Saratoga Notebook: Brown a winner with Silver Timber

There was some question whether Silver Timber, a multiple-graded-stakes winner for trainer and Mecha

There was some question whether Silver Timber, a multiple-graded-stakes winner for trainer and Mechanicville native Chad Brown, was still willing this year.

The 8-year-old gelding looked good, though, while winning an allowance optional claimer to open the card at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday. He was entered with a $50,000 tag, but was not claimed.

“He’s off form a little bit, and this was a drop in class. He won, but it’s just an allowance race,” Brown said. “But the horse has been training pretty well. You never know, in the heat of battle, if he has lost the desire to run. It was a question mark, even for me. But he hasn’t really trained any differently than he has the last couple of years for me. So with an old horse like this, we’ll just take it race by race and see what his attitude is. But, yeah, for sure today, he was game.”

Silver Timber had not won since the Grade III Woodford at Keeneland on Oct. 9, and was fifth as the beaten favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November. His resumé, though, includes two wins in the Woodford (2009 and 2010), and wins in the Jaipur (2009), Shakertown (2010) and Churchill Downs Turf Sprint (2010), all Grade III races.

He was claimed April 4, 2009, for $25,000, so even the fifth-place finish in the BC Turf Sprint was gravy, worth a $30,000 slice of the purse.

Silver Timber is 14-4-5 from 41 career starts, and has been an important lodger at Brown’s barn.

“He’s meant a lot to our whole barn, really, and my family. Everyone loves the horse,” Brown said. “We had to put him in for a tag today, and there was some hemming and hawing around the barn. But at the end of the day, if the horse is going to regain his form, you have to put him where he’s going to be competitive and get his confidence up a little bit. So it was the right move.”

Brown said as well-liked as Silver Timber is at the barn, it wasn’t a tough decision to put a tag on him in this claimer. And since he was not claimed, he gets to keep working with Silver Timber and see if that regained confidence takes.

“The owner, Mike Dubb, let’s me do whatever is right for the horses,” Brown said. “We talked about it for about a minute, and then it was up. We were going to do it. It just made sense, the spot, so that’s how we approach it.

“And we kept him. You win some, you lose some. We won today.”


Emerald Beech has come along nicely for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard after going 1-0-3 in her first 10 starts. Her win by a neck in Wednesday’s Signature Stallion Waya, a 11⁄2-mile turf race for fillies and mares 3 years old and up, was her third straight.

The 5-year-old mare started the year with a second-place finish at Keeneland, and has won all three of her three starts since.

“Our filly’s not had black type before, but she has improved since last year,” Sheppard said. “I think she was more settled. She was very rank and washy last year. She seems to have learned to pace herself.”

The Waya was her second stakes start and first stakes win. Sheppard said longer races definitely suit her well.

“We know that just as long as she relaxes early, the longer she goes, probably the better she is,” Sheppard said.

Categories: -Sports-

Leave a Reply