03/23/2013 6:01PM

Turfway Park: Silsita wins tight photo in Bourbonette

Pat Lang Photography
Silsita, outside, noses out Marathon Lady, in the Bourbonette Stakes.

FLORENCE, Ky. – Silsita got the favorable head-bob following a searing stretch duel with longshot Marathon Lady to give trainer Todd Pletcher a Kentucky Oaks candidate when she notched the most narrow of victories Saturday in the 31st running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park.

With John Velazquez riding for his main client, Silsita appeared beaten with maybe 20 yards to go in the one-mile Bourbonette before persisting to defeat Marathon Lady, a 31-1 shot under Robby Albarado. The winner returned $20.40, while Pure Fun, the 4-5 favorite, had no apparent excuse when finishing third in the field of 12 3-year-old fillies.

Silsita earned 50 points for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks in the new eligibility system being used by Churchill Downs.

Silsita, a gray Florida-bred filly by Macho Uno, finished the distance in 1:38.27 over Polytrack. The filly was bought privately after her first career start at Calder by the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners headed by Aron Wellman. She now has won 2 of 4 starts, with the Bourbonette marking her stakes debut.

“We really haven’t thought much beyond this race,” said Wellman. “Todd has thought a lot of her since the first day he came to her. You don’t get a lot of days like this, so we’ll enjoy this. I’m sure we’ll come up with a plan soon enough.”

The top two finishers were prominent from the start, trading the lead back-and-forth down the stretch before the photo-finish camera gave the nod to Silsita, who was positioned just outside her rival.

Rushaway: Crop Report rallies from last

One race earlier, Team Valor International president Barry Irwin presented the winner’s trophy to himself after Crop Report ($3.20) rallied from far back for a popular score in the 29th running of the $75,000 Team Valor Rushaway Stakes.

Crop Report was wearing blinkers for the first time and making his fourth career start when overtaking race-long leader Divine Ambition to prevail by 1 3/4 lengths. Just six 3-year-olds started after three scratches.

Crop Report, by Medaglia d’Oro, finished the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:45.66. Joel Rosario was aboard for trainer Graham Motion.

Irwin said he is very excited about the chances of Crop Report developing into a classics-type horse, but not for the Kentucky Derby. “Maybe the Belmont,” he said. “He’s got a beautiful stride, but he’s just so immature still.”

* In an international rider competition staged as the sixth race, St. Armands ($5.40) gave 10-pound apprentice Mallory Strandberg the second victory of her career when drawing clear by three lengths. The six-furlong race for $5,000 conditioned claimers pitted four American jockeys versus four counterparts from other countries. All of the participants were graduates of a riding academy in their respective countries.

Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Sorry I missed that trophy presentation in the Rushaway...excuse me, the Team Valor Rushaway! That must have been quite the juggling job to present the trophy to himself. It will be interesting to see if Crop Report can transfer his turf/synthetic form to dirt.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Mark7 hours ago Pletcher horse coming out of a nice 75 oc field worth a look at square price although needs to work a trip. @8-1 or better I all be willing to play . 9-1 winner yep
Mark More than 1 year ago
1 hater ...2 hater ... 3 little haters