By Rab Hagin
Her initiation into graded company was supposed to be tougher, but PURE SILVER ($217,200) won Saratoga’s $200,000 Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes more easily than ever, as the MISSION IMPAZIBLE juvenile filly romped by 9½ lengths as the top-weighted favorite among eight in the 6½-furlong event on Saturday, August 12. It was her third win in as many starts, all by open margins. Pure Silver is a homebred for Randy Gullatt’s Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC, which also raced Mission Impazible ($1,284,949) through a career that began with a winning juvenile debut and included Grade 2 victories as a 3-year-old and 4-year-old and close weight-conceding misses in Grade 1 events.
Winning trainer Todd Pletcher seemed impressed but not surprised with Pure Silver’s front-running Adirondack victory: “She won pretty convincingly. She’s pretty fast. She didn’t actually get away quite as easily as she normally does, but she made up for it quickly and got to the lead the right way. She kind of ran them off their feet from there.”
Asked about targeting Pure Silver for Saratoga’s Grade 1 Spinaway at seven furlongs on September 2, Pletcher responded affirmatively: “I think we’ll certainly take a look at it. She’s a filly who has carried her condition really well. Now having run three times, she looks fantastic.”
Jockey John Velazquez, who has been on board for all three of Pure Silver’s victories, including her front-running tally in Belmont’s Lynbrook Stakes 27 days earlier, confirmed Pletcher’s observations: “We expected to be on the lead. She did a good job settling around the turn and finished up really well.”
Pure Silver, who runs so smoothly and switches leads so quickly and effortlessly that those movements appear almost imperceptible, is Mission Impazible’s second stakes winner against open juvenile competition at a NYRA track, following 6¼-length Tremont Stakes winner SILVER MISSION, from Mission Impazible’s first crop, at Belmont in 2016. Her Adirondack victory boosted Mission Impazible, currently represented by three 2-year-old winners of five races (two stakes) at Belmont and Saratoga within a 51-day span, to among the top-five North American juvenile sires for 2017.
Reportedly “not sold” for $125,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2017 March sale of 2-year-olds despite an under tack show workout of 10-flat for a furlong, Pure Silver is the first starter produced from stakes winner Jehan. Twin Creeks had purchased Jehan for $150,000 as a 6-year-old broodmare prospect at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s 2012 February winter mixed sale. Although a useful and well-traveled sprinter who won twice on dirt, twice on turf, and once on all-weather, Jehan, did not break her maiden until she was a 3-year-old and did not score her single stakes victory (in the 25th of 28 career starts) until she was 5. Bred to Mission Impazible, the mare has become a Grade 2 producer.
At Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga sale of New York-bred preferred yearlings on Saturday and Sunday evenings, August 12-13, five Mission Impazible youngsters sold for $404,000, averaging $80,800, which was 68.7 percent higher than the average for Mission Impazible yearlings at the 2016 preferred sale.
Watch the race here: