LOUISVILLE, KY – Ed and Susie Orr’s Silver Prospector struck it big on Saturday when he outgunned a pair of tough foes to win the $300,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 5 at 7/1 odds under Ricardo Santana, Jr., Silver Prospector settled within a handful of lengths of early leader New Eagle, who posted opening fractions of :24.39, :49.92, and 1:14.83. Santana, Jr., made sure to keep his gray/roan colt in the clear amidst the splashing mud.
Given the cue heading into the far turn, Silver Prospector ran four-wide to advance alongside his foes and hit the top of the stretch within striking distance. New Eagle fought desperately along the rail to hold onto his lead over the stalking South Bend, whose position in the stretch momentarily prevented the 3/5 favorite Tiz the Law from finding running room.
Silver Prospector poked his nose in front at the 1/8 pole, just as Tiz the Law discovered clear sailing and surged through. The pair battled fiercely inside the final furlong and were soon joined by Finnick the Fierce, who rallied from the rear to join the fray.
Inching ahead in the shadow of the wire, the Steve Asmussen-trained Silver Prospector crossed 3/4 of a length ahead in a final time of 1:45.94 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the sloppy (sealed) main track.
“It’s so special winning races for Steve,” said Santana, Jr., who also teamed up with Asmussen to win the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) earlier on the card. “I love both of these horses so much and to win both of these races was very special today. He was able to relax behind horses today and was really comfortable the entire trip. He showed a lot of strength being able to kick that hard in the stretch.”
After rallying from next to last, Finnick the Fierce was able to head Tiz the Law for second after the bettors’ choice struggled to find room or maintain his proper lead in the stretch. Enforceable closed from last to finish fourth by a 1/2-length over New Eagle, while behind them came South Bend, Fighting Seabee, and Two Last Words to complete the order of finish.
The Kentucky Jockey Club is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Silver Prospector earned 10 points for the win, with Finnick the Fierce receiving 4 for second, Tiz the Law 2 for third, and Enforceable 1 for fourth.
Silver Prospector’s win was his first in three stakes attempts, having finished sixth in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes as a maiden and third in the local Street Sense Stakes last out. The 2-year-old son of Declaration of War, purchased for $190,000 back in April, now carries a record of 6-2-0-2 with $255,551 earned.
“It’s very special to have horses compete at the highest level on days like today,” Asmussen said. “This horse has learned how to relax and was able to do that very well today.”
Silver Prospector returned $ to win, $ to place, and $ to show. Place brought back $ to place and $ to show, while Show paid $ to show.