl. Then came Mauralakana, Wait a While, and Essential Edge.
Keeneland, 4th Race - April 14, 2007
Stream Cat beats Perfect Drift
Stream Cat ($7.40), making his first start in nearly nine months, foiled the comeback of another horse entered off a layoff, Perfect Drift, when rallying to win a $66,000 allowance also scheduled for turf but transferred to Polytrack. Julien Leparoux was aboard Stream Cat for trainer Patrick Biancone.
Perfect Drift finished second in the 1 1/16-mile race, a length behind Stream Cat in a field of eight older horses.
"For the long run, it was a great race for him," said Murray Johnson, trainer of 8-year-old Perfect Drift.
Breeder-owner Dr. William Reed said Perfect Drift likely will run next in the May 4 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs. Biancone said Stream Cat will go next in the April 26 Ben Ali Stakes on the Keeneland Polytrack.