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Silverfoot Takes Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap

Churchill Downs Communications | 07/04/2008 #


Chrysalis Stables LLC’s Silverfoot overtook longshot front-runner Rumor Has It at the top of the stretch, easily dispatched that rival and held off a belated rally from Telling to post a two-length win in a spirited 76th renewal of the Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap, the traditional holiday headliner at Arlington Park on Independence Day. 

Trained by Dallas Stewart and ridden by Rene Douglas, who picked up his fifth Stars and Stripes victory, the son of With Approval covered the mile and a half over “good” turf in 2:30.40.           

Rumor Has It, a 48-1 outsider, sprinted out to a large early advantage, leading by as many as 12 lengths while setting fractions of 25.32 seconds, 49.56 seconds, 1:14.28, 1:39.42 and 2:05.92 before giving way badly in the stretch.

Meanwhile, Douglas had Silverfoot last through more than a half-mile and only passed one horse after a mile before launching his rally along the rail on the final turn.

“I took my time with him,” said Douglas, who was aboard the 8-year-old gelding for the first time in the Stars and Stripes.  “I did something different with him.  I stayed on the rail.  The past performances showed that he usually makes his move on the outside.  At the three-eighths pole, he knew he was the man.  I said to myself, ‘It’s a little early to pull the trigger and I know he’s 8-years-old but if you want to go, then go.’  He was a champion today.”

The win was the first for Silverfoot since May 2006 and his 10th in 31 starts overall.  He was sidelined the entire 2007 season.  He earned $102,000 from the $175,000 purse to boost his bankroll to $846,015.

Telling rallied to finish second in the nine-horse field, a length clear of Canela.  Grade I Stakes winner Cloudy’s Knight ran fourth, followed by Borobudur, Major Rhythm, Rumor Has It, A. P. Xcellent and 3-2 favorite Lattice.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Julien Leparoux, who rode the beaten favorite.  “He was good during the race and then he had no response at the end.”

Silverfoot, sent off at odds of 5-1, paid $12, $6.80 and $4.60.  Telling returned $11.60 and $7.40.  Canela paid $12.80.