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Making a successful switch from dirt to turf, Strike Silver flew down the center of the Keeneland grass course Sunday with a first-to-last winning move in the first running of the $200,000 Indian Summer Stakes.

The Mark Casse-trained son of Violence, who had jockey Julien Leparoux up in the familiar colors of John Oxley, earned a trip to the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint as a result.

Filly Chelsea Cloisters looked to have the 5 1/2-furlong Indian Summer won when she went by pace-setting longshot Mister Banjoman. But she tired and was caught in the final stride, beaten by a neck.

We had a trip that we didn’t expect,” Leparoux said. “I thought I was going to be close to the pace, but we got bumped a little bit leaving the gate so I was last and just bided my time. I made one run and it was a good one.”

Strike Silver’s final time was 1:05.00. He was off at 5-1 in a field of 12 2-year-olds.

In two previous starts, Strike Silver broke his maiden impressively at Churchill Downs before second in Saratoga’s Sanford Stakes (G3) also on the main track. Out of a Pulpit mare, he could still be a candidate to his the Kentucky Derby trail next year, as Flameaway took a similar path for the same connections.

For now, Strike Silver appears to have a reliable home on the turf. Opening splits of 21.68 and 45.25, along with a big turn of foot, set up his rally. A classy winner, he cost Oxley $275,000 at auction as a yearling.



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