Jockey Silvera Expected to Have Regular Maryland Presence in Fall

Jockey Silvera Expected to Have Regular Maryland Presence in Fall

Hello Beautiful Thriving, Out of Sorts Steps Up in G3 Saratoga Oaks
Live Action Returns Friday with Eight Races, Rainbow 6 Carryover

LAUREL, MD – Jockey Ruben Silvera, far and away the leading rider at Parx this year, may soon be bringing his talent to Maryland on a more regular basis.

The 33-year-old Panama native is in the midst of a career year with 144 wins, already having topped his previous high of 124 from 2020 and ranking in the top 10 nationally. He is also less than $72,000 from besting last year’s $3,505,099 in purse earnings.

Much of Silvera’s success comes from his association with trainer Jamie Ness, a winner of 3,378 career races and currently tied for third with 15 wins from 65 starters at the extended Preakness Meet at historic Pimlico Race Course, which returns to action with a live eight-race program Friday and runs through Aug. 22.

During the Preakness meet, Silvera has two wins, two seconds and three thirds from eight mounts with $124,945 in purses earned. Seven of his rides have been on Ness horses, including Indian Lake, winner of the $100,000 Bald Eagle Derby July 24.

“He likes to ride, and he’s a good rider. He’s the leading rider by far at Parx,” Ness said. “He’s going to try to come down to Laurel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, be at Laurel more in the fall. He’s trying to get his foot in the door. Another top rider in the jock’s colony is always better.”

Laurel Park, after completing a reconstruction of its main track, will have horses back on the grounds next week and open its calendar year-ending fall meet Sept. 9.

Through Aug. 4, Silvera had won 142 races and $3.247 million in purse earnings from 569 mounts at Parx since the meet opened Jan. 4, leading runner-up Frankie Pennington by 45 wins and $517,808. Pennington owns nearly 2,700 lifetime wins and is a member of the Parx Hall of Fame.

Silvera will continue to ride at Parx, which operates on a Monday through Wednesday schedule, with Laurel scheduled to run Thursdays through Sundays.

“We’ll see what happens. I’ll talk to Jamie about it more over the next couple of weeks, but wherever Jamie wants him to go is where we’re going to go,” Silvera’s agent, Richard Englander, said. “It makes sense for him.”

Both Silvera and Englander have connections to Maryland. Silvera’s wife’s brother-in-law is former jockey Elvis Trujillo, who launched his training career last summer at Laurel. Among his 2,102 wins as a rider was the 2018 General George (G3) with Something Awesome.

Englander was voted the Eclipse Award as North America’s leading owner in 2001 and 2002 and won 1,384 races between 2000 and 2009 including a high of 405 in 2001. He is also a General George winner, taking the 2003 edition with My Cousin Matt when it was a Grade 2.

My Cousin Matt’s win in 1:22.12 for seven furlongs over a sloppy track came 26 minutes before Xtra Heat captured the Barbara Fritchie (G2) in 1:24.76 in what would be the final race of her Hall of Fame career.

“That was a crazy race he ran that day. Xtra Heat was a freak. To beat her by [two] seconds at the same distance the next race on the same track? That was just crazy,” Englander said. “He was a great sprinter.”

A contemporary of Luis Saez in Panama where they attended the country’s jockey school, Silvera rode his first U.S. race at Gulfstream Park, finishing fourth with Great Bear March 24, 2011. He picked up his first winner aboard Power Rules May 7, 2011 at Calder Race Course.

Equibase statistics show Silvera with 744 wins and $21.97 million in purse earnings from 5,305 career mounts. He already has six wins this month including a four-win day Aug. 4.

“I love the riders out of Panama. They’re strong, strong riders and real good riders, most of them. That’s the group he came from,” Englander said. “He is [a hard worker]. He really is, especially for a leading rider that’s like 40-something in front. You would think that he could maybe get lazy, but no. He works five, six days a week. That’s Ruben.”

Hello Beautiful Thriving, Out of Sorts Steps Up in G3 Saratoga Oaks

Hello Beautiful continues to thrive since achieving her sixth lifetime stakes victory in the $100,000 Alma North July 31 at historic Pimlico Race Course, a win that doubled as the 1,500th in jockey Sheldon Russell’s decorated career.

