Going in to Saturday there were questions surrounding Soldat but the betting public didn’t seem to be asking. Leaving the gate as the 7-5 favorite, anyone who still had their hand up quickly got their answer. Soldat broke clean, took the lead and never looked back. Claiming his first win over a fast main track and the second victory of his three year old campaign, Soldat is headed down the right track on the trail to Churchill Downs. Next up: Florida Derby.
Coming out of the starting gate Soldat was a few steps slow and behind the 80-1 longshot leader El Grayling. However, as they went into the first turn, he was able to establish his position right with the leader. Once the time for the first half mile flashed in nearly :48 flat, the race was over. Soldat drew away, and maintained the moderate pace and as expected, To Honor and Serve was not ready to duel through the stretch. Gourmet Dinner put a nice run through the stretch but never threatened Soldat for top honors and had to settle for a nice 2nd place finish. As far as the also rans, Bowman’s Causeway improved to finish a solid fourth but his and many others Derby fortunes are up in the air.
Right now, it looks as if Soldat will push to the Florida Derby and Gourmet Dinner will either stay in town for the Florida Derby or head out to California for the Santa Anita Derby. Congrats to the winning connections, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and jockey Alan Garcia, good luck moving forward.
- Soldat $4.80 $3.00 $2.20
- Gourmet Dinner $6.00 $3.40
- To Honor and Serve $2.60
$2 Exacta – $13.80, $1 Trifecta – $18.80
The other big race of the day was won in dominating fashion by Flashpoint. There is no doubt that Crossbow deciding to skip the race in favor of a later date, possibly the Gotham Stakes in New York, had an affect on the race and most importantly, the pace. However, we should not take anything away from Flashpoint’s dominating 7 1/4 length victory over Travelin Man. These two ran away from the rest of the field and never looked back. Great ride by Cornelio Velasquez who flew into Florida from New York to take the mount for trainer Rick Dutrow. I don’t think that anyone from this race will be a legit Derby contender but we may see one or two connections wearing rose colored glasses come May. Congrats and hope to see these two on the Derby undercard.
- Flashpoint $15.80 $5.60 $4.20
- Travelin Man $2.60 $2.40
- Little Drama $10.00
$2 Exacta – $40.20, $1 Trifecta – $392.80
Final note: I would love nothing more than to say that it’s Nacho Business who won the 3rd race at Gulfstream; however, he was only able to grab second prize as his hard charging stretch run came up half a length short. The winner, Arch Traveler, sat behind the pace setter and was able to hold off Nacho Business and Washington’s Rules.
Written by: Fundanichols