09/16/2013 2:08PM

Kentucky Downs: Derby second Golden Soul tries turf against full field

Barbara D. Livingston
Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul returns to first-level allowance spot Wednesday at Kentucky Downs, trying turf for the first time.

Dallas Stewart has heard the criticism in regard to his handling of Golden Soul. “They” say he should have settled for getting the colt through an allowance condition or two before overstepping his bounds in Grade 1 races such as the Haskell and Travers. Golden Soul was not a factor in either.

Still, Stewart laughs when recalling what some of these same people might have been saying after Golden Soul finished second at 34-1 behind Orb in the May 4 Kentucky Derby.

“I was hearing how smart I was after the Derby,” he said.

With or without urging from folks outside the arena, Stewart finally has entered Golden Soul in a first-level allowance. The spot, however, is not particularly easy, as it will present something new to the colt amid an oversubscribed field in the highlight of a Wednesday afternoon of racing at Kentucky Downs.

Golden Soul, with regular rider Robby Albarado aboard, will be making his grass debut as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in a 1 1/2-mile race at the turf-only track in south central Kentucky. The purse is $94,000 for horses eligible to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund, a group that includes Golden Soul.

“It’s probably a good thing to drop back when you’ve been getting beat up like we have,” said Stewart, who trains Golden Soul for owner-breeder Charles Fipke. “The purse is huge, and he worked well over the turf here [at Churchill Downs] earlier in the spring. It sure won’t hurt to try.”

The Golden Soul allowance is the 11th of 13 races on a card that includes three makeup races from the previous Wednesday, when a violent storm ended racing after four of 10 scheduled events. The other three lost races will be made up next Wednesday, Sept. 25, on another 13-race card that serves as the finale of a five-day meet.

For daylight to accommodate all those races, first post for each of the last two days has been moved up to 12:35 p.m. Central, one hour earlier than what had been used the first three programs.

Besides the 11th, four other allowances are on tap on a Wednesday card featuring rich purses and huge, extremely competitive fields:

◗ Race 5: Shadow Rock stretches out off a pair of solid efforts at Saratoga when facing the likes of Cougar Ridge and Jump for Kitten.

◗ Race 9: Monastic and Klisz are among the runners whose race last Wednesday was canceled because of the storm.

◗ Race 10: A couple of well-bred 3-year-old fillies, Neat Package and Liberated, are drawn to the outside as top contenders in this seven-furlong race.

◗ Race 12: Moonwalk is a lukewarm morning-line choice when seeking her first victory since she captured the Grade 3 Jessamine last fall at Keeneland at 36-1.

Also Wednesday, Kentucky Downs is hosting a handicapping contest offering this option as first prize: a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge or $5,000 cash. Entry fee is $100. More information is available on the track website, kentuckydowns.com.

ColoradoRobynC More than 1 year ago
Agree, Keeneland on the turf at maybe a mile, mile plus, up to mile and a quarter MAX.
P More than 1 year ago
Boy did that go over like a lead balloon with Golden Soul finishing a tired 9th on the turf. The track adds a lot of challenges over most turf course so Dallas should try it again but at Keeneland.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
His breeding is for turf and his daddy was a good turf horse and if not mistaken a GI winner on the turf. Let's hope he returns to form for Stewart in this much easier spot.
Fred Colon More than 1 year ago
His great granddaddy was the best damn horse I ever saw.
William More than 1 year ago
Very good choice!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Bustedbox2 More than 1 year ago
In years past, the Kentucky Downs meet was a great way to gain an insight into the turf races at Keeneland. I first became aware of Rochester, for example, after seeing him run up hill and down at the irregularly shaped Franklin course. Any horse who can run well over this testing course will think the manicured lawn at Keeneland is a walk in the park. John Holditch Birmingham, Alabama
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Should love turf.
John Karczewski More than 1 year ago
I thought the Haskell was a a bad choice, 1 1/8 on a speed favoring racetrack. Other than that I have no problem with the way this horse has been handled. I thought he should have run in the Virginia Derby in the lawn. I would have taken a shot at the Travers too if I was Stewart. There are only two 1 1/4 Grade 1 races on dirt exclusively for 3 y.o's and his horse finished 2nd in one of them why not try the other. I do feel like the fast pace and muddy track for the Derby definitely helped this one though, if not for that I don't think he would have ever hit the board. I believe this one is best suited for the turf and hope he does well in this allowance race, future races.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Should of started way earlier like after Belmont. Hope this is the right spot pedigree says yes. Derby, Belmont known career killers. Could be wash up, hope he is not. GO Golden Soul
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
Golden Soul's sire Perfect Soul (IRE) holds the one mile on turf track record at Keeneland. 1:33.54. Why not try that?