Silent Pleasure Beats Bob and John in $300,000 Texas Mile

(April 28, 2007) - Silent Pleasure went straight to the front and gamely fought off a late charge from 4-5 favorite Bob and John to win Saturday's Grade III, $300,000 Texas Mile by a neck at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. It was the third consecutive stakes win for the Louisiana-based 4-year-old son of Real Quiet.

Silent Pleasure, ridden by jockey Tracy Hebert, ran one mile in 1:35.39 - the third-fastest Texas Mile in 11 runnings of the race. He paid $5.80 to win as the 9-5 second betting choice in the field of six older horses and earned $185,000 for trainer Howard Scarberry of Benton, Louisiana. Scarberry, who collected the first graded stakes win of his career, also owns the horse with his wife Penny.

Silent Pleasure, Wait in Line and Stockholder were hustled from the start and raced three in a line down the backstretch through fractions of :23.02, :45.76 and 1:10.22. Bob and John, the winner of last year's Wood Memorial who was making his first start in nearly eight months, waited patiently behind the pace-setting trio. On the turn for home, Silent Pleasure inched clear as Bob and John made a strong move from the outside and the two battled head-and-head down the stretch. In the final yards, Silent Pleasure inched clear along the rail under Hebert's left-handed urging.

"I watched Pat Day and Jerry Bailey for years, and they always waited until the last possible moment to go to the left-handed whip," said Hebert, who collected the biggest win of his 26-year career. "I did that in the last 50 yards, and he gave me something more. I knew they'd have to fight to get by him; he was doing it so easy."

"Bob and John tried to make a race of it with a strong move on the turn, but the winner wouldn't let us by," said Victor Espinoza, who rode Bob and John for trainer Bob Baffert and Bob and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable.

"You've got to give a lot of credit to the winner," Baffert said. "That's a nice horse who is going good right now. I'm disappointed in the loss, but he ran well off the layoff and never gave up. I guess it was just my Lone Star Park Real Quiet curse revisited."

Baffert brought Real Quiet, the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, to Lone Star Park for the 1999 Texas Mile and was upset by Littlebitlively, who won the race for a second consecutive year.

Scarberry said Silent Pleasure, who improved his record to 15-6-1-2-$396,555, was likely to return to Lone Star for the Grade III, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. Baffert hinted that Bob and John could return as well, but he'd also nominate C'mon Tiger and last year's Lone Star Derby winner Wanna Runner, who is preparing for a return to the races.

The Texas Mile was one of four stakes Saturday that served as preps for more lucrative Memorial Day stakes that comprise Lone Star Park's ninth annual Lone Star Million. An on-track crowd of 15,203 also watched Carolina Sky win the $60,000 Irving Distaff, Texas-bred champion Wrenice beat graded stakes winner Richwoman in the $50,000 Richland Hills Stakes and trainer Steve Asmussen run one-two for the second time in three years in the $60,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge with 3-year-olds Beta Capo and Western Prize.

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