August 13, 2022

Soutache just gets up in Affirmed; Starship Bonita upsets Susan’s Girl

Soutache and jockey Eric Cancel run down World of Trouble to take the Affirmed division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, September 2, 2017 (c) Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography

Goldmark Farm’s homebred Soutache finished third in the August 5 Dr. Fager division of the Florida Sire Stakes series at Gulfstream Park, but on Saturday turned the tables on that race’s top pair when capturing the $200,000 Affirmed division with Eric Cancel in the irons for the first time.

It was a mad dash up front as Capital S took the lead out of the gate, setting the opening quarter in :22.16, but soon found World of Trouble dogging his steps. Dr. Fager winner Phantom Ro attempted to gain control down on the rail, but was pulled back by jockey Edgard Zayas and angled to outside of World of Trouble in midstretch.

World of Trouble wrested command away from Capital S through a half-mile in :44.84 but was soon tackled by Phantom Ro rounding the turn. Soutache, meanwhile, was closing fast on the outside after biding his time in midpack. The bay colt picked off runners until only World of Trouble and Phantom Ro were left.

World of Trouble was game in the lane, finally repelling 6-5 favorite Phantom Ro, but the race-long duel took its toll. Soutache managed to get up for the half-length victory on the wire in a final time of 1:22.46 for seven furlongs on the fast main track.

Soutache was worth $10 to his backers as the 4-1 third choice in the nine-strong field. World of Trouble easily took second by 6 1/4 lengths over Phantom Ro, and there was a wide margin of 9 1/4 lengths between third and fourth-place finisher Highborn. Majestic Secret followed in fifth, another 3 1/4 lengths behind, while Dr. Fager second Dunk led Kingston Pike, Capital S and Cowboy Bob under the wire to complete the order of finish.

Soutache broke his maiden in his debut at Gulfstream on July 2 and returned a month later in the Dr. Fager, holding third by a head that day over Majestic Secret. The Ralph Nicks trainee improved his career line to 3-1-0-1 with this score and now shows $165,000 in lifetime earnings.

The Florida-bred Backtalk colt is the first registered foal out of the unraced Afleet Alex mare Granrubanbleu. Soutache’s third dam is the stakes-winning Secretariat mare Viva Sec, and he comes from the same female family as multiple Grade 1-scoring sire Vicar and Grade 1 hero Itsmyluckyday,  who finished second in the 2013 Preakness Stakes (G1).

Starship Bonita gets the win under jockey Carlos Montalvo in the Susan’s Girl division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, September 2, 2017 (c) Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography

Two races earlier, Starship Bonita got the head-bobbing win in the $200,000 Susan’s Girl division under jockey Carlos Montalvo.

The duo ran down Go Astray, herself the upset winner of the first leg of the FSS series for juvenile fillies, the Desert Vixen on August 5. That filly grabbed the lead soon after the start and set splits of :24.06, :46.72 and 1:11.48 while dueling with Reagan’s Rose.

Starship Bonita had settled in a stalking spot on the outside but easily passed Go Astray in the lane. However, once gaining command late, the dark bay lass found Dessert Honeys closing fast in the center of the track. That 2-1 second choice ranged up to be even with Starship Bonita in the shadow of the wire, but lost the head bob on the line.

Starship Bonita paid $31 as the 14-1 fifth choice in the nine-filly field, running seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:25.43. Dessert Honeys had two lengths to spare on Go Astray, who in turn finished that same margin in front of 8-5 favorite Awesome Mass. Pantyhose, Right On, Valid Interest, Reagan’s Rose and Harbin Ice completed the order of finish.

Campaigned by Starship Stables and trained by Steven Dwoskin, Starship Bonita earned her first career victory in this spot. The Gone Astray filly finished second in her debut on July 23 going six furlongs over the track and was fourth last out in the Desert Vixen. She now boasts a 3-1-1-0, $134,400 career record.

Bred in Florida by Mr. and Mrs. William A. T. Rainbow, Starship Bonita is out of the unraced Honour and Glory mare Happy Honeymoon, making her a half-sister to last year’s FSS My Dear Girl division runner-up Surprise Wedding. Happy Honeymoon is herself a half-sibling to Grade 2-placed multiple stakes hero Close It Out.

Mario Silva’s Bonita kicked off the stakes action at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, rallying for a 1 1/2-length victory in the $75,000 Wasted Tears Stakes under Edgard Zayas. The Chad Stewart-trained daughter of Bluegrass Cat ran 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:43.24 to earn her second straight black-type win.