CHESTER - Speedballs going short distances have been known to deliver electrifying performances in Thoroughbred racing. Consider Silverette, the 7-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's featured $37,100 allowance sprint at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort.
Seven opponents have drawn in to challenge Silverette in the five-furlong event, and they will have a major chore trying to beat her. The now five-year-old mare was a three-time black-type winner in 2013 - of the Red Cross Stakes at Monmouth Park, of the Sportech Caress Stakes at Saratoga and of the Turf Amazon Handicap at Parx Racing.
The Red Cross was run at six furlongs on the dirt. Th 'Sportech was a 5 -furlong grass event. And the Turf Amazon was run at five furlongs on a yielding grass course. In all three races, Silverette stalked the early pace, took the lead between the far turn and the eighth-pole, and finished strongly to gain the win.
Her campaign last year also included a pair of second-place efforts in stakes, at Monmouth and Belmont Park. And Silverette is capable of wiring a field, which she did in her maiden triumph at Aqueduct in April of 2012 and in a Belmont allowance two months later.
Silverette's overall record includes 13 starts, six wins, four placings and purse earnings of $397,802. In the Sportech she ran an opening half-mile in :43.70 and five furlongs in :55.19, and still had enough left to prevail by a neck. At the top of her game, Silverette's a flame of pure fire.
She's well-bred, too. Silverette's sire, Street Sense, won the 2007 Kentucky Derby and piled up career purse earnings of over $4.38 million. Silverette's dam, Holy Lightning, was winless in five career starts, but is a daughter of the 1994 Travers Stakes winner and Horse of the Year Holy Bull.
Go further back in Holy Lightning's pedigree and one finds such hall of fame inductees as Ta Wee, Native Dancer, Broomstick and Ben Brush.
By way of Holy Lightning, the blood from all of them flows through the veins of Silverette.
Bred in Kentucky by Grousemont Farm, Silverette has twice been sold at auction: for $290,000 at Keeneland as a yearling; and for $400,000 at the Fasig-Tipton pavilion in Lexington last fall.
She currently campaigns for Unlimited Equine LLC, an outfit headed by Thomas Berry. Trainers of record for Silverette have included Eclipse Award winner Dale Romans and Eddie Kenneally. She's listed in Sunday's program with Tevis Q. McCauley as conditioner.
To date, four jockeys have partnered Silverette to various winner's circles. Luis Raul Rivera will attempt to become the fifth to do it on Sunday. Rivera first rode at Mountaineer in 1997, and has compiled 994 local victories (which account for 94 percent of his overall career total of 1,057).
In 2011, Rivera booted Hot Hot Mama to victory in the $75,000 Ohio Valley Handicap at Mountaineer. In July of last year, he won Mountaineer's $75,000 Firecracker Stakes aboard Sharp Sally.
Neither horse was favored in the wagering. It promises to be a different scenario for Rivera when he rides Silverette on Sunday.