Souper Spectacular, a 3-year-old half-brother to undefeated Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Zenyatta, broke his maiden in the fifth race at Saratoga Race Course Sept. 4, a one-mile turf maiden special weight (VIDEO).
The Giant's Causeway colt, purchased by current owner Live Oak Plantation for $1.15 million in the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale, had run off the board in his two previous starts, both coming on the dirt.
Piloted by leading rider John Velazquez for trainer Seth Benzel, the colt showed more speed than in his prior races, breaking alertly and tracking pacesetter Baatesh in second through fractions of :23.95 and :48.32. He put away that foe in the stretch and shook loose to win by two lengths. Sent off as the 7-1 fifth choice in the field of 10, the chestnut paid $16 to win in a time of 1:36.16.
“He’s one of those colts that has a lot of talent but has been a slow learner,” Benzel said. “Being a half to Zenyatta doesn’t lower the bar any, but we’ve tried to put that aside and focus on the task at hand. We’re happy that he took to the turf and came home with the win.”
Benzel said Souper Spectacular would probably go back to Belmont Park for an allowance race, adding that distance will not be a problem.
His half-sister Zenyatta, by Street Cry, is 18-for-18 in her career with 13 grade I victories. A two-time Eclipse Award winner, her victories include the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I).