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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Remember Soldat? He’s Back

Remember early last year when the strapping dark bay colt Soldat was all the rage in South Florida? A romping and highly rated allowance win in January was followed by a rather easy victory in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. The good looking colt by War Front out of the Coronado’s Quest mare, Le Relais rocketed up Kentucky Derby lists everywhere.

 

Sent off as the 3-2 chalk against the likes of Dialed In, Shackleford, and To Honor and Serve, the speedy Soldat was held off the lead and would finish a non-threatening 5th in the million dollar, Florida Derby, but still many an expert tabbed him as a real threat in the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Near the lead early, he would back out to finish up in the middle of the pack, but I remember thinking that week he was one of the most impressive looking horses in the field. I wondered what he could do when placed back on the turf.

 

That question would not be answered anytime quickly, as the Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt was besieged by physical setbacks. Foot problems and then other minor physical issues kept him away from the races for the rest of last year. His health seemed to be restored this winter as positive reports came out of the Palm Meadows training center in advance of his return. Facing seven rivals in a grassy optional claiming event at Gulfstream Park on March 4 of this year, Soldat looked every bit his old self.

 

In his first race in ten months, Soldat was an impressive three-length winner in the solid time of 1:41.18 for the 1 1/16 miles on firm going. It looked like he was primed to be a major player on the American turf scene this year, as major races this spring in Kentucky were planned for the colt owned by Harvey Clarke, W. Craig Robertson III, Paul Braverman, and Namcook Stables.

 

A soft-tissue setback would once again put a hold on big Soldat dreams, however; and again his fans would find themselves waiting for the colt that has finished first or second in eight of his ten starts to make it back to the races. Now the wait is almost over.

 

After a series of solid workouts in New York, Soldat will return to the races on Saturday at Aqueduct in the If Winter Comes Stakes. The 1 1/16 mile listed turf race has attracted a full field of salty older turf horses, but if Soldat runs to his ability, the rest might be running for second place.

 

It seems like a long time ago since the promising youngster easily won the Grade 3 With Anticipation Stakes in his first ever run on the grass. When he followed that up two races later with a strong second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, it looked like a promising grass career was well on its way. With a serious run on the Kentucky Derby trail, as well as, several physical setbacks, now in the rearview mirror, it may be finally time to see what Soldat, the turf horse can do. 

 

 

 

 

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Older Comments about Remember Soldat? He’s Back ...

Well TV I think it's about time for them to learn, obvisously some connections fail miserably at it.
funny, horses don't know how to read condition books and don't have any idea who they run against, they just run to their ability and form cycle.
People have no faith here. I am extremely happy to hear horse's coming back. Best of luck to the Soldat's crew.
Needs a drop in class for sure
I cannot recall the number of times I have heard "We'll just put these on today to make them all THINK there is some problem." when there wasn't.
Today, Soldat = Super Flat. First time front wraps was not a good sign.
joes blazing
McLaughlin is an good one to bring a horse back from injury.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 

Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also consults for Derby Wars, is on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.  

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