Wise Dan's winning run came to an end at Keeneland when the Shadwell Turf Mile was switched to the Polytrack.
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America's reigning Horse of the Year was seeking his tenth straight victory but a torrential downpour sunk his chances and saw the Grade One contest switched from the turf course to the artificial track.
Eventual winner Silver Max made almost all of the running in the race that was contested over an extended mile due to the configuration of the Keeneland main track.
Silver Max adopted his customary position at the head of affairs under Robby Albarado, setting a lively pace while being chased by Hogy and Wise Dan.
On the second turn, Hogy could no longer keep pace, and wide-running Wise Dan moved boldly to challenge, but the leader easily had enough left to repel his challenge in the stretch.
Willcox Inn, never a threat to the top two, rallied to edge Winning Prize for third.
Wise Dan's trainer, Charlie LoPresti, didn't believe that either the change in distance or track were to blame for the reverse.
"No because he broke the track record here going a mile and an eighth. Maybe with the water on it, it was more sticky. That's what it looks like to me but I am not going to make any excuses. He ran a great race; he really did. Johnny said (Silver Max) won fair and square - he just got loose on the front end," he told www.keeneland.com
Jockey John Velazquez may have felt that the best horse won, but he didn't feel that his mount was at his best. "He ran a good race; he just didn't run his A game today. First time running on the Polytrack and it's really wet and it seemed like he was tiring from it today," he said.
"He couldn't seem to get his (footing). After that he kept trying. At the three-eighths pole, I thought I was going to be in control, that (running down Silver Max) was going to be easy, but when I went after him, he (Silver Max) started running again.
"It was only a matter of time whether (Wise Dan) would handle the track. He handled the track OK, but the track is different today -- a lot of water. He had to work harder. Other than that he kept trying and ran hard."
Winning rider Robby Albarado was delighted with his mount and believes that the horse has only just come to himself. "He's got such a high cruising speed. Dale [Romans, trainer] said 'Take it to them right away and let them catch you.'
"He's doing so well. The horse has been training forwardly - the best he's been doing since he started with him. Dale prepared him well this year with stretching his races out. He's a fresh horse."