DEL MAR — The long-term future for Silver Charm is unclear, but the short term is definite: There'll be no $1-million Pacific Classic for the 4-year-old colt.
In the aftermath of his implausible last-place finish Saturday in the $250,500 San Diego Handicap, Silver Charm was checked over Sunday at the barn and his veterinarian, Vince Baker, could offer no physical explanation for the defeat of the 3-10 favorite.
Silver Charm bled slightly in the race, but trainer Bob Baffert could not use that as a reason for the colt's dull effort. Silver Charm has bled slightly in races before, including last year's Belmont Stakes, when a second-place finish to Touch Gold cost him a sweep of the Triple Crown.
Baffert pointed to his hair while sitting in a box seat near the finish line Sunday, not long before he saddled Magical Allure, an undefeated filly who won the $108,900 Fleet Treat Stakes. "I had a few dark hairs left," Baffert said. "Now they're all completely white."
Bringing up the rear in a five-horse field, Silver Charm ended a streak in which he had finished first or second in all 14 of his starts.
"The Pacific Classic [Aug. 15] is completely out," Baffert said. "I'm not even thinking about the Breeders' Cup [at Churchill Downs on Nov. 7]. I'm just thinking about getting the horse back to his old form. We're going to run some blood tests [today]. If that's all right, then we'll get him back to the track and see how he's doing. If he's not coming around in a week or so, then we'll forget about the rest of the year."
Baffert, who had closed down on Silver Charm after last year's Belmont, said that the colt hasn't trained the way he would have liked since he returned from winning the Dubai World Cup in March. Before Saturday, last year's Derby-Preakness winner had run second in a stake at Churchill Downs and missed the Hollywood Gold Cup because of a fever.
"We put him on a lot of antibiotics when he got that temperature," Baffert said. "I think that left us with a dull horse."
Bob Lewis, who races Silver Charm with his wife Beverly, said that no thought has been given to retiring the colt.
Horse Racing Notes
In addition to a broken collarbone, Laffit Pincay also cracked four ribs on the left side in a spill in Saturday's last race. Bob Meldahl, Pincay's agent, said the jockey was told that he'd be out for four to seven weeks. Meldahl, however, said Pincay has, "an outside chance of being back riding by the last week of the meet [which closes on Sept. 9]." Brice Blanc, unseated when his horse clipped Pincay in the rib cage, was sore and didn't ride Sunday, but he's due back today . . . . Red Earth, a horse Pincay would have ridden in Sunday's ninth race, broke down in the stretch and was euthanized after suffering a front-leg fracture. Jack Kaenel, who substituted for Pincay on Red Earth, was not injured and Paul Toscano, rider of a trailing horse that stumbled over Red Earth, was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for X-rays after complaining of neck pain. He was released a few hours later. . . . A year ago, Son Of A Pistol finished last in the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap, but Sunday the 6-year-old gelding won the six-furlong stake in 1:08, missing the Crosby record by one-fifth of a second and the track record by two-fifths. Son Of A Pistol, an even-money favorite ridden by Alex Solis, won his third straight for trainer Bruce Headley.