10/09/2010 3:45PM

Silver Timber stays perfect on Keeneland grass

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Silver Timber (left) runs down Central City to win the Grade 3 Woodford at Keeneland

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Visits to the Keeneland’s winner’s circle following stakes victories have become routine for Silver Timber.

For the third consecutive meet at Keeneland, Silver Timber scored a graded stakes victory over the Keeneland grass course in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Woodford, following a victory in the Grade 3 Shakertown this spring and in last fall’s Woodford.

As he had in his prior victories at Keeneland, Silver Timber used a powerful stretch kick to push his record to 3 for 3 over the local course. He settled in seventh early under jockey Julien Leparoux, began to advance on the outside on the turn to reach contention, and then accelerated past the opposition in the stretch.

He won by a half-length over pacesetting Central City, with longshot Due Date a head further behind in third.

Leparoux said the victory came easily, despite the relatively close margin of finish.

“I didn’t really ask him,” said Leparoux, noting he wanted to save something “for the next one.”

The next one is the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, a race in which Silver Timber ran sixth last year, when it was run at Santa Anita.

Working to his advantage this year is that the race is being contested at five furlongs on grass at Churchill Downs, where Silver Timber holds the course record. He ran five furlongs in 55.45 seconds in winning the Grade 3 Churchill Downs Turf Sprint there April 30.

“I think he’ll be double tough over there,” trainer Chad Brown said.

Silver Timber, a 7-year-old gelded son of Prime Timber owned by Michael Dubb and High Grade Racing Stable, raced 5 1/2 furlongs in the Woodford in 1:02.30. He paid $10.60.

Disappointing as the favorite in the Woodford was defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner California Flag, the 8-5 choice who faded to last of 11 after pressing the early pace.

Chamberlain Bridge, the 3-1 second choice, meanwhile, rallied for fourth after a slow start.

Awakino and Super Chunky were scratched.