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ELMONT, NY – Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s Silver State extended his hot streak to 6 straight wins with a rail-skimming victory in Saturday’s $1 million Hill ‘n’ Dale Met Mile Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park.
The Met Mile is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Silver State receiving an automatic berth in the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile at Del Mar this November.
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Silver State broke from post 3 under Ricardo Santana Jr. as the 5/1 third choice in the field of six and settled along the rail behind early leader Knicks Go and the rail-breaking Mischevious Alex, who at 4/5 and 7/2 respectively were the lowest marks on the tote.
Knicks Go posted opening fractions of :23.36 and :46.31 while relatively unpressured heading into the far turn, but Mischevious Alex ranged up to challenge midway through.
Knicks Go floated out as he exited the far turn, opening the rail for the ground-saving Silver State to blast his way through and to the front.
Mischevious Alex and Silver State swallowed up Knicks Go at the top of the stretch, but it was the Steve Asmussen-trained Silver State who blasted away in mid-stretch to win the one-turn fast dirt mile event by 1 length in 1:35.45.
“He broke really sharp today and put me in a great spot. I was just a passenger today,” said Santana Jr. “He put me where he wanted to be. The rail opened, so I decided to go through it and he gave me the victory.”
By My Standards rallied to take second by 3/4 of a length over Mischevious Alex and a weakened Knicks Go.
Dr Post and Lexitonian completed the order of finish.
Silver State’s 6-race win streak dates back to last October and includes winning the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) last time out for his initial graded score. The 4-year-old Hard Spun colt improved his overall record to 11-7-2-1 with $1,765,094 earned.
“I’m very proud of Silver State, the whole team, and the trip Ricardo gave him and the faith he has in the horse,” Asmussen said. “The Met Mile is an extremely significant win and one of the great races in American racing. This is 6 wins in a row for him. He’s an absolutely beautiful Stonestreet-bred that Ron Winchell and Mr. Horton purchased and have campaigned. Their patience in allowing him to get to this level has been perfect.”
Silver State returned $13.40 to win, $6.30 to place, and $3.80 to show. By My Standards brought back $7.40 to place and $3.70 to show. Mischevious Alex paid $3.30 to show.
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