Trainer Sharon Boland.
Although Perfect Silent Cat entered Saturday’s $60,000 Aventura at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., as a maiden, trainer Sharon Boland had a high level of confidence in the son of Tale of the Cat.
“I knew what I had,” Boland said. “You can make those moves when you know what you have running for you.”
Perfect Silent Cat rewarded Boland’s faith by providing her with her first stakes victory on her own, although she is hardly a newcomer to the stakes game.
The daughter of Bill Boland, the Hall of Fame jockey who won the 1950 Kentucky Derby aboard Middleground, Sharon has been training and working with horses for more than 30 years.
“Unfortunately, because my father was a steward, they wouldn’t let me run horses in my name. In those days, they thought it was a conflict of interest, so I took a back seat and let my [then] husband [multiple graded stakes-winning trainer Anthony Mitchell] run them in his name,” said Boland, who has 21 horses stabled at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, in her second year of training her own public stable.”
The Charles Fipke-bred Perfect Silent Cat ($27.20) was purchased for $6,000 in February at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Mixed Sale by Shamrock Highlands Thoroughbreds.
“The owner is a new client who bought him and brought him to our stable. We couldn’t figure why he slipped through the cracks,” said Boland, whose 89-year-old father lives in Palm Coast, Fla., and plays golf frequently. “We found a few little things we were able to fix, and from the second we fixed his little issues, he’s been a 100-percent performer who gives you everything. He’s the nicest colt I’ve been around – just a class act.”
Perfect Silent Cat had run three prior races – an off-the-board debut on dirt, a third-place finish on turf, and a runner-up finish in the June 26 Not Surprising Stakes over a yielding Gulfstream turf course last time out. The Kentucky-bred colt was the beneficiary of a perfect trip under Luca Panici, pressing the pace outside Rabdan past fractions of :24.47 and :48.04 seconds for the first half mile of the mile overnight handicap before drawing away to a three-length score.
Perfect Silent Cat carried the low weight of 114 pounds, 10 fewer pounds than highweight Papetu, the 1-5 favorite who finished fourth following a rough trip in traffic. Perfect Silent Cat ran a mile over a sealed sloppy track in 1:36.35. Emperor’s Cause finished second following a three-wide trip, a neck ahead of a tiring Rabdan, who was 1 ¼ lengths clear of Papetu, who had captured the Carry Back Stakes in his prior start.
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