08/06/2015 10:56AM

Soaring Softly highlights competitive Florida Sire Stakes undercard

Luis Rangel
Ninfa Del Cielo won the Filly Triple Crown in her native Venezuela.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – From a horseplayer’s viewpoint, races don’t get a whole lot better than the Soaring Softly.

A full field of 14 filly-and-mare turfers will go a mile on grass in what shapes up as the best betting race of the “Summer Soiree” card that the Gulfstream racing office has assembled for Saturday.

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Ninfa Del Cielo, a Venezuelan champion, and Maid On a Mission, a recent private purchase by Loooch Racing, are just two of the major players in the Soaring Softly, which comes strategically carded late in the afternoon as the 10th of 12 races. The uncoupled Marty Wolfson pair of E B Ryder and Lori’s Store are among the other logical choices.

Here’s a quick rundown of the three stakes that serve to support the Florida Sire Stakes series:

$75,000 Soaring Softly (race 10, post 5:26 p.m. Eastern): Ninfa Del Cielo, the winner of the Filly Triple Crown in her homeland, is the obvious wild card in a race with plenty of pace and a boatload of possible outcomes. After 13 Gulfstream works upon being imported to the U.S., trainer Oscar Gonzalez said this week: “I am very pleased with her. She is a great filly. We will see how she can do in this country.”

Maid On a Mission was considered for the Grade 1 Beverly D. next Saturday at Arlington Park, but a more conservative route has been chosen as Peter Walder assumes her training.

$75,000 Eight Miles East (race 4, post 2:14): Cleverly named for the location of Gulfstream in relation to former Florida Stallion Stakes site Calder (now Gulfstream Park West), this 1 1/16-mile turf race probably will have the grizzled speedster Joes Blazing Aaron as the horse to catch for Loooch and Walder.

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Challengers in a main-body lineup of eight include a 3-year-old, My Point Exactly, as well as Golden Rifle and Chilean import Aire Bueno, the respective one-two finishers in a turf allowance here May 28.

$75,000 Jackson Bend (race 3, post 1:44): The first of the seven stakes on the day drew an interesting assortment of eight Florida-bred 3-year-olds going seven furlongs on the main track. Rizwan has some of the best Beyers, but all in turf routes. Catalina Red has been brilliant, but he’s returning from a six-month layoff. Naval Command is a filly exiting graded races against her own kind. Cool Man Walkin adds blinkers after being regrouped with a nice series of works.