05/22/2012 1:38PM

Western Fair: Razzle Dazzle may be an overlay in Molson Pace

Fred J. Brown
Trainer Richard Silverman would like to see Razzle Dazzle forwardly placed in the Molson Pace.

When the horses line up behind the gate for the $300,000 Molson Pace at Western Fair on Friday, most eyes  and a good deal of their wagering dollars will be focused on the three Ron Burke trainees led by reigning Pacer of the Year Foiled Again. As sharp as the public is, they may overlook the horse with the standout name and the hidden ability to upset the applecart.

Razzle Dazzle, a 5-year-old gelding from the Richard Silverman stable, has been a tease of sorts for his connections. He always appears to be on the cusp of a great season but the pieces never quite fall into place.

“We expected [a big year] last year and the year before. He has put in miles that show the ability. The talent is there but he hasn’t been able to do it consistently week in and week out,” said Silverman.

Health issues stand at the top of the list of answers to Razzle Dazzle’s unrealized talent. Throughout his first few years on the track the lightly raced son of Real Desire has been limited to just 40 starts over 3 1/2 years.

“He had some respiratory issues, deep lung infections that were causing him to bleed,” said Silverman. “We have addressed them all winter and have been staying on top of the problem. So far this year he has shown no signs of regression.”

With his health in order, Razzle Dazzle has begun to blossom into the star that Silverman had always anticipated. On April 28 in the George Morton Levy consolation event at Yonkers Raceway, he missed tying the track record by just one-fifth when he paced a 1:51 mile. His prior start at Yonkers was equally impressive with a 1:51 1/5 clocking.

Once the Levy series ended, Razzle Dazzle headed north and was a fast closing second from a tough spot on May 12 at Woodbine Racetrack. Then came the Molson Pace eliminations, where he was third over a speed-favoring track and finished third with a sparkling 27-second final quarter.

“Everything seems to be clicking right now,” said Silverman, who would love to see Razzle Dazzle get some recognition.

“When you are a trainer you fall in love with your horses. I’ve fallen in love with Razzle. He still has to prove himself against the Foiled Again’s of the world, but I’m happy with his progression.”

The Molson final will be no easy task for Razzle Dazzle. He has drawn post 5 on a half-mile track that tends to show a bias towards horses that are forwardly placed; a trait that Razzle Dazzle has yet to demonstrate.

“He’s very handy and a very good horse on the front,” rebutted Silverman. “He hasn’t been able to get [to the lead] yet. He has been roughed up a few times trying and things just haven’t worked out.”

Whether Razzle Dazzle has the early zip to make the front could be discovered on Friday.

“The first eighth of the mile will tell the tale. We have to go forward off the gate. As a previous driver, I’m not going to tell my drivers what to do, especially one as accomplished as John [Campbell]. But I didn’t send Razzle up there to sit last.”

Silverman, who had plenty of success during his career in the sulky and was in the midst of resurgence in 2010 before an accident sidelined his career once again, has basically taken over full-time training duties from his father Jerry. He has 17 horses under his care, mostly 2- and 3-year-olds.

The 47-year-old trainer staked Razzle Dazzle to all the major older pacing events in 2012, with the Bettors Delight at Tioga Downs his next target.

If Razzle keeps his weight up and remains healthy Silverman remains hopeful of a breakout year. Perhaps Friday will be the night that Razzle starts to Dazzle.