Updated on 10/08/2013 9:40AM

Shadwell Mile: Silver Max ends Wise Dan's streak in race moved to Polytrack

Coady Photography
The shift from turf to Polytrack in the Shadwell Mile did not bother Silver Max, ridden by Robby Albarado.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The strange weather that descended Saturday on Keeneland paralleled the results of the track’s richest day of racing when Silver Max stunned what remained of a crowd of 27,849 by upsetting Wise Dan in front-running fashion in the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, a Grade 1 race transferred to the main Polytrack surface because of weather conditions.

Wise Dan, the 2012 Horse of the Year, was beaten for the first time in 10 starts when having every opportunity to get past Silver Max, who was sent to the lead on the clubhouse turn of the 1 1/16-mile race by jockey Robby Albarado. The win margin was 1 1/4 lengths, with another 3 1/2 lengths back to Willcox Inn, the third finisher in a field of 10 older horses.

Dale Romans trains Kentucky-bred Silver Max for longtime friends Mark Bacon and Dana Wells. Silver Max paid $17 to win as second choice.

“He’s got such a high cruising speed,” said Albarado. “Dale said take it to ‘em right away, and that’s what we did.”

Because it was transferred off the turf due to wet conditions, the Shadwell lost its Win and You’re In designation, in accordance with Breeders’ Cup rules. Even without that bonus, Romans said he still thought Silver Max will advance to the BC Mile on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

Wise Dan, who had won 5 of 7 previous tries on synthetic, was the 1-2 favorite under John Velazquez. The withdrawal of the Win and You’re In incentive was moot for Wise Dan and his connections because the 6-year-old gelding had won one such race, the Woodbine Mile, in his prior start. He also will go to the BC Mile.

“Johnny said [Silver Max] won fair and square – he just got loose on the front end,” said Charlie LoPresti, who trains Wise Dan for owner-breeder Mort Fink. “I’m not going to make any excuses.”

Contested between deluges on an afternoon that began sunny and hot, the Shadwell unfolded with Silver Max, making his first-ever start on a synthetic surface, looping into the lead on the first turn, with Wise Dan pursuing him from a slightly wider path.

Leaving the half-mile pole, those two had drawn clear of the others, and although Velazquez put Wise Dan to a drive in the far turn, the champion never got closer than a length to Silver Max. The final time was 1:42.06.

“He ran a good race,” said Velazquez. “He just didn't run his A game today … it seemed like he was tiring from it today. He couldn’t seem to get his [footing].”

The defeat of Wise Dan followed by less than two hours a loss by another 2012 champion, Groupie Doll, to Judy the Beauty in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes. No favorites won any of the five graded stakes here Saturday.

For the resurgent Albarado, the win was his fourth in the 28-year history of the Shadwell. He waved his whip in exultation after crossing under the wire.

“This is like a family affair, winning this one,” he said. “Mark and Dana are very close friends of mine. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

For Romans, the 2012 Eclipse Award-winning trainer whose stable suddenly has come alive in recent weeks after slumping for much of this year, the victory was particularly gratifying.

“Somebody said it’s raining out here, but I haven’t noticed,” he joked. “It’s a beautiful day at Keeneland.”

Silver Max started running poorly last fall and only until recently had he shown signs of his old form. The 4-year-old colt, by Badge of Silver, now has won 11 of 22 starts, with the $450,000 winner’s share lifting his bankroll to $1,658,403.

“We just backed up and regrouped,” said Romans. “We had a tired horse last fall and now we’ve got a fresh one this fall.”

After Willcox Inn, the complete order was Winning Prize, Coalport, Skyring, Summer Front, Hogy, Turallure, and Handsome Mike.

The $2 exacta (9-10) paid $41.40; the $1 trifecta (9-10-6) returned $139.40; and the 10-cent superfecta (9-10-6-1) was worth $61.79.

**Because of the surface and distance changes, the Shadwell Mile (race 9) was declared an "all" in the pick three and pick four that ended with the 9th race and the late pick four and pick five that ended in the 10th race. All horses in the 9th race were considered winners in that leg of  each wager.

Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Donna who notes below that Wise Dan was five wide most of the way around. He actually gets drifted out into the first turn. Sure we've all seen worse trips and for all of this year Wise Dan has seen better. Still - this was not his finest hour. And if he trains right, relax, no need to jump ship. Stop and enjoy that this will help the price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
exactly what I was thinking :)
Holybull More than 1 year ago
All that with the "best rider in the country"? Johnny V only wins when the horse is so overwhelmingly better than the others that a 200 LB rider could also win on-board the same horse. A way over-rated jockey with the best connections available because of his great agent.
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
This is the most popular story, eh? Did anyone else notice that not one of the five "most popular" stories have been any of the "DRF +' stories?
Hail No More than 1 year ago
There are plus stories that have these same conversations
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
wise dan showed no interest in pressing silver max in the stretch. the pace set up perfectly for WD but he did not move forward at any point in the straightaway. JV obviously did not want to go all out, saving him for the higher purse and prestige of the BC mile. stuckinarizona
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
wise dan should have won this race even if he is better on turf .he holds a 117 beyer on this very surface...and at the weight for age conditions he was getting a big advantage had this been a handicap he would have been assigned 136 lb or more probably 138.so why exactly did he loose well its one of two things.hes tailing off this could happen for a number of reasons age,aches and pains, wear and tear and fatigue from some hard races.in that case 3 weeks might not be enough to recover or fix in time for b.c day.or he was not fully cranked up for this race(I don't think anybody can argue that silver max could beat him under normal circumstances ).if that's the case he rebounds and wins the breeders cup mile turf...the only other factor would be a jockey decision to not get the best effort from the horse for whatever reason..we saw another disastrous ride by j.v on animal kingdom in the uk...the same arguments could be made for ROYAL DELTA ,GROUPIE DOLL and that was just this week.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Should have; yes. But as you know, this is horse racing. If the might Cigar lost a race, then who is WD to quibble after winning 9 in a row? I'm just sayin...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
he had an off day end of story. He still got second due to his class just didn't fire. We expect so much of him it is disappointing but his class lets him be remarkably consistent he gets second and it is a huge disappointment. Any athlete understands some days are better than others.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Disappointing to see the streak end, but hey at least it was a class act like Robby Albarado (cough cough) that rode the winner. It was cool that nobody scratched out of the race, given the terrible track conditions and the switch to poly. Dan did not have the easiest of trips and the winner ran huge, but you still have to wonder if Dan may finally be a bit over the top. His performances at Saratoga and Woodbine were huge and he may be vulnerable in this year's BC Mile, though it's tough to leave him off the tickets and he does have an excuse for Saturday's loss.
Donna Carlson More than 1 year ago
Even in defeat Wise Dan showed he is all class. Five wide throughout and still showed good effort in the stretch. It just wasn't his best day but big A for effort.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
nice to see the drf came to their senses and let us "people with no skin in the game", continue to post our "worthless comments". now that's a true +!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Forgot to congratulate Romans stable and awesome ride by Robby.
Holybull More than 1 year ago
Romans is by no means a small guy. But he IS a giant slayer. So happy for this trainer. I was so upset when Ramsey went to get all his stock 7 years ago without notice and left Dale with a handful of horses and a big bill just cause Dale got sick. That's what rich people do to their help. They treat em like trash and then walk away. You go Dale. Rich Blessings!
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
ur comment suggest u have some kind of inside info. so did they treat u like trash at some point?
Nick More than 1 year ago
horses get beat.