Silvered Eyes Triumphs in Dash For Cash Futurity

(Saturday, October 19, 2002) - Silvered Eyes, a flashy gray 2-year-old Texas-bred gelding, powered home in the stretch to win Saturday’s Grade 1, $407,520 Dash For Cash Futurity before a crowd of 5,777 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The convincing neck victory over 7-5 favorite Eye Opening Episode gave legendary American Quarter Horse trainer Jack Brooks the first single-year sweep of both the Dash For Cash Futurity and Derby. On Friday night, his 3-year-old filly First Regards bagged the Grade 1, $149,700 Derby.

“That really tickles a man,” Brooks, 66, said. “I’m telling you, that’s hard to do. To win a Grade 1 any time is tough, but to win two like this, it’s really great.”

Silvered Eyes, the 5-1 third wagering choice in the field of 10 two-year-olds, ran the 400 yards over a “muddy” strip in :19.54 – a stakes record for the six-year-old race and the second-fastest 400 yards in Lone Star Park history (second only to Eyesa Special’s :19.48 in the 2000 Texas Classic Futurity). The time was good for a Speed Index of 102.

Eye Opening Episode broke quick from the gate and had a 1 ½-length lead over his nearest rival at the first call. Silvered Eyes, toting 122 pounds with Jacky Martin in the irons, broke in seventh position, but overcame the slow start to explode in the stretch for the win.

“I was ready confident 100 yards after leaving the gate,” Martin said. “My horse slipped and I think he grabbed a quarter, and looking at him after the race, it looks like he did. But he was running. [Eye Opening Episode] must have been in front us by two lengths, but my horse was really running. About 100 yards from the wire, he shifted gears. I was pretty confident we’d run [Eye Opening Episode] down. We went by him really easy. Silvered Eyes can run anybody down and tonight he really showed it. He really ran those last 200 yards.”

“Down the middle of the racetrack, I never thought he’d get there,” Brooks said. “But I know Jacky Martin, and if he’s on a horse that was live like this one, you never know. Jacky took dead aim. He’s quite a rider and made this horse come on. He sure pushed him and got him there.”

Silvered Eyes, fourth in the $1.8 million All American Futurity on Labor Day, collected his first stakes win and third victory in seven starts. It also was the first Grade 1 stakes win for 69-year-old owner Don Hill of Moore, Okla., a 20-year veteran of American Quarter Horse racing.

“Jacky told us the first time he rode him to wait until we stretched him out,” said Hill, who works in the plumbing, heating and air conditioning business. “This was great!”

The $163,008 winner’s share of the purse boosted Silvered Eyes’ earnings to $258,252. He paid $12.60 to win.
Runner-up Eye Opening Episode finished one length ahead of third-place finisher Manets Sixmoon Zoom. Moon Shake, Apollos Ten Bears, Snow Big Deal, Your Cash Treat, Storybook Lover, The Key to the Bank and 2-1 second betting choice Lipstick Memories completed the order of finish.

For the sixth time in as many years, the fastest qualifier to the lucrative race (Lipstick Memories) has failed to win the final.

Earlier on the card, favored Red Dog Leader won the $45,280 Dash For Cash Futurity Consolation by a half-length over Eye N the Dream in :19.68 (a Speed Index of 98). Juan Vazquez rode the winner for owners Bobby Cox and John Buchanan. The latter also trains the Texas-bred gelding.

“’The Dog’ finally ran like we thought he could,” Cox said.

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