01/10/2008 12:00AM

Silmaril gives $1M another shot


Silmaril resumes her quest to surpass the $1 million mark in career earnings Saturday at Laurel Park.

In what could be the final start of her sterling career, the 7-year-old Silmaril will be aiming to win the $80,000 What a Summer Stakes for the second straight year.

Silmaril needs only to finish second to become a millionaire. A runner-up finish would be worth $16,000, good enough to surpass the milestone with $973 to spare.

Owners Stephen Quick and Christopher Feifarek have indicated that Silmaril will be going to the breeding shed at Stephen and Sue Quick's St. Omer's Farm in Harford County, Md., immediately after she reaches the $1 million plateau.

Silmaril, who has won 15 of 35 lifetime starts, had a chance to reach the million-dollar milestone in each of her last two starts, but settled for second as the odds-on favorite in the Maryland Million Distaff Handicap on Oct. 13 and again in a high-priced optional claimer on Nov. 7. The winner in the November race, For Kisses, followed up by winning the Squan Song.

Trainer Chris Grove said Silmaril's two recent losses were no disgrace.

"Everybody has been asking if she is washed up, which is kind of crazy in my mind, because she earned more than $400,000 last year," said Grove, referring to the mare's 4 wins and 4 seconds in 10 starts, including the Grade 3 Endine at Delaware Park. "On Maryland Million Day, she was giving up nine pounds to Akronism and ran an incredible race. In her last start, she bled very badly, which she had never done."

Although Silmaril will be the sentimental favorite, the speedy Your Flame in Me figures to be the betting choice in Saturday's six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares.

Your Flame in Me is based at Laurel with trainer Mike Trombetta, but she has raced at her home track just once, winning the restricted Gin Talking in September 2006. A lightly raced 4-year-old who is 4 for 6 lifetime, Your Flame in Me made her two most recent starts in New York, winning the Lady Tak and losing a photo by a nose in the Raise Heck.