Silverbulletday in the Winners Circle after the 1998 BC Juvenile Fillies.  Photo by Barbara Livingston.

Silverbulletday in the Winners' Circle after the 1998 BC Juvenile Fillies. Photo by Barbara Livingston.

I cannot stress how much I love Silverbulletday.  She won practically every time she raced with style and speed.  Bob Baffert trained her, and in those days Bob could do no wrong in my eyes.  I had a SBD hat, decorated my binders with her photos (cropped from the covers of my new Bloodhorse subscription).  To this day I insist that it is her image in the NTRA logo(like we all know it is Jerry West in the NBA version).

 Her 1998 BC Juvenile Fillies win clinched an Eclipse for her and set her up for an awesome 3yo campaign.

In this race, Miss Bullet stalked a quick Confessional into the final turn, then, in her trademark move, blew past her rivals to snatch the lead.  She held off her fast-closing stablemate Excellent Meeting to win by three quarters of a length.  The chestnut filly Three Ring ran 3rd.  I was elated. 

This race was a preview of the ’99 three year old season.  That year, Silverbulletday went undefeated against her class, winning the KY Oaks, Black-Eyed Susan, Alabama and Gazelle, among others. 

Excellent Meeting was a big, rangy filly, and after her narrow defeat in the BC, she went on a 4-race win streak, taking the Hollywood Starlet, Las Virgenes, Santa Anita Oaks and the Fantasy Stakes at (my hometrack) Oaklawn Park.  Baffert, in all his wisdom, decided to run EM in the ’99 KY Derby.  She ran as part of an entry with the gelding General Challenge.  Three Ring also contested the Derby after dominating performances in the Davona Dale and Bonnie Miss stakes.

The “Demolition Derby” of 1999 was one of the slowest, messiest traffic jams in the history of the race.  Excellent Meeting was jostled around terribly but still managed to run 5th, far ahead of General Challenge.  Three Ring’s saddle slipped during the bumper cars and retreated to last of 19.

The other TC races also featured these top 2 fillies:  Excellent Meeting contested the Preakness but was pulled up.  Baffert then sent his star, Miss Bullet, to the Belmont.  I was not totally on board with Bob’s decision – yes, my devotion was tested!  But I believed in Silverbulletday!  She didn’t disappoint, setting the quick early pace in the Belmont that cooked Charismatic.  The Derby winner injured his leg long after Lemon Drop Kid and Vision and Verse passed him. 

Silverbulletday returned to the distaff division after the Belmont and won 2 stakes before finally meeting her match in Beautiful Pleasure in the Beldame and BC Distaff.   She was awarded the Eclipse for Champion 3yo filly by a unanimous vote, the first time I had ever heard of that happening. 

Excellent Meeting placed in a few stakes at 4.  EM was bred to Storm Cat and produced 2 foals by him before her death in 2004. 

After her disasterous Derby, Three Ring won the 1999 Acorn by a neck over Better Than Honor, the future Blue Hen mare.  She was in the Belmont saddling area before the Mother Goose Stakes when she suddenly reared and flipped over, striking her head on the ground.  Her injury was so severe that vets could not save her.  It was a tragic end for a beautiful and talented filly. 

Silverbulletday now lives at Hill and Dale farm, where she has produced foals by AP Indy, Storm Cat and Vindication.  So far, none of them have been as brilliant as their mom.


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Filed under Breeders' Cup, favorite races, Underrated Racehorses

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