Silver Dust Digs In For Mineshaft Repeat
2/15/2020 - Silver Dust with Brian Hernande, Jr. aboard wins the 35th running of the Grade III Mineshaft Stakes at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir
Tom Durant's Silver Dust has now won back-to-back editions of the G3 Mineshaft Stakes at the Fair Grounds, capturing this Saturday's contest by three-quarters of a length over Gun It. The 6-year-old son of Tapit ran 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:43.40, living up to his 9-5 favoritism. Brian Hernandez, Jr. rode the gelding to his second win in a row for trainer Bret Calhoun.
Silver Dust was well-placed early just a few lengths off the leaders, saving ground along the rail in the first turn. Hernandez took him three-wide at the three-eighths pole to make his bid, and he was able to put away the game frontrunner Pirate's Punch in the lane. Gun It came rolling late on the wrong lead, but was unable to sustain his momentum and had to settle for second when Silver Dust crossed the line three-quarters of a length the best. Pirate's Punch held third, and Captivating Moon was fourth.
Making his 2020 debut and first start since July 2019, Hofburg faded in the stretch and finished near the rear of the field.
Bred in Kentucky by the Don Alberto Corporation, Silver Dust is out of the stakes-winning Hard Spun mare Filare d'Oro. A $510,000 2-year-old purchase at the OBS March sale, Silver Dust struggled to find consistency in the early part of his career but started to round into his best form last year. The 2019 Mineshaft was his first graded stakes win, and the gelding has since added the G3 West Virginia Governor's Stakes and the G3 Louisiana Stakes to his resume. Overall, Silver Dust owns wins in seven of his 26 starts for earnings of over $820,000.