11/08/2012 5:39PM

Hawthorne: Silva armed to capture first stakes


STICKNEY, Ill. - For years Carlos Silva was the go-to rider for the renowned trainer Richard Hazelton, and when Hazelton finally left training for good two summers ago at Arlington Park, Silva, who had retired from riding, was basically running the shed row. Silva took out his own trainer's license and has made a go of things the last two seasons thanks to backing from the Asiel Stable of Dr. Richard Radke, a longtime Hazelton owner. And with three Asiel-bred and -owned 2-year-olds in a pair of $125,000 Illinois-bred stakes on Saturday at Hawthorne, Silva has a strong chance to get the first stakes win of his training career.

The Silva-trained, Radke-owned pair of Smokin Glock and Lassell are part of an eight-horse field in the six-furlong Sun Power, race 6. In race 3, Indygo Kiss is the main rival to likely favorite Fifth of April in the Showtime Deb.

The quality of both races is down this year compared to editions of recent seasons: Lassell and Smokin Glock -who race uncoupled despite common ownership - look like the Sun Power favorites, but neither has started in a stakes race and both are only one-time winners.

Smokin Glock, a son of El Prado, rates an edge. He debuted with a second on Arlington's Polytrack while encountering a sharp front-running winner named Cardston, an then cleared the maiden ranks with a five-length second-start victory. Smokin Glock was an even sixth in an open two-turn turf allowance race at Arlington before finishing a good third facing more open allowance foes while sprinting on dirt last month at Hawthorne. Lassell came home a nose behind his stablemate in that race but had the better trip, racing evenly just in behind a tepid pace while Smokin Glock made a good middle move from the back of the field.

Emile, a Wayne Catalano-trained starter, finished a nose behind Lassell in the same allowance race, while the Chris Block-trained Tall Grass Cat, a half-brother to Giant Oak, tries a dirt sprint after two turf routes to start his career.

Indydo Kiss, the Silva-trained filly in the Showtime Deb, won her maiden in her fourth start while racing in blinkers for the first time, validating the improvement induced by the equipment change with a closing third in a Hawthorne sprint allowance race Oct. 19. Fifth of April, who won a Fairmount Park stakes in her second start, beat her only by a nose there, but has better tactical speed and should get the jump on Indygo Kiss again Saturday.