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The Indefatigable Fort Silky

Fort Silky & driver Casey Leonard
Fort Silky & driver Casey Leonard
Maywood Park

The Illinois-bred pacer Fort Silky, who captured the 2013 Maywood Park Pacing Series, appears well on track to capture that title again this season.
The 8-year-old son of Ft Apache Hanover won the $25,000 Egyptian Stake on Aug. 29 at Maywood Park, stopping the timer in 1:50.4, which was just two-fifths of a second off the half-miler’s track record.

Handled comfortably by Casey Leonard and harnessed by trainer John Prentice, Fort Silky rolled to a two length victory last Friday night, leading from start to finish through fractions of :28.2, :56.1 and 1:23.1. The durable pacer posted a final panel brush of :27.2 to secure his fourth win of the year in 15 starts.

Fort Silky now has $78,131 in seasonal earnings and $664,350 in career earnings. Lifetime, he’s amassed 47 wins, 43 seconds and 28 thirds in 196 trips postward.

His most successful season was 2013, when he earned $289,075 from 35 starts that saw him win 17 times, and finish on the board in 31 of those starts. Fort Silky won multiple Invitationals last season at Balmoral as well as numerous Illinois-bred stakes.

Fort Silky has been the poster child for durability throughout his racing career—as he’s averaged 35 starts per year. Unraced as a 2-year-old, he won his first lifetime start, an overnight event on Feb. 18, 2009 at Balmoral Park when he posted a 1:58 clocking with Bobby Smolin in the sulky early in his 3-year-old season. He went on to score a 5-5-2 record from 35 starts that year, earning $48,693.

As a 4-year-old, Fort Silky added another $67,768 to his career coffers, with nine wins, six seconds and nine wins in 39 seasonal starts.

At age 5, he blossomed further, earning another $112,469 from 37 starts, that saw him win eight times with seven seconds and eight thirds. He lowered he career mark to 1:51 early in the season at Balmoral.

In 2012, at age six, he won four more races, with eight seconds and six third in 35 starts, adding another $68,214 to his bank account.

Fort Silky, who was foaled on April 23, 2006 at Walker Standardbreds in Sherman, IL., is the first of three foals out of the Silky Stallone mare Delectable p, 4, 1:54.4M ($190,350). The bay gelding is owned by John Prentice and Neva Jane Ikeler and was bred by John Prentice and Jerald Grevengoed.

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