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Soldat Makes Much Anticipated Turf Return on Sunday

Soldat wins 2011 Fountain of Youth.
Soldat will make his return to the site of his finest moment when he goes to post in Sunday’s sixth race at Gulfstream Park, but trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s objective for his 4-year-old colt has changed from a year ago.
Last year, McLaughlin was determined to let Soldat prove himself on Gulfstream’s main track, over which he captured the Fountain of Youth (G2) to earn a shot in the Kentucky Derby. If his trainer has his way this year, Soldat will never see action on dirt again.
“We’re going to go on the turf Sunday and stay on the turf with him,” McLaughlin said. “We think he’s better on turf.”
Soldat followed up his Fountain of Youth triumph with a fifth-place finish in the Florida Derby (G1) and an 11th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby before being sidelined for the remainder of the year. As a 2-year-old, Soldat won the With Anticipation (G3) on the Saratoga turf and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs.
“He’s training very well,” McLaughlin said. “He’s a nice horse and we just hope he runs well in his first start back.
Soldat, who will be ridden by Javier Castellano for the first time, has been installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite in a field of eight entered in the 1 1/16-mile turf race.
McLaughlin left open a slight possibility that Soldat could run on dirt again sometime in the future.
“We might, but I hope not,” he said. “I hope he goes well on the turf and we find a lot of Grade 1s on the turf for him.”


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Older Comments about Soldat Makes Much Anticipated Turf Return on Sunday...

If this horse gets going in the right direction he could be our new Gio Ponte on turf. Always liked this horse, even though I used him as my derby long shot and he didnt pay!

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