Fern Circle Stables’ Stronger Than Ever was sent off at 33-1 in Fair Grounds’ $148,500 Silverbulletday but dug in to defeat even-money favorite Wonder Gadot when securing a neck victory over that rival on Saturday.
The Silverbulletday is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races, and awarded Stronger Than Ever with 10 points toward a starting berth in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (G1). The Kenny McPeek trainee debuted on the Oaks Leaderboard in 11th.
Stronger Than Ever stopped the clock in 1:44.28 for a mile-and-70 yards over the fast main track at Fair Grounds under Florent Geroux, and returned $68.40 for her first stakes win. The Kentucky-bred lass broke her maiden at Churchill Downs last September and showed up at Keeneland the next month for an allowance/optional claiming victory.
Stronger Than Ever made her black-type bow in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) under the Twin Spires, but could only manage a seventh-placing. She then shipped to Remington Park to close out her juvenile campaign with a third-placing in the Trapeze Stakes. The filly improved her career record to 5-3-0-1, $174,846, with the Silverbulletday win.
Wonder Gadot was cross-entered to Saturday’s Lecomte Stakes (G3) a couple races later at Fair Grounds, but trainer Mark Casse opted to keep the Medaglia d’Oro miss in the Silverbulletday. The dark bay filly stalked early pacesetter Shes Our Fastest through the opening half-mile before taking command, but couldn’t turn back Stronger Than Ever in the lane. She earned four points toward the Kentucky Oaks and moved into second place on the Leaderboard with 14 total points.
Missive finished another 4 1/2 lengths behind in third at 23-1 while trying stakes company for the first time in her career. The Alternation sophomore took home two points, good for 26th on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard.
Blonde Bomber entered this spot off a third-placing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and ran fourth, 1 3/4 lengths adrift of Missive. She now sits in 12th on the Oaks Leaderboard with five total points after picking up one point in the Silverbulletday.