Live Oak Plantation homebred Soup and Sandwich, a romping debut winner going 6 1/2-furlongs at Gulfstream Park last month, improved to 2-for-2 on Wednesday with an easy allowance/optional claiming win at Tampa Bay Downs for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse.
Soup and Sandwich was left to face just two rivals on the card's second race, contested at one mile and 40 yards, following the scratches of stablemate Comedy Town, Godolphin's Fleetridge and Top Gun Tommy for trainer Kelly Breen.
Soup and Sandwich and jockey Antonio Gallardo broke alertly from the inside stall and stalked the pace along the rail while in tight quarters through opening fractions of 24.19 and 49.01 for a half mile. On the turn, Soup and Sandwich spurted through inside of horses to seize the lead and, after completing six furlongs in 1:13.35, he extended the lead through the stretch while ducking out slightly under left-handed urging.
Soup and Sandwich finished 2 3/4-lengths clear of runner-up Foreman with Broadway another 7 3/4-lengths back in third. Returning $2.40 as the heavy favorite, Soup and Sandwich won in a final time of 1:39.65, which neared the track record.
Promising 3-year-old colt Soup and Sandwich returns to winner’s circle under watchful eye of trainer Mark Casse after winning the 2nd in 1:39.65, .79 seconds off mile-and-40 track record. Antonio Gallardo rode the Florida-bred, now 2-for-2, for Casse and breeder-owner Live Oak. pic.twitter.com/DxUiH4S6wK— Tampa Bay Downs (@TampaBayDownsFL) February 24, 2021
The victory garnered instant attention from oddsmakers in Las Vegas. Circa Sports opened Soup and Sandwich at 85-1 in its Kentucky Derby Futures book.
Soup and Sandwich earned an eye-catching 98 Brisnet Speed Rating in his 7 1/4-length debut win at Gulfstream on Jan. 28. Bred in Florida, the gray or roan colt is by top sire Into Mischief and is the first foal out of Souper Scoop, a twice-winning daughter of Tapit.
A stop on the road to the 2021 Kentucky Derby is likely next for Soup and Sandwich. While the local Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 6 could be too quick a turnaround, other potential targets include the March 27 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream or either the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct or Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland a week later.