Updated on 09/17/2011 10:56AM

Badge of Silver best in Risen Star

Lou Hodges Jr.
Badge Of Silver ($7.80) wins by 10 lengths in the $150,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Sunday.

NEW ORLEANS - Before Sunday, Badge of Silver was a flashy sprinter who ran very fast. Now, he's a flashy route horse who runs very fast.

Making his first start over a distance of ground, Badge of Silver dispatched his rivals as easily as he had in two starts at one turn, winning the $150,000 by 10 lengths. Badge of Silver ($7.80) pressed a fair pace under Robby Albarado and took off just before the quarter-pole, running alone through the stretch under the mildest encouragement. His time of 1:42.99 for one and one-sixteenth miles missed the stakes record by .01 seconds.

Lone Star Sky ran the best two-turn race of his career, checking in second, three quarters of a length in front of Defrere's Vixen. Favored Indy Dancer had a rough trip from post 12 and finished seventh.

Badge of Silver debuted last April at Keeneland, winning a four-and-a-half furlong race by nine lengths, but it turns out Badge of Silver has as much substance as speed. A cracked cannon bone sidelined Badge of Silver after his first race, and he didn't start again until Jan. 23, when he won a six-furlong allowance race here by seven lengths.

Werner had targeted the Risen Star even before Badge of Silver's comeback start, and he gave Badge of Silver a major seven-furlong stamina work in company on Feb. 3.

"I thought if I could get that seven-eighths work today I'd be okay," said Albarado, who was surprised how relaxed Badge of Silver felt in his long-distance breeze. "He broke so good today, he puts himself right there."

Saintly Look had the rail post and went for the lead, but Badge of Silver dogged him through a quarter-mile in 23.71 seconds and a half-mile in 47.42. These two were well clear of third-place Lone Star Sky, while Indy Dancer had raced very wide on the first turn and was struggling to keep up on the backstretch.

"The other horse [Saintly Look] is a real nice colt, but I felt like I had him when I wanted," Albarado said. He waited until midway around the far turn, before letting Badge of Silver go, and Badge of Silver opened up a clear lead in a matter of strides.

"I saw him make the lead and his ears pricked forward just like that," Werner said. "It was picture perfect. We could visualize that race, but it really happened."

Barring a physical problem, Badge of Silver will return three weeks from now in the Louisiana Derby. So, too, will Lone Star Sky, who "answered some questions today," according to trainer Tom Amoss.