Several Indiana sired horses were scattered throughout the Tuesday, Feb. 6 racing program at Yonkers in the Stake Your Claim series, featuring claimers of all levels. Two of the events were won by Indiana horses as Pure Silky and Bluebird Graf grabbed wins in their respective events to kick off the four-week series featuring three preliminary rounds followed by a final.
Pure Silky was the first to grab the spotlight in the event for $50,000 claimers. Three horses left for the lead and she got the best of Anneliese Hanover and Steve Smith and Sheikh Yabooty N and Brent Holland. All three horses left the for lead in a rush. Austin Siegelman slid Pure Silky over to the lead, passing by the quarter in :27.0 before slowing the tempo down at the half in :56.2. Heading to the three-quarters, Teracita and Jason Bartlett led the charge on the outside as the race favorite and gave Pure Silky some incentive to kick into another gear. The mare held her own inside and by the time the field had hit the top of the stretch, she was in full control.
Pure Silky dug in gamely and defended her top spot to score the win by two lengths at the wire in 1:55.1. Anneliese Hanover finished second after making a break earlier in the race. Teracita finished third over a fast closing Pink Ruby, also an Indiana sired product, for third.
Pure Silky paid $19.60 for the win. The five-year-old daughter of Tellitlikeitis is now owned by William Hartt of Maine and trained by Lance Hudson. Merlie Schwartz bred the mare, who earned her first win of 2024 and her 16th overall.
Pure Silky began her career on the Indiana Sired Fair Circuit for the Doug Rideout Stable, winning all four of her two-year-old starts. She returned as a three-year-old and stepped up her performances on the pari-mutuel level, even competing in Indiana Sires Stakes action. She joined the Hudson stable at the end of her three-year-old season and has been out East since that move, even competing in Yonkers Fillies and Mares Open. Overall, she has earned more than $211,000 with her career best time taken last year as a four-year-old at Pocono Downs in 1:51.2. Her win in the first round of the Stake Your Claim Series was the first time Siegelman had driven the mare.
Joining Pure Silky as a winner in the series was Bluebird Graf, who took a division of the $20,000 Stake Your Claim Series with George Brennan in the bike. The four-year-old Always a Virgin mare sat third early on before being flushed out at the three-quarters and pursuing the top spot all the way to the wire for the win in 1:56.0. Pleasure Seeker and Brent Holland finished three-quarters of a length back in second over Meadowbrook Jenny, a daughter of Rockin Image, who was guided to third by Yannick Gingras.
Bluebird Graf paid $9.20 for the win. She is owned by Triple D Stables Inc. and JFE Enterprise. Daryl Miller of Blue Bird Meadows bred the mare, who now has nine wins and nearly $80,000 on her card. Her career best time of 1:52.3 was taken last summer at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Bluebird Graf has some famous bloodlines. She is a half sister to the standout Indiana mare Rockin Serena, who took a mark of 1:51.0 and earned more than $411,000 during her career for the Peter Wrenn barn. She is now a brood mare herself and so far is a 100 percent producer. She has five fillies, all by Fear the Dragon. Three are of racing age with Stormy Serena her quickest at 1:52.1. She has a two-year-old for 2024 named Fear Danie and a yearling named Serene Dragon.