“She’s awesome. She’s great,” Russell’s wife, trainer Brittany Russell, said of Madaket Stables, Albert Frassetto, Mark Parkinson, K-Mac Stables and Magic City Stables’ Hello Beautiful. “Everything is good with her.”

Russell felt it was fate that allowed Hello Beautiful, who provided the couple with their first stakes win together in the 2019 Maryland Million Lassie, to help realize the champion rider’s milestone. Sheldon Russell pledged $1,500 to the winning horse’s groom, who turned out to be Luis Barajas.

Sheldon Russell had chances to reach 1,500 July 30 on Murph, a highly regarded first-time starter trained by his wife, as well as Anthony Farrior-trained Make It a Double, one race prior to the Alma North. Both ran second as favorites.

“I was really disappointed our 2-year-old didn’t get the job done the day before. I really thought that was going to be Sheldon’s 1,500th and, funny enough, Luis grooms that filly, as well. So it was one of those things,” Brittany Russell said. “Farrior is a good friend of ours and I said, ‘Well, it’ll be nice to see him do it on Farrior’s [horse],’ and then when that didn’t happen I was like, ‘This was just meant to be.’”

Russell said she would point Hello Beautiful to the Laurel Park fall meet, where the first sprint stakes for fillies and mares 3 and up is the $100,000 Weathervane at six furlongs Sept. 18 on the undercard of the $200,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3).

“We’re going to wait for Laurel in September. It’s just good timing. That’s how she does,” she said. “There’s no reason to ever run her back quick.”

Meanwhile, Russell will have some stakes action this weekend in Saratoga, where Out of Sorts is scheduled to run in Sunday’s Saratoga Oaks Invitational (G3) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 3/16 miles on the grass.

Respect the Valleys’ Out of Sorts has two wins and a second in three tries since being moved to the turf this year. She was beaten a nose by Judi Blue Eyes May 15 on the undercard of the 146th Preakness (G1), then came back for a head decision over next-out winner Adelaide Miss in a one-mile allowance June 13, both at Pimlico against her elders.

Back against her own age group last time out, Out of Sorts cruised to a three-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Christiana July 3 at Delaware Park. Sheldon Russell will be aboard.

“She’s up there. She shipped on Tuesday evening. She trained up there [Wednesday], she trained up there [Thursday]. She’s going to paddock school, so she’ll be plenty settled in by Sunday,” Russell said. “There’s just not a better time with her doing as well as she is. If she steps up, awesome. If not, it’s OK, too. We’ll keep her local next time.”

Live Action Returns Friday with Eight Races, Rainbow 6 Carryover

The final month of the extended Preakness Meet at historic Pimlico Race Course begins with a Friday program featuring eight races, two scheduled for the grass, and a carryover of $10,216 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6.

First race post time is 12:40 p.m.

The Rainbow 6 spans Races 3-8 and opens with a maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the main track. Six o’Clock Sarah, trained and co-owned by John Salzman Jr., is the 9-5 program favorite from Post 4 in a field of seven.

Pimlico will play host to nine races Saturday, three on the grass, which attracted a total of 32 entries. Race 4 is a six-furlong allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up on the main track that drew seven entries including 2020 Maryland Million Lassie winner Miss Nondescript, trained by Mike Trombetta and unraced since finishing seventh in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship Dec. 5.

Race 8 is a second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up, also sprinting six furlongs. The eight-horse field includes 2019 Smoke Glacken winner and Nashua (G3) runner-up Meru, bred by Godolphin and owned by Colts Neck Stables, and Magic Stables’ Baptize the Boy, second between next-out winners Karan’s Notion and Lewisfield in the 2020 Maryland Million Sprint.

The final stakes of the Preakness Meet will be Saturday, Aug. 21, part of Maryland Pride Day featuring four $75,000 stakes for Maryland-bred/sired horses – the Star de Naskra for 3-year-olds and Miss Disco for 3-year-old fillies, both at seven furlongs, and the Find for 3-year-olds and up and All Brandy for fillies and mares 3 and older, each going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

Nominations for all four stakes close Saturday, Aug. 14.