|Silverman Counting on Family Ties in Breeders Crown|
by Jay Bergman
October 19, 2012
History has a way of repeating itself.
If that’s true, Richie Silverman hopes it happens on October 27 at Woodbine Racetrack. Last year half-brothers Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet became the first siblings to capture Breeders Crowns on the same night. This year Silverman has a brother and sister act named Razzle Dazzle and Ramalama hoping for lightning to strike twice.
“We’ve got Razzle Dazzle primed for this race,” said Silverman about the condition of his five-year-old pacer, one of 10 entered in the US$500,000 Breeders Crown Pace. Razzle Dazzle is a son of Real Desire from the broodmare Town Feather.
Razzle Dazzle with John Campbell in the sulky
From early on Silverman said that the horse had an abundance of talent but at the same time the horse’s career has been interrupted by a series of issues. Most recently Razzle Dazzle was sidelined with a deep lung infection that took an extended amount of time to clear out.
“We gave him the time to rest and we were pointing towards this race (Breeders Crown),” said Silverman. “It’s one of those rare occasions in this business where the plan worked out perfectly.”
Razzle Dazzle qualified back on September 20 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and then proceeded to capture his first two starts off the shelf scoring in 1:49 3/5 and 1:50 4/5. In both of those trips Razzle Dazzle displayed the type of determination and will to win he has throughout his career.
While Razzle Dazzle has shown he can compete with the best in the sport by virtue of his presence earlier this year in the Levy Series and a gutty third place finish in the Molson Pace, his stablemate and half-sister Ramalama (Bettor’s Delight) has been on the fringe of the three-year-old division still looking for a major victory.
“We put her in to give her a chance,” said Silverman. “She’s been knocking on the door and deserves the opportunity to race for the big money. I definitely believe she has the talent to qualify for the final.”
Ramalama drew post three in Saturday’s second race, first division of the Breeders Crown sophomore filly pace eliminations. She’ll meet two top class fillies in American Jewel and Economy Terror in this division and need only finish in the top five to advance. Silverman said that agent Charlie Karp purchased Razzle Dazzle for owner Ira Kristel as a yearling and then after Razzle Dazzle’s freshman success went back and purchased Ramalama, privately for Kristel. Are the brother and sister alike in any way?
“Not really, but I think they both share the same determination. They will both give it all they have to the finish line,” said Silverman.
Silverman became the youngest driver to capture a Breeders Crown event when he scored with Masquerade in the three-year-old colt pace at Garden State in 1986. He was just 21 years of age. In June of 2010 Silverman was involved in a bizarre driving accident at the Meadowlands that sidelined him for some six months. When he returned to the racetrack racing was different.
“I came back and I found myself driving the longest shots in every race. It was difficult to win races and hard to look at driving horses the same as I had in the past.”
Ritchie Silverman with Masquerade
For Silverman, who broke into the game driving many of his dad Jerry’s horses in the 80’s including Wilson winner Die Laughing, the move to just training horses has proven a lifesaver.
“I’d say I’m happier than I ever was just training horses,”he said.
The stable will be around 16 when Silverman returns to South Florida for the winter. Right now he’s training just five including Breeders Crown three-year-old colt trot contender Another Amaretto.
“I’ve got to give my dad credit for that horse,” said Richie of Another Amaretto. “Last year when his owner (Ira Kristel) wanted to sell the horse my dad brought Mr. (Carl) Sackheim and Mr. (James) Donahue in on the horse. The colt has some soreness issues but dad always thought he had talent.”
Another Amaretto drew post eight in one of two Crown elims for sophomore colt trotters. The late blooming son of Andover Hall finished third in his division of the first heat of the Kentucky Futurity and then third to My MVP in the final. “I really think if Jimmy (Morrill Jr.) had gotten him out a little sooner he could have won the second heat,” said Silverman, perhaps with an inflated sense of optimism.
This year’s Breeders Crown has returning champion brothers Sweet Lou (3YO CP) and Bettors Sweet (Open Pace) along with brother and sister Panther Hanover (3YO CP) and Power Pack Hanover (2YO FP), sisters Drop The Ball (Mare Pace) and Mattie Terror Girl (2YO FP), brother and sister Good Day Mate (2YO CP) and Put On A Show (Open Pace) and brothers Dress The Part (2YO CP) and Dapper Dude (3YO CP) all seeking the rare double.