February 22, 2024

Silverbulletday a deep race with or without Wonder Gadot

Wonder Gadot romps to victory in the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) under jockey John Velazquez at Aqueduct on Saturday, December 2, 2017 (c) NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography

The connections of Wonder Gadot will have a tough choice to make later this week of running the filly in either the $150,000 Silverbulletday, a Kentucky Oaks (G1) points race, or taking on the boys later on Saturday afternoon’s card at Fair Grounds in the $200,000 Lecomte (G3).

“I think (Owner) Mr. (Gary) Barber and (trainer) Mark (Casse) will make the decision closer to race time,” assistant trainer David Carroll said on Saturday after Wonder Gadot breezed four furlongs in company with stablemate and fellow Silverbulletday entrant Heavenly Love in :49.20 over the Fair Grounds main track.

“The main thing was to get a work over the track which she handled beautifully and she cooled out great,” Carroll said. “She and Heavenly Love both went beautifully. That decision will be made on game day so to speak. I think he’ll just be looking at the race and probably see who scratches and then take it from there. The main thing is that she shipped in very well and breezed beautifully. Whatever race she goes in, we look forward to it.”

Wonder Gadot would be the likely favorite in the Silverbulletday, contested at one mile and 70 yards, following a decisive 3 3/4-length score in the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct in early December over nine furlongs. Prior to that, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had placed in the Natalma (G1) and won the Mazarine (G3), both at Woodbine, and finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

Heavenly Love also contested the same Breeders’ Cup race, but checked out of contention on the far turn and beat only two rivals in the field of 13. It was a major disappointment for the 7-2 chance, who was exiting a 5 1/2-length romp in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland.

The Silverbulletday offers Oaks qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers, and also looking to add to her current tally is Blonde Bomber, who rallied from last to finish third at odds of 30-1 in the Juvenile Fillies, only a neck behind runner-up Alluring Star. The Gulfstream-based filly was a blowout winner of her two immediate outings before the Breeders’ Cup, including a 7 1/4-length notch of the $75,000 Our Dear Peg.

Beyond the top trio, the most serious contender among the field of 12 might be America’s Tale, who’s comfortably scored in her last two outings for trainer Bernie Flint, including a December 17 allowance at Fair Grounds over the Silverbulletday distance. Second in that race was Missive, who earlier broke her maiden on Thanksgiving Day. The regally-bred Stellar Moon, by Tapit and out of the multiple Grade 1 winner Stellar Jayne, is a potential improver stretching out to two turns.