broke his maiden in style Friday evening at Saratoga Race Course, stalking the
pacesetter and opening up in the stretch to win the sixth running of the Grade
3, $100,000 With Anticipation in his first start on turf.
As an eager Typhoon Slew led the
field through an opening quarter in 23.09, Soldat waited patiently a length
behind the front runner and remained there through a half mile in 47.97. Asked
for run at the quarter pole, he opened up through the stretch to cross the wire
three lengths in front of Powhatan County.
Soldat’s final time for the 1
1/16 miles was 1:41.37
“He really took to the grass,”
said winning jockey Alan Garcia. “Very impressive. When I asked him at the
quarter-pole, whoosh! He really took off.”
With the win, Soldat improved his
record to 1-2-0 from three starts and tripled his career earnings to $80,000 for
owners Harvey Clark and W. Craig Robertson, III.
“Steve Shahinian is Harvey
Clarke’s racing manager and he’s the one that suggested we nominate and take a
look [at this race],” said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “It was his idea,
so I have to give him credit. I thought if he liked the turf he could win this
all the same as a maiden.”
McLaughlin had breezed Soldat
once on the turf on August 13, and added that he was encouraged by that
four-furlong workout (47.50), as well as the colt’s breeding.
“I’m happy that it’s a War Front,
too, and for Harvey Clarke and Craig Robertson,” he added. “It’s a great
connection and War Front is a very nice freshman sire that I trained for awhile,
so I’m happy that he has his first graded stakes winner. War Front was by
Danzig, so there’s a lot of turf there and
[Soldat] worked well on it. We’ve always liked him. This was a great result
today; we’re happy.”
Finishing behind favored
County, who was bumped at
the start, were Typhoon Slew, Air Support, Silver Medallion, Kid Curry, Grigio,
Manchurian High, Sensational Slam and Lou Brissie.
Sent off as the 8-1 sixth choice
in the field of ten, Soldat returned $19.40. With the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
Turf on November 6 at Churchill Downs a possible target, McLaughlin said that
that Grade 3, $150,000 Pilgrim at Belmont Park on October 3 was “probably the
right spot [for the colt’s next start], if we have enough time.”