Silver Label set for Ontario Sired Graduate Final test
MILTON, May 5 – Silver Label will look to graduate at the head of her class this Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Trained by Nick Gallucci for owner and breeder Millar Farms, Silver Label chases the natural hat trick in the four-year-old mares division of the Ontario Sired Graduate Final on May 6, which carries a purse of $84,500.
The Bettors Delight-Hidden Gem mare, who launched her 2023 campaign in the series with a close fourth-place finish before recording consecutive scores to bump her career bankroll to $866,864, is in top-shelf form ahead of her latest test.
Silver Label’s most recent trip to the winner’s circle, the 14th of her career (from 25 starts), was a gutsy neck nod in 1:52.3 over good going in a $25,000 Graduate leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park on April 28.
“She really dug down deep in that last one,” said Gallucci, of Saturday’s 6-5 morning line choice. “Ever since day one, she’s just been a special filly to have and never does anything wrong. She never does something to set you back in your schedule. She will always do whatever you ask of her.”
The bay, who will once again have leading reinsman James MacDonald in the sulky, came out of her last start in good order and ready for her next task.
“It seems like every week she gets sharper and sharper. It’s nice this week to get a better draw (post 3) and we’ll see what happens.”
An O’Brien finalist at two for rookie pacing filly honours, Silver Label followed it up with a strong sophomore showing, winning six races, along with three seconds, from 14 starts, to go along with $498,138 in purse earnings, en route to O’Brien recognition as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the year.
Highlights included victories in the final of the SBOA and the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Super Final, the latter in a career-best 1:50.2.
“On the racetrack, she’s a sweetheart. In the barn, she can give everyone a bit of a hard time. You can put up with that when they are as consistent as her.”
Gallucci will also be represented by Velvet Stinger in the final.
Also bred and owned by Millar Farms, the daughter of Bettors Delight-Our Hot Majorette has hit a rough patch of late, with three off-the-board finishes in the Graduate Series.
Fashioning a mark of 8-2-1 from 22 starts to go along with $269,574 in purse earnings, Velvet Stinger (15-1), who will have Tyler Jones in the race bike, owns a speed badge of 1:51.0.
“I’m going to open her bridle up a little bit. She was pretty grabby last week. She got into a bit of a tight spot on the backstretch and actually, she ran up on the horse in front of her. I think if I can let her see a little more, I’m hoping that maybe that settles her down a little bit and she has a better finish coming home.”
The final is slated as race four (8:15 p.m. ET) post on Saturday’s 12-race card. First post is 7:00 p.m.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms