03/21/2013 4:26PM

Catching up with Silverbulletday

Adam Coglianese
Silverbulletday won the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes as part of her Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old campaign in 1999.

In July 1997, a bay daughter of Silver Deputy was a $155,000 purchase by Mike Pegram via his Morning Wood Stables at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected yearling sale.

Well more than a decade later, that six-figure price tag looks like a bargain as Silverbulletday has been the gift that keeps on giving. The Hall of Fame racemare, who owns two Eclipse Awards and earned more than $3 million for Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert, is now in her second career as a broodmare at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Lexington, Ky., joined by three daughters who are already stakes producers.

Joseph Ramsey, farm manager at Hill ‘n’ Dale, said the independent-minded mare still displays the spirit of a champion.

“She’s always been the boss and knows who she is,” Ramsey said. “She may have mellowed a little bit in her ongoing years, but she’s happy to be by herself, happy to be in her paddock. She doesn’t necessarily have buddies.”

Silverbulletday won five graded stakes races as a 2-year-old, capped by the 1998 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs, to earn her first championship. The following spring, the daughter of Silver Deputy won the Fair Grounds Oaks and Ashland Stakes en route to a dominant victory in the Kentucky Oaks.

She continued through a summer and fall campaign in which she captured two additional Grade 1 events in New York, the Alabama Stakes and the Gazelle Handicap, sealing her second divisional Eclipse Award.

A stakes winner as a 4-year-old, Silverbulletday eventually retired with 15 wins, including 13 graded stakes, from 23 career starts for earnings of $3,093,207. She was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2009, along with Baffert.

Now 17, Silverbulletday is boarded at Hill ‘n’ Dale and is adept at her second career.

“She’s a great mother,” Ramsey said. “She’s strong, but she’s willing to let us do what we need to do so she can do the job she’s doing now. She’s a really neat mare.”

Despite her own sparkling race record, Silverbulletday, like many other great racemares, has thus far failed to replicate that ability among her offspring, producing one winner from just three starters to date. That was her first foal, the stakes-placed A.P. Indy gelding Tice, who won 5 of 42 starts and earned $177,405 over six seasons of racing.

Silverbulletday is currently represented on the track by Elusive Jackpot, a 4-year-old Elusive Quality filly who has placed twice in five starts; and Illicit Affair, a 3-year-old Midnight Lute filly who was fourth in her career debut March 16.

However, the mare’s talent might have skipped a generation as three of her unraced daughters – Silverbulletway, Silver Bullet Moon, and Silverbulletfolly – are now stakes producers.

“One of those things I’ve heard about from breeders in the past, is that” talent skips a generation, Ramsey said. “Her daughters have shown the potential to put out stakes winners sort of no matter who they’re bred to. It shows that quality and class carry through.”

Silver Bullet Moon, an 8-year-old daughter of Vindication, is the dam of two winners from as many starters, including Shakin It Up, who won the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes in February after finishing third in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes last summer.

Silverbulletway, a 10-year-old by Storm Cat, is the dam of Govenor Charlie, who set a track record on March 23 in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby and earned 50 points in the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" qualifying series. She is also the dam of stakes winner Crisis of Spirit.

The lone foal to race by Silverbulletfolly, a 7-year-old daughter of Vindication, is stakes-placed Mile High Magic.

Further keeping the success in the family, Govenor Charlie and Shakin It Up are by Midnight Lute, an Eclipse Award-winning sprinter owned by Pegram and trained by Baffert. Mile High Magic is a son of Grade 1 winner Roman Ruler, who, like the late champion Vindication, also was trained by Baffert. Midnight Lute and Roman Ruler are Hill ‘n’ Dale stallions.

Silverbulletday is currently in foal to Hill ‘n’ Dale’s Misremembered, yet another Grade 1 winner trained by Baffert. She is due in April.

“It’s a thrill to have those daughters and to see the family’s turned on again,” Ramsey said. “It’s a wonderful family. The fillies are beautiful. She’s blessed Mike with daughters.”

Perhaps further boding well for her daughters’ broodmare careers, Silverbulletday hails from a family of producers. Her dam, the Grade 2-winning Tom Rolfe mare Rokeby Rose, is the dam of Garden Secrets, who produced three stakes horses, including Grade 1 winner and stakes producer Forest Secrets.

Out of the winning Quadrangle mare Rokeby Venus — a half-sister to champion Arts and Letters — Rokeby Rose is a half-sister to two stakes winners and to four other stakes producers, including I Mean It and Venus Bound. Several of I Mean It’s daughters and granddaughters went on to productive broodmare careers; her current representatives on the track include great-grandson Pataky Kid, winner of last year’s Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity. Venus Bound’s daughter Cindazanno is the dam of Grade 1 winners Fourty Niners Son and Cindy’s Hero, the latter a stakes producer herself.


Silverbulletday, 1996, bay mare, Silver Deputy – Rokeby Rose, by Tom Rolfe

Owner: Michael Pegram

Breeders: Highclere Inc. and Clear Creek (Ky.)

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Year Age Starts First Second Third Earnings
1998 2 7 6 0 0 $1,114,110
1999 3 11 8 1 0 $1,707,640
2000 4 5 1 2 1 $271,457
Totals   23 15 3 1 $3,093,207

At 2: Champion 2-year-old filly. Won: Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), Alcibiades S. (G2), Sorrento S. (G2), Golden Rod S. (G3), Debutante S. (G3).

At 3: Champion 3-year-old filly. Won: Kentucky Oaks (G1), Ashland S. (G1), Alabama S. (G1), Gazelle H. (G1), Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks (G2), Black-Eyed Susan S. (G2), Fair Grounds Oaks (G3), Davona Dale S. (G3). Second: Beldame Stakes (G1).

At 4: Won: Doubledogdare S. Second: Molly Pitcher Breeders’ Cup H. (G2), Fleur de Lis H. (G3). Third: Delaware H. (G3).

Silverbulletday, notable runners produced: Tice (2002 A.P. Indy g.); stakes-placed winner

Notable runners produced by Silverbulletday’s daughters: Grade 2 winner Shakin It Up (2010 Midnight Lute c. out of Silver Bullet Moon); stakes winner Crisis of Spirit (2007 Vindication f. out of Silverbulletway); stakes-placed Mile High Magic (2009 Roman Ruler g. out of Silverbulletfolly)