The task facing Stronger Than Ever (Congrats) in Saturday’s Silverbulletday S. looked on paper to be a stiff one and the public bet her accordingly. But the grey filly rallied stoutly from the rear and outslugged MGSW and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro) to take this first local step towards the GI Kentucky Oaks.
Void of early speed, Stronger Than Ever dropped out to the rear of the field before actually working her way into the picture at the midway stage. She gained ground under a Florent Geroux hold on the turn, was steered out wide and looked as if she was going to run away with it a furlong from home. Wonder Gadot boxed on gamely down on the inside, but Stronger Than Ever did slightly the better work late to post a narrow success. Missive (Alternation) stayed on at one pace for third ahead of GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ third Blonde Bomber (Fort Larned).
Winner of a Churchill maiden Sept. 16 and a one-mile Keeneland allowance Oct. 20, Stronger Than Ever was never in it when seventh in the GII Golden Rod S. in Louisville Nov. 25 and was exiting a distant third in the Dec. 17 Trapeze S. at Remington Park.
The 30th black-type winner for her sire, Stronger Than Ever was the most expensive of her sire’s 11 foals to sell in 2015 and was the priciest of 49 yearlings to sell in 2016. Produced by a stakes-placed daughter of SW Stellar Affair, Stronger Than Ever descends from the female family of Curlin. Broken Silence was sold in foal to Ghostzapper for $170,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale. The produce she was carrying at the time, a filly, fetched $435,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. The mare was represented by a colt of 2017 by Verrazano and was most recently bred to the latter’s sire More Than Ready.
SILVERBULLETDAY S., $148,500, FG, 1-13, 3yo, f, 1m 70y, 1:44.28, ft.
1–STRONGER THAN EVER, 122, f, 3, by Congrats
1st Dam: Broken Silence (SP), by Broken Vow
2nd Dam: Stellar Affair, by Skywalker
3rd Dam: Fawn and Hahn, by Grey Dawn II
($150,000 Wlg ’15 KEENOV; $310,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP).
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-Fern Circle Stables; B-J Stuart, P Bance, J Amling & C Noell (KY); T-Kenneth G McPeek; J-Florent Geroux. $90,000. Lifetime Record: 5-3-0-1, $174,846.
2–Wonder Gadot, 122, f, 3, Medaglia d’Oro–Loving Vindication, by Vindication. ($80,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $325,000 2yo ’17 OBSAPR). O-Gary Barber; B-Anderson Farms Ont Inc (ON); T-Mark E Casse. $30,000.
3–Missive, 116, f, 3, Alternation–Bedanken, by Geri. O/B-Pin Oak Stud LLC (KY); T-Michael Stidham. $15,000.
Margins: NK, 4HF, 1 3/4. Odds: 33.20, 1.10, 23.50.
Also Ran: Blonde Bomber, Heavenly Love, Terra’s Angel, America’s Tale, Shes Our Fastest. Scratched: Saguaro Row, Stellar Moon, Remember Daisy, Noblame.
Click for the Equibase.com chart.