E. Paul Robsham Stables LLC’s Soaring Stocks cruised around the final
turn and surged down the stretch to pass frontrunner Royal Currier in
the final strides of the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint and
score his first stakes victory.
In his first stakes attempt, the 4-year-old colt broke last after
bumping with Madman Diaries at the start, but jockey John Velazquez
quickly moved Soaring Stocks into third, racing off the pace of second
choice Royal Currier, who set fractional times of 22.02, 44.19, and
56.24, with Madman Diaries sitting in second. Velazquez made his move
going into the final turn to pass the fading Madman Diaries and overtake
Royal Currier down the stretch. Cajun Breeze and jockey Juan Leyva
closed down the stretch and slipped between Soaring Stocks and Royal
Currier near the wire, calling for a photo that showed Cajun Breeze up
for second and Royal Currier hanging on for third. The final time was
“The race set up absolutely perfectly,” Velazquez said. “He broke fast
enough to be not too far back and right in contention. I had to get busy
on him a little earlier than I would have liked to the way the track is
playing today but it didn’t seem to empty his tank. He had plenty left
when I asked him.”
The win for Velazquez was his second on the card.
Soaring Stocks entered the Sprint off a 2-length allowance win at
Gulfstream on January 12 for trainer Todd Pletcher, having raced in only
one other allowance and two maiden special weight races.
“He came out of his last race so well we thought he was up to coming
back in this spot,” Pletcher said. “This is a nice program for
Florida-breds, but this race came up very tough. We’ve always thought he
was a nice horse.”
His final odds for the Sprint were 4.50-1.
The 1.90-1 favorite Apriority and Zero Rate Policy, the top two
finishers by a nose in the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) on December 31,
battled each other throughout the race for the fourth and fifth
positions. Zero Rate Policy and rider Paco Lopez overtook Apriority and
jockey Luis Saez around the turn but failed to advance from fourth.
Apriority faded to seventh while going wide around the field on the
“Today he broke very, very good,” Saez said, referring to Apriority’s
improvement from a bad stumble out of the gate in the Mr. Prospector.
“When he was coming in the turn he tried to go a little out. In the
work, one week last, he was coming a little out, too. Today again.”