07/18/2013 1:47PM

Del Mar: Eddie Read U.S. debut for French import Sofast

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Sofast ran against many of France’s top horses in major stakes in May. He is not facing America’s best turf horses when he makes his first start in this country in Saturday’s $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar.

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

Imported earlier this month, Sofast has been with new trainer Gary Mandella since July 10. A quick turnaround from the transatlantic flight to the Grade 1 Eddie Read is a slight concern for Mandella, who says he is eager to start Sofast.

“If I’d do it the traditional way, I’d wait,” Mandella said. “Some European horses need time to adapt. He’s taken everything in stride.”

Sofast is part of a 10-horse field in the Eddie Read, run at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The field includes Lucayan, who won the French 2000 Guineas in 2012; Jeranimo, winner of the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in 2012; and Middie, who was third in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in May behind reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan.

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Sofast, a 4-year-old colt by Rock of Gibraltar, races for Alain and Gerard Wertheimer. Trained in France by Freddie Head, Sofast was third in the Group 2 Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud on May 1. Sofast was the last of seven in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Longchamp on May 26.

The d’Ispahan drew a strong field. Race winner Maxios was second in the Group 1 Prix Ganay in April and sixth in a tough running of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Runner-up Planteur was third in the $10 million Dubai World Cup in March behind American star Animal Kingdom.

Head, who trained Goldikova to three consecutive wins in the Breeders’ Cup Mile from 2008-2010, urged Mandella to start Sofast in the Read.

“Freddie Head said he definitely thinks he can run a mile and an eighth in this country on firm ground,” Mandella said.

One of Sofast’s main competitors will be Slim Shadey, winner of three Grade 2 races at 1 1/4 miles on turf, including the San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita in February. Slim Shadey has been fifth or sixth in his last three starts, but trainer Simon Callaghan said the 5-year-old gelding is capable of rebounding.

“He’s likely to throw in one or two clunkers,” Callaghan said. “At least he can win when it goes right. If he can get to the front, he’ll do well.”

Slim Shadey was sixth in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 8.

“It was one of those days that things didn’t work out for him,” Callaghan said. “He was slow away and got a little pressure.”

Fed Biz, trained by Bob Baffert, figures to race near the front. A 4-year-old Giant’s Causeway colt, Fed Biz was third in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile on turf at Santa Anita in March.

Lucayan and Jeranimo are capable of winning on their best races. Lucayan was second to top local turf miler Obviously in the Grade 2 American Handicap on May 25, but last of five behind Obviously in the Shoemaker Mile on June 29. Jeranimo, who won the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita in January, was fourth in the Shoemaker.

Micahdog More than 1 year ago
http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/videos/race-replays/USA/BHP/2013/5/25/8/race-8-at-betfair-hollywood-park-on-may-25-2013 8th Race # 10 Vagabond Shoes (IRE) deserves a look AT PRICE.
Jeff Byrd More than 1 year ago
I'm going with Sofast. He'll appreciate the Lasix and he looks like he might have bled in previous.
jttf More than 1 year ago
one horse started his career in south america and 5 others started their careers in england.
jttf More than 1 year ago
make that 6 horses started in england.
John Howland More than 1 year ago
Don't you mean Europe?
ted More than 1 year ago
Bad Bob's Fed Biz over Middie
Micahdog More than 1 year ago
MIcahdog's Turf Spot Plays. Two great PRICE shots on TURF at Delmar for Saturday you should consider: 5th Race # 11 Silver Hustler if gets in from AE list. 28.45 shedding 1 lb nets an 11.30. Post outside but when you get a price it's not so bad to the risk especially with Mr. Stevens in the irons. 8th Race G1 Eddie Read with no standout and very contentious # 10 Vagabond Shoes will be price (40-1 last time) went 22.8 inside with big middle move and almost makes the 11.35 cutoff at 11.37. Close enough IF PRICE. Need a fast pace in both these races.......so gotta use some judgement if YOU want to play. I am playing if prices there. If no price don't throw the dice. Great weekend to all.
Micahdog More than 1 year ago
5th Race # 11 SilverHustler was scratched per Equibase Entrys. Only PRICE TURF play remaininig is Delmar 8th Race Grade 1 # 10 Vagabond Shoes (IRE) with Espinoza up. Bad post and moving way up in class will provide price opportunity. 22.8 inside moving forward and closing in 22.95 point out IF we can get a fast pace. Wortha shot in my opinion.
ron breton More than 1 year ago
I see Chantal is back ...that wedding didn't last long ...what no Hollywood...to close to ex...let's see how long she lasts.....she's getting a little long in the tooth these days....maybe one win a month...Chantal I like you ..you made me money when you were with mike ...but I think your riding scared now ...but I hope you do well...in a month I will post if i'm wrong....
Matt More than 1 year ago
Lucayan Boom! Throw out his last and make reservations at your favorite restaurant for Saturday Night!
John More than 1 year ago
Fed Biz, "wire to wire "