Lexington, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Heavy rain during Saturday's Keeneland race card forced the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile from the grass course to the main track and a change in distance.
However, Silver Max found no problem in the changes and defeated Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the race. The Shadwell was run at 1 1/16 miles over Keeneland's synthetic main surface.
Because of the shift to the main track, the Shadwell Turf Mile was removed from the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" series for this year.
Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Robby Albarado, Silver Max set the pace from shortly after the start and prevented any of the other nine runners, including Wise Dan, to seriously challenge the 4-year-old colt.
Around the final turn, Silver Max had a two-length lead over Wise Dan as the two separated themselves from the field. Down the stretch, Wise Dan and jockey John Velazquez were unable to overtake Silver Max who went on to post a 1 1/4- length victory over the reigning Horse of the Year.
"He ran a good race; he just didn't run his "A" game today. First time running on the Polytrack and it's really wet and it seemed like he was tiring from it today. He couldn't seem to get his (footing)," Velazquez said about Wise Dan.
Finishing third was Willcox Inn followed by Winning Prize, Coalport, Skyring, Summer Front, Hogy, Turallure and Handsome Mike. There were no scratches due to the change of surface and distance.
The time for 1 1/16-mile Shadwell Turf Mile was 1:42.06 on Keeneland's synthetic main track.
"He's got such a high cruising speed," Albarado noted. "Dale said, 'Take it to them right away and let them catch you.' He's doing so well. The horse has been training forwardly - the best he's been doing since he started with him. Dale prepared him well this year with stretching his races out. He's a fresh horse."
This was the third time Silver Max faced Wise Dan. In last year's Shadwell Turf Mile, Silver Max was ninth, 10 lengths behind Wise Dan. The two horses ran in this year's Turf Classic at Churchill Downs where Silver Max finished seven lengths behind the champion in fourth-place.
Silver Max, owned by Mark Bacon and Dana Wells, picks up $450,000 with the victory, his third straight this year. The colt has a career record of 11 wins in twice as many starts and $1,658,403.
The 4-year-old won the Oceanport Handicap at Monmouth Park on July 28 and came back to win the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga on Aug. 31.
Silver Max returned $17.00, $4.40 and $4.00. Wise Dan, who had his nine-race win streak stopped, paid $2.60 and $2.10 as the 1-2 favorite, and Willcox Inn paid $4.80 to show.