Soldat returns to dirt at Gulfstream Park

SOLDAT (War Front), who broke his maiden in the grassy With Anticipation S. (G3) last summer, highlights a very intriguing allowance on the main track at Gulfstream Park Friday. Carded as the 9th race, the 1 1/8-mile test will feature a field of eight, and Soldat is eligible for the entry-level conditions with only one career victory.

Runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) most recently, Soldat recorded a second in the Pilgrim S. (G3) after rolling to a three-length score in the With Anticipation. McLaughlin nominated him to last Sunday's Dania Beach S. on turf, but decided to give the dark bay colt another shot on dirt.

The Kentucky-bred opened his racing career with a pair of runner-up finishes versus maiden special weight rivals on the main track at Belmont Park and Saratoga, and Soldat will be pointed toward the Kentucky Derby (G1) with a strong showing on Friday.

"He might be all right on dirt," McLaughlin said. "He finished second twice before he went to turf. We'll find out."

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