By Dick Downey
Golden Soul, runner-up in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, will race at Kentucky Downs on Wednesday in a full field of 14. It's the day's feature race.
The event is the 11th of 13 races in an elongated program partially making up for six races cancelled last Wednesday after a thunderstorm knocked out the tote at the track. To accommodate the longer program, post time for the first race Wednesday has been moved to 12:35 CDT. Other cancelled races will be made up the final day of the meet, Sept. 25.
When last seen in Kentucky, Golden Soul charged through the stretch on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs to finish 2 1/2 lengths behind Orb in Kentucky Derby 139. A winner of $532,400 in his career, Golden Soul most recently finished eighth in the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
Wednesday, he'll make his first start on turf. His sire, Perfect Soul, won multiple stakes on grass and earned more than $1.5 million.
"We worked him on the turf once at Churchill Downs, and he seemed to like it," said trainer Dallas Stewart. "So when we saw this race, with a purse of $94,000, we thought it looked like the perfect spot. I think he'll like the course and the distance. And he's doing great."
The race in question is an N1X/N2L going 1 1/2 mile on the undulating, European-style course. Stewart has maintained since early this year that for Golden Soul, "the longer the race, the better."
Regular rider Robby Albarado has been named to return in the saddle. Charles Fipke bred and owns Golden Soul.
Among his competitors will be Eriugena and Posse Attack, recent winners at Saratoga, and Gun Point, a two-time winner who finished fifth in the Jersey Derby. The latter one will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, fifth in the national jockey standings.
Also on Wednesday, Kentucky Downs will host a handicapping contest offering $12,500 in cash and prizes, with the winner getting a trip to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita in November plus entry into a $500,000 handicapping challenge worth $10,000.