Silver Label equals stakes mark in Lady Liberty

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Silver Label and driver Scott Zeron made a powerful move without cover on the final turn and powered to a stakes record-equaling 1:47.3 performance in the $171,400 Lady Liberty, for open pacing mares, at the Meadowlands on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 5).

The 4-year-old by Bettor’s Delight, owned and bred by Millar Farms, took home her second major stakes at the Meadowlands with her record-equaling performance coming after she captured the Perfect Sting in July.

The action was hot and heavy in the early stages, and Zeron was careful not to get involved through the opening portion of the race as Max Contract and Andy Miller left boldly with Boudoir Hanover on their outside. Miller forced his rival to take a seat in second through the :26.3 opening quarter. Zeron thought of leaving but settled in sixth, behind second-tier starter Kobe’s Gigi, in the opening bend.

After the early dust settled, second choice Grace Hill and Doug McNair made a quarter-pole move and were followed quickly by favored Test Of Faith and David Miller. Those two exchanged the lead, but Test Of Faith was under attack quickly by Kobe’s Gigi and Brian Sears. Kobe’s Gigi cleared to the lead following the :53.1 half and kept the motor running with a brisk :26.3 third quarter. Zeron had Silver Label moving sharply into that third-quarter sprint and Mikala unsuccessfully tried to follow it, leaving an opening for McNair and Grace Hill to slip out tidily and gain the eventual winner’s cover.

With three quarters timed in 1:19.4, the final quarter turned into a one-mare race as Silver Label strode out powerfully to an open-length lead in mid-stretch and held on by three-quarters of a length over runner-up Mikala and George Brennan. Grace Hill settled for third money, with Always B First and Test Of Faith finishing up the top five.

Silver Label, now a winner in seven of 12 starts during her 4-year-old campaign for trainer Nick Gallucci, pushed her career bankroll to $957,369.

“She doesn’t mind being first-up,” said Zeron in the winner’s circle, reflecting on her victory in the Perfect Sting captured in almost identical fashion. “She raced super.”

Silver Label equaled Put On A Show’s 1:47.3 clocking taken in the 2012 edition of the race.

As a 4-1 shot, Silver Label returned $10.60 to win.