Seeking the Soul 'needed the race' en route to Breeders' Cup

By Brad Stephens
October 09, 2019 09:15am

When 6-year-old Seeking the Soul triumphed in Churchill Downs’ Stephen Foster (G2) backon June 15, he became the first U.S.-based runner to clinch a berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Trainer Dallas Stewart then went about charting Seeking the Soul’s path to the Santa Anita Park starting gates Nov. 2. Stewart originally hoped the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) run Aug. 17 could serve as Seeking the Soul’s final prep before the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

But the son of Perfect Soul suffered that day at Del Mar from an electrolyte imbalance known as the thumps. He ran seventh of 10 in the Pacific Classic as the 5-2 favorite and posted an 87 Equibase speed figure, his worst since an 82 all the way back during his 3-year-old season.

So Stewart recalibrated plans. He brought Seeking the Soul home to his Churchill Downs base, then shipped the Charles Fipke homebred back west, this time to Santa Anita.

Following a timed Santa Anita work Sept. 21, Seeking the Soul contested the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) there a week later. He came up fourth of six, 8½ lengths behind upset winner Mongolian Groom.

The Awesome Again didn’t net Seeking the Soul a memorable result, but Stewart thought the race was a helpful step on his Breeders’ Cup path.

“He was a little bit tired,” Stewart said. “… He was blowing real hard after the race. He wasn’t knocked out or anything, but he looked like he needed the race.”

Seeking the Soul can now approach the Breeders’ Cup Classic off the foundation of a race where he was unaffected by any physical issues like he was at Del Mar.

Stewart plans for Seeking the Soul to turn in three works before the Classic, with the first of those scheduled for Friday.

“We got him out there earlier, got some gallops, some work over the track, acclimated him,” Stewart said. “He’s doing very well. He’s happy. He’s eating well. He looks great.”

The Breeders’ Cup Classic picture is a cloudy one without a clear leader.

Code of Honor, Higher Power, Maximum Security, McKinzie and Mongolian Groom all have “Win and You’re In” berths like Seeking the Soul.  
Other potential starters include older males Vino Rosso and Yoshida; 3-year-olds Gray Magician, Math Wizard, Omaha Beach, Owendale, and War of Will; plus the mare, Elate.

There’s much to be sorted out among the rest of the Breeders’ Cup Classic field between now and Nov. 2. As for Seeking the Soul?

“He’s got a free roll for $6 million,” Stewart said.

2019 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1)


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