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Stakes Advance: Silverbulletday Stakes

 
TOP DECILE VS. WEST COAST BELLE IN STELLAR SILVERBULLETDAY

The 23rd running of the Listed $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes at one mile and 70 yards at Fair Grounds Race Course has produced arguably the most impressive field in recent memory with its nine entrants.  Led by Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Top Decile and Grade II $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes winner West Coast Belle, the field’s depth is further deepened by a regally bred full sister to last year’s winner in Forever Unbridled, last-out stakes winners Zooming and Money’soncharlotte and a double-barreled assault from the red-hot barn of Larry Jones, who has won the race twice in the last six years.       

Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Top Decile enters the Silverbulletday arguably one length from being crowned a champion.  A winner on debut at Saratoga in August, the Kentucky-bred charge was second by a half-length in the Grade I $400,000 Alcibiades Stakes after a horrid break one race prior to losing the Breeders’ Cup by the same margin after a wide trip.  Regarded highly enough to attract the riding services of Mike Smith after regular jockey Rosie Napravnik’s retirement, the chestnut daughter of Congrats has been aimed toward the Silverbulletday since returning from a brief freshening for conditioner Al Stall, Jr.  A social and endearingly pampered attention lush around the barn, the charismatic filly will hope to smile for the camera after she and Smith break from post nine in their first step toward the Grade I $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks.         

Gary and Mary West’s steel gray charge West Coast Belle is the latest in an honor roll of talented fillies trained by two-time Breeders’ Cup-winning conditioner and New Orleans native Wayne Catalano.  A homebred whose immense determination belies her miniscule stature, this daughter of reigning champion sire Tapit is undefeated in three starts – winning a maiden at Monmouth Park and the $58,000 Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs prior to the aforementioned Golden Rod at that same venue.  A mid-pack closer who exhibits the gameness of her Kentucky Oaks-winning great granddam Dispute, West Coast Belle gets the return services of Golden Rod pilot Shaun Bridgmohan, who will attempt to give the connections of this silver bullet a day to remember when they break in tandem from post two.

Carl R. Moore Management’s Zooming, a three-time winner and conqueror of the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park on Dec. 14 at a two-turn mile, enters the Silverbulletday on the upswing for trainer Bret Calhoun.  A daughter of After Market who has shown excellent tactical speed for her connections, she will have to step up to prove victorious, but did show a liking for the local surface with a bullet four-furlong work on Jan. 9 in :48.60.  Miguel Mena rides from post six.

The Florida-based winter barn of 2011 Louisiana Derby-winning conditioner Kelly Breen will ship in George and Lori Hall’s $75,000 Hut Hut Stakes winner Money’soncharlotte.  A daughter of Mizzen Mast and full-sister to four-time stakes winner Mizzcan’tbewrong, she waltzed wire-to-wire on Nov. 29 at the Hut Hut’s two-turn mile distance at Gulfstream Park West.  The winner of two of three career starts will break from post four under Robby Albarado.

Charles Fipke’s homebred Forever Unbridled – a full-sister to 2014 Silverbulletday winner Unbridled Forever – enters off a professional course and distance maiden win on Dec. 12 for conditioner Dallas Stewart, who also trained her aforestated sister and Kentucky Oaks-winning dam, Lemons Forever.  The daughter of the late Unbridled’s Song displayed her fitness on Jan. 11 with an eye-opening best of 114 bullet four-furlong work in :48.80.  Brian Hernandez, Jr. has the return call from post five.       

Trainer Larry Jones has two shots in his Silverbulletday holster in the form of Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s I’m a Chatterbox and Tommy Ligon and Michael Pressley’s Divine Dawn.  While I’m a Chatterbox was a fading fourth in the Golden Rod, she has trained admirably since moving to the Jones barn from that of Kenny McPeek.  The daughter of Munnings will make the walk to the paddock with the undefeated two-for-two Divine Dawn.  A dark gray with a potent turn of foot and admirable versatility, the Kentucky-bred has been well-fancied by her trainer since she was a yearling at Airdrie Stud.  On Oct. 17, the daughter of Divine Park won at first asking at Keeneland at six furlongs on the dirt.  Two months later, she awed many with a facile victory at 7½ grassy furlongs in her two-turn debut at the Fair Grounds.  Florent Geroux will ride I’m a Chatterbox from the rail, while Kerwin Clark has the call on Divine Dawn from post three.

The remainder of the Silverbulletday field is comprised of Queen’s Ready (Sal Gonzalez, Jr., post seven) and Slava (Alexander Reznikov, post eight).