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 Picture : Ryan Munger wins on Silent Miracle in his first ever ride in Canada back in May   and he is now set to ride him in the prestigious King’s Plate on Sunday at Woodbine. (Photo: Mike Burns).

Ryan Munger emigrated to Canada recently and in his first ride on May 6 won on a horse called Silent Miracle. There was more attention given in South African to Ryan’s winning debut, but in fact the horse he rode to victory has a great story behind him and was given the name Silent Miracle for good reason. Ryan was allowed to continue his association with Silent Miracle despite initially getting the ride only because the horse’s regular rider Kazushi Kimura was riding that weekend in the Kentucky Derby. Silent Miracle is among the 18 probables for next Sunday’s King’s Plate, a three-year-old event  run over a mile and two furlongs for a stake of one million Canadian dollars. It forms the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. It’s first running in 1860 was just one year prior to the first running of South Africa’s oldest existing race, the L’Ormarins King’s Plate. The King’s Plate is the oldest continuously run race in North America. The declarations have not been done yet, but Munger is likely to be aboard Silent Miracle having ridden him in all three of his three-year-old starts, including two victories.  

Tony Romanelli, the owner and breeder of Silent Miracle, wrote the below article about Silent Miracle for which puts into perspective the odds the horse has overcome.   

By: Tony Romanelli | August 11, 2023

I am a long-time horse owner ‒ and I will have a horse in the King’s Plate.

Like all horses are special, this one is really special to me. He is out of a mare that has been beloved by my family from the minute we bought her in Kentucky 10 years ago. I raced her and retired her and she lives on our farm in Bobcaygeon. Her farm name is Mini, her race name is Broken Meadow; she is so kind and sweet.

This King’s Plate hopeful was the first horse I bred out of her, and my first attempt at breeding.

But it was not easy. She had a complicated birth and the foal lost oxygen and was born a dummy foal. The farm, Dan Mooney Huntington Stud, called me and asked me and my trainer if we wanted to try to save it, and we said ‘do want you can.’ It was touch-and-go for a few months, but the colt was on a healthy path to survival, even though it was bottle-fed.

But the battle was not yet over. When the horse was finally able to be turned out in the paddock, you could see that one leg was basically on a 90-degree angle. That is not good for any horse, especially one that you want to run fast!

The farm manager said ‘well, at least it will make a good pony.’ That is not something you want to hear when you are breeding a racehorse, but it made my daughter smile as she loves the mother and wanted to see the baby as a pony on the farm. The farm manager promised to do all he could with the farrier to help straighten him out as much as he could every month. As time went on his leg got a little straighter, but not race horse straight.

A mare and foal in a stall.Fuzzer started life against the odds as a bandy-legged dummy foal, seen with his dam Broken Meadow. (photo courtesy Tony Romanelli)

When he got to the end of his yearling year, my trainer came to see him and suggested we break him and get ready for riding and see how it goes. I was really not sure it was wise to do so, but he convinced me. Every month he trained, the better he got. Despite some stops and starts, he was training so well we thought we were going to make the races. Crazy!

As a two-year-old he was entered in a race. As you know, it’s hard to get even the most perfect horse to the races at that age. We were so excited to see him run. His first race he ran third; he never got out of gate but came running at the end.

We did something that you wouldn’t normally do and ran him back less than a week later. My trainer said he didn’t even come back breathing hard after the race. He suggested he try a longer race the following week; he won it easily. That was end of 2022.

In 2023 he has run three races and won two, most importantly the last one which was a long distance test that he passed with flying colours. The King’s Plate is the longest race for three-year-olds and it’s the only chance you get as a horse owner, as they are only three years old once! So they need to be their best that day and have all the luck on their side.

I named the horse Silent Miracle as he quietly became a top race horse. The sire’s name is Silent Name, so it’s respect to him as well. His nickname is Fuzzer because he never lost his baby hair.

I am hoping to have a ‘miracle’ on King’s Plate day. I said to Dan Mooney, the man who delivered Silent Miracle, that I would be sure to mention him in my King’s Plate speech. He’s been following the horse and congratulating me after every win.

I am so excited and can’t wait to see what the day will bring. Win or lose, Silent Miracle is very special for lots of reasons.

Tony Romanelli

RCC Racing Stable Ltd.