02/17/2016 1:09PM

Great Soul shows heart in Wide Country win

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
The 3-year-old filly Great Soul will point to the one-mile Caesar's Wish on March 12.

Trainer Tim Keefe has a nice prospect in Great Soul, the winner of Monday’s Wide Country Stakes, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies.

Great Soul is now 2 for 3 after overcoming a testing trip to take the Wide Country by a half-length. After bobbling at the start, she quickly recovered and moved up into a contending position along the inside. Jockey Trevor McCarthy had nowhere to go until the stretch, where he split horses and took her back down toward the rail. She continued with determination for the win.

“I’ve always been impressed with her, not only the way she trains but the way she conducts herself,” Keefe said. “She has that desire that you just can’t train into a horse. You can get them fit and keep them happy, but some horses have that deep-down desire to get there first.”

Great Soul, a daughter of Great Notion, was bred by her Pennsylvania-based owners, Steven and Jane Long. Great Soul is the first horse Keefe has trained for the Longs, and the Wide Country was their first stakes win as owners.

Keefe said he likely will point Great Soul to the $75,000 Caesar’s Wish, a one-mile race at Laurel on March 12. Keefe said that prior to the Wide Country, he thought seven furlongs might be her optimal distance, but he now is reconsidering that.

“She’s a big, strong horse, but Great Notion sires a lot of sprinters, and her mother was a sprinter,” Keefe said. “But when Trevor and I discussed the race, he thought she could handle stakes-caliber horses going a little further, so I’m not going to be close-minded on distance. Maybe she can get up to a mile and a sixteenth. We’ll have to see.”

Karen’s Silk uninjured

Karen’s Silk, the Wide Country favorite, who weakened to finish fourth after making a four-wide bid into the stretch, fell during the gallop-out. On Tuesday, trainer Michael Dilger said she was not badly hurt. Jockey Jevian Toledo came back to ride the next race.

“Jevian said she just got tangled up and fell,” Dilger said. “They gave her an ambulance ride back to the barn, but she seems fine this morning. She has a few cuts and bruises, but that’s all.”