Silent Bird battled all the way to earn his initial graded victory in Saturday’s $100,690 Midnight Lute (G3) at Santa Anita, prevailing by a neck in a three-horse photo. Owned by Norman Stables LLC, the Mark Glatt-trained horse was guided through 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.03 by Kent Desormeaux.
Adding blinkers, Silent Bird didn’t break sharply but Desormeaux hustled the 5-year-old up the inside to challenge for the early lead, dueling through splits of :22.18 and :44.75 with even-money favorite Americanize. The bay son of Summer Bird angled toward the rail in upper stretch while continuing to battle with Americanize and Tough Sunday came rallying on the far outside to make it a three-horse affair in deep stretch.
It came down to the final strides and the winner proved extremely game. Silent Bird left the starting gate as the 3-1 third choice among seven runners.
Tough Sunday, who was off at 12-1 in his second start of 2017, edged Americanize by a nose for second. It was another 1 ½ lengths back to the 5-2 Calculator in fourth. Solid Wager, Ike Walker and Ohio completed the order of finish. Masochistic and Smokey Image was scratched.
Silent Bird, who will be age 6 in a couple of days, increased his bankroll to $316,800 from a 9-6-1-1 record. The lightly-raced horse finished second when making his career debut late in his 3-year-old season and then reeled off five straight wins over a 12-month span, including the 2016 Damascus.
After opening 2017 with an allowance/optional claiming score, he finished fourth in the Triple Bend (G1) in mid-March. Silent Bird came back from a 5 ½-month layoff with a third in the August 26 Pat O’Brien (G2) and entered the Midnight Lute off a 126-day freshening.
“Well, I’ll tell you, full credit goes to Mark Glatt for this win,” Desormeaux said. “Silent Bird popped an abscess and was given the time off that he needed. Mark said to be careful out of the gate and that he could be sluggish and he was right. I had to ride him hard for a good 100 yards out of there.”
Bred in Kentucky by JMI, Silent Bird was purchased for $40,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. He’s out of the Grade 3-placed Saint Ballado mare Rutledge Ballado and is a half-brother to the stakes-winning filly A Brilliant Idea.