SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It took just a few strides out of the gate for Pure Silver to get her customary lead before she quickly took command of the field of seven in cruising to a 9 ½-length win in the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Sent off at 8-5, Pure Silver was sent to the lead along the rail by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez after the skittish-but-projected pace-setter Limited View didn't get off at the break as intended. The daughter by Mission Impazible registered a quarter-mile in 22.44 seconds while longshot Di Maria and Luis Saez sat close along the outside.
At the half-mile, run in 45.48, Limited View was sent up under Kendrick Carmouche to challenge the leader, but proved to be no match as the rest of the field began to take aim at the front end with three quarters run in 1:10.56. Pure Silver held her run through the stretch, and was kept honest by a few convincing taps by Velazquez to draw away to the wire, completing 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.22
"We expected to be on the lead," Velazquez said. "We did break very well. I used him a little bit to make sure I was going to be close the pace. Once I got to the spot I wanted to be in, I just waited there. She did a good job settling around the turn and finished up really well."
Pure Silver's effort gave trainer Todd Pletcher his fifth Adirondack victory and second in a row after saddling last year's winner Nonna Mela.
"She won pretty convincingly. She's pretty fast," Pletcher said. "She didn't actually get away quite as easily as she normally does, but she made up for it quickly and got to the lead the right way. She kind of ran them off their feet from there. It's been a hard track sometimes to make up a lot of ground on. We knew that this filly was naturally fast and we were going to let her do her thing."
Through the late stages through the stretch, Southampton Way and Ricardo Santana, Jr. spawned a four-wide run into the stretch to finish second for trainer Horacio De Paz, who also saddled seventh place finisher Proportionality.
Wall of Compassion, off a wide path down the backside checked in for third while Stainless, the other Pletcher trainee in the race, stumbled badly at the break and spotted the field seven lengths before closing well inside for fourth.
"Manny [Franco] did a great job just staying on her, as badly she stumbled," Pletcher said. "She put in a nice run to be fourth. I was proud of her for staying and making up some ground after getting away as badly as she did."
De Paz, a former employee at Pletcher's barn figured to have a formidable shot at an upset with his pair, but the race unfolded differently.
"The speed got away from us," De Paz said. "We were worried about that filly on the inside [No. 1, Pure Silver] being able to get out in front and just keep going. Our filly tried, she made a good run at the end. She's just a steady grinder and she'll want to go further. For a big filly she broke sharp. We didn't want her to be so close to the pace, but that's just the way it set up."
Pure Silver, the lone New York-bred in the race, made her third career start for Twin Creeks Racing Stables, and is now perfect through all three starts since her victory in the Lynbrook Stakes at Belmont after breaking her maiden in her first start.
The Grade 1, $350,000 Spinaway on September 2 could be the next start for Pure Silver, Pletcher said.
"I think we'll certainly take a look at it," he said. "She's a filly who has carried her condition really well. Now having run three times, she looks fantastic."
Pure Silver paid $5.40 to win for a $2 bet.