12/06/2010 5:11PM

Seans Silverdancer may not be done for winter

Four-Footed Fotos
Seans Siverdancer wins the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante at Hawthorne.

STICKNEY, Ill. – Seans Silverdancer won the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante here Saturday by more than nine lengths, and the wide win margin was only part of the story. Her trainer, Lisa Merritt, thought the victory came under only the mildest of pressure and saw a fresh horse in Seans Silverdancer when the filly was shipped back to her current base at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Thus, though Seans Silverdancer has beaten only Illinois-breds in her first two starts, she may be considered for open stakes races at a warmer-weather track.

“We’re still just kicking some things around,” Merritt said. “We haven’t really made a plan yet.”

Seans Silverdancer’s 1 1/16-mile time of 1:45.41 produced a respectable Beyer Speed Figure of 74, a six-point forward move from Seans Silverdancer’s narrow debut sprint win Nov. 5 at Hawthorne. In the Whitworth, Seans Silverdancer, a substantial daughter of Najran, set a lively early pace but had plenty left when asked for stretch run by jockey Tim Thornton.

“Believe me, that was just a gallop,” Merritt said. “Timmy said he just threw the reins at her. She wasn’t tired at all, and when she galloped out she had her ears up, just bouncing around. She shipped back yesterday morning and was kicking the walls yesterday afternoon at Churchill.”

Merritt, who also won the 2009 Whitworth with Sweet Lemon Chello, said she will weigh pushing on with Seans Silverdancer this winter against the desire to have a fresh horse for 2011.

“I don’t want her to get burned out,” she said.

Nicks, High Expectations retired

Two of the better Illinois-bred sprinters of recent seasons, the mare Nicks and the gelding High Expectations, have been retired from racing, trainer Christine Janks said last week.

Nicks, a 6-year-old daughter of Salt Lake, won 10 of 25 starts, including four stakes, and earned $413,212 in a four-season career. Eight-year-old High Expectations counted eight stakes victories among his 13 career wins and was retired with earnings of $679,248.

Both horses have taken up residence at Janks’s farm in Florida.

Shake N Quake has edge in sprint

The featured first race Wednesday at Hawthorne could come down to last-out winners Speak Peace and Shake N Quake, two of seven horses entered in a second-level Illinois-bred sprint allowance race.

Shake N Quake has not started since Oct. 6, when she pressed Speak Peace’s early pace and outran her in the stretch, but Shake N Quake has worked three times between starts for trainer Jim DiVito and is favorably drawn on the outside of Speak Peace on Wednesday.

While Shake N Quake was getting a breather between starts, Speak Peace was leading start to finish in a first-level Illinois-bred allowance on Nov. 18. But barring an inside-speed favoring surface, Speak Peace will be hard-pressed to fend off Shake N Quake: The two also met last fall in an Illinois-bred stakes, with Shake N Quake once again getting the better of her more lightly raced rival.

◗ Constantino Roman, 20, won the first race of his career last Wednesday at Hawthorne, guiding longshot Arrested by Duffy to victory in the second race.