This time, showing a powerful finishing kick, the 3-year-old Lost Soldier colt exacted his revenge, coming from well off the pace to take the 1 1/8-mile feature on the Calder Race Course turf by six lengths. It was his fifth lifetime win in 11 tries at the Florida racetrack, where he captured the Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) in January.
Out of Gate Dancer mare Heather’s Dancer, Soldier’s Dancer did not look deserving of the 3-2 betting favorite after three-quarters, as he was still in eighth place. But with jockey Cornelio Velasquez aboard, Soldier’s Dancer was quickly moving in on leaders Kris Silver, Steelix and Fearless Eagle, who finished ahead of him last month in the Needles Stakes.
Coming four wide with a head of steam, Soldier’s Dancer, bred in Florida by Franks Farm, stormed by Fearless Eagle at the eighth pole and continued to extend his advantage under urging from Velasquez. The final was 1:52.21.
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) starter Imawildandcrazyguy, making only his second start on the turf, rallied late on the rail to get second, just a nose in front of Fair Weather Stan, who had won the Sept. 22 Needles. Fearless Eagle tired for fourth.
Owned by Herman Heinlein and trained by David Vivian, Soldier’s Dancer has now won six of 17 lifetime races. The gray colt paid $5 to win. The exacta (10-1) was worth $24.80.
Kris Silver, who set the pace through three-quarters in 1:13.32, was sixth.