Silver State Rolls To Fifth Consecutive Win In $1-Million Oaklawn Handicap

With six horses spread across the track at the eighth pole and a million dollars up for grabs, Saturday’s Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap looked to be almost anyone’s race. But Silver State was going the best of all and drew off for a half-length victory under Ricardo Santana Jr., winning for the fifth consecutive time for trainer Steve Asmussen but making it a graded stakes first for the Hard Spun 4-year-old owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing.

Sent away at 9-2 odds, Silver State covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.56 on a track upgraded to fast after being listed as good much of the day. He paid $11.40 for the win, his sixth in 10 career starts.

Todd Pletcher-trained Fearless, coming off a G2 victory in the Gulfstream Park Mile, finished second, with 9-5 favorite Express Train, who shipped in from Southern California for trainer John Shirreffs, a length back in third in the field of eight older horses. Pacesetter Warrior’s Charge was fourth.

“We’ve always loved his talent level,” Asmussen said of Silver State. “The five-race win streak and putting it all together against such a talented field today, significant race, extremely pleased with him. The horse has been training really well. He’s figured out winning. I think what we saw in the two races here previously, he chose to win. They were very competitive. Watching the races, just like today, I think that’s made all the difference in him.”

Silver State was coming off a neck win in the $500,000 Essex Handicap and prior to that won the Fifth Season Stakes by a nose – both this year at Oaklawn. He began his streak with a seven-length allowance win last October at Keeneland, then added a November allowance/optional claiming race at Churchill Downs.

In the Oaklawn Handicap, Silver State carried 118 pounds, four fewer than highweighted Express Train.

Breaking from the rail, Silver State saved ground most of the trip racing in mid-pack as Warrior’s Charge set fractions of :22.73, :47.06 and 1:11.67.

Santana tipped Silver State five wide into the stretch, and after passing the mile marker in 1:37.23, there were six runners within about a length of each other. Silver State emerged from the pack and went on to victory.

The post Silver State Rolls To Fifth Consecutive Win In $1-Million Oaklawn Handicap appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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