08/29/2013 3:43PM

Saratoga: Silver Max has the speed in Bernard Baruch

Barbara D. Livingston
Turallure won the 2011 Bernard Baruch.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After a long, hard, albeit successful 3-year-old season, Silver Max had gotten off to a rough start to begin his 4-year-old campaign.

If his last race was any indication, Silver Max is back on his game. After rolling to a 5 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Oceanport last month at Monmouth Park, Silver Max will be the horse to catch and beat in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga.

Silver Max will face six rivals in the Bernard Baruch, scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf course, none who appears to possess the early speed that served him well winning 7 of 10 starts, including five stakes, at 3.

Trainer Dale Romans said that last year’s campaign may have had a lingering effect on Silver Max, who had won only one of his first four starts this year before the Oceanport.

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“I squeezed the lemon pretty hard last year,” Romans said. “You’re only 3 once. You got to hit all the 3-year-old races.”

In the Oceanport, Silver Max flashed his 3-year-old form, getting to the front easily under Robby Albarado and cruising to victory, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102.

“That last race was as good as he’s ever run,” Romans said.

Robby Albarado will ride Silver Max from post 7.

[SARATOGA 2013: Complete meet coverage, exclusive DRF videos]

Potentially the one horse who could keep Silver Max within his sights early is Tetradrachm, who won a swiftly run third-level allowance race here on Aug. 3 in his first start for Bill Mott.

“He was quite impressive,” Mott said. “He laid a little bit close.”

Turallure won the 2011 Bernard Baruch and would win that year’s Woodbine Mile before getting beaten a nose in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He ran a solid race when finishing second by a head to Seal Cove in an optional claiming race here on July 24.

Charles LoPresti, the trainer of Turallure, believes his horse is more versatile than people think and will talk to Julien Leparoux about keeping Turallure closer to the pace.

“I got to get it through to Julien that I don’t think he needs to be sitting back there trying to come from out of the clouds,” LoPresti said. “Because that horse is really good right now, he’s really sharp. I think he can lay a little bit closer.”

Za Approval, the 121-pound highweight, won the Appleton at Gulfstream and the Red Bank at Monmouth – both Grade 3 races – before finishing second to Obviously in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile.

Trainer Christophe Clement scratched Za Approval from the Fourstardave because of soft turf. Za Approval should get his preferred firm ground on Sunday, but he too could be compromised by lack of someone to run with Silver Max.

“I’m not going to tell Joe [Bravo] how to ride him,” Clement said. “He won on the horse, he’s a graded stakes horse, it’s a Grade 2, he’s got to ride his race.”

Paris Vegas, So Long George, and Willyconker complete the field.

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Micahdog More than 1 year ago
Mr Lopresti taking same coursea s last year now that Turallur back in the groove. Last prep race went slightly under 24 flat inside continuing on to 23.05 outside with 3 lbs off nets 11.22 which is pretty decnt indicator of improvement. Not sold on Silver Max. It is horse race and severly underlaid price. Woodbine Mile next up b4 the BC Mile revenge play. Starts a Pick 3.......3 with 1,3 with 2 (multiple times) Spreading for folls and low ROI so go for it. Have a great day whatver your choices :-).
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rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I like max, so long George would be my second choice coming off a grade 2 win. Would like to see Max move forward to breeders horse showed lot of ability last year. Hope he is not a tweener. Does anybody Know what his bet spot would be.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
In Friday's second race Joe Rocco Jr was riding #6 the favorite - when he got passed in the last 16th he started to ease off - got passed for second at the wire. If he doesn't want to ride to the line then don't ride - some folks lost $$ on their Place bets -- will the Stewards do anything ??? We all know that answer. The other answer is I was only watching - no bet so no loss - just ticks me off.
Michael Rohan More than 1 year ago
Which race were you watching? These were state bred 2 year olds that went 22.54 and 45. 84. Read the footnotes from the charts . The description on Bravo's horse used the word "whip" 3 times. He had a tired 2yo that bore out in the stretch. What else could he do? BTW, my opinion is Bravo is riding extremely well this meet. He seems to have a nice feel for the speed of the track,especially on turf. One other thing, this was an article on the Bernard Baruch.
Merrill More than 1 year ago
John, you are blind....Rocco hit the horse just 20 ft from the wire.....NOT eased. Mikey, you need to educate yourself on the jockey's and who they are riding. ROCCO (and yes, he is having a great Spa meet).................NOT Bravo. (who is not all that great)
Mark More than 1 year ago
Max in hand . Lopresti second.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Mark More than 1 year ago
Ching ! 7-1 $27.20
Mark More than 1 year ago
Handsome Jack race 7
Mark More than 1 year ago
Not so handsome . Ugly Jack.
Guy John More than 1 year ago
Silver Max will get his fractions but it won't matter because ZA's turn of foot is too good. No offense to WD, but ZA lost to the best miler in the Shoemaker last time out. Hope ZA wins and goes to the Woodbine Mile to face WD.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan is best Mile not Obviously They met in breeders mile.
matthew_melton More than 1 year ago
I'm sure Dan doesn't take offense, since he buried the "best miler" last year in the BC Mile on HIS HOME TRACK. Nice try
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Clement and Lopresti one two.