05/29/2005 11:00PM

Silverfoot wins in unfamiliar style


Silverfoot was always part of a very slow pace Monday, grinding out a victory under Robby Albarado in the 68th running of the $110,400 at Churchill Downs.

With a startling lack of early speed in the 1 3/8-mile turf race, Silverfoot, normally a stretch-runner, was left to set the fractions in a field of seven older horses in the Grade 3 Louisville. Although longshot Gottabeachboy, then Epicentre, made sustained runs at them, Silverfoot and Albarado turned back all challengers with a big stretch run, prevailing by three-quarters of a length over the late-running Rochester.

Silverfoot, a 5-year-old gray gelding bred and owned by Stephanie Clark and trained by Dallas Stewart, returned $5.40 as the favorite. The Louisville gave Stewart a sweep of the Memorial Day weekend stakes at Churchill, following a win Saturday in the Winning Colors by Molto Vita, also the betting favorite.

Silverfoot set fractions of 26.98 seconds, 52.60, 1:18.37, and 1:43.02, then finished in 2:18.77 over a turf course rated firm. Epicentre wound up a neck behind Rochester, while Rapid Proof, the 119-pound highweight and 5-2 second choice, chased Silverfoot from a favorable position for much of the trip but did not have his usual stretch kick, fading to last.

The victory was the seventh in 12 lifetime starts for Silverfoot, who had won an allowance race at Keeneland leading into the Louisville.

Rochester, ridden by Pat Day, surpassed the $1 million mark with his runner-up finish, having been a little more than $5,000 shy of that milestone entering the race.