Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Soldat continued his preparation for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) April 21 when he worked five furlongs at Palm Meadows in :59.07.
“He went very well, looked great,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who watched the son of War Front gallop out six furlongs in 1:12.76. “He’s always worked well down here and that’s why we went back to the dirt (after finishing second Nov. 6 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf). He’s been working well since December and January.”
McLaughlin said Soldat, who finished fifth April 3 in the Florida Derby (gr. I), will likely work again next Friday, April 29 before he ships to Churchill Downs for the Derby. “Originally, we were going to work him three times (leading up to the Kentucky Derby), but we realized, ‘How much do you have to do?’ He’s fit and he hasn’t missed a day of training since December.”
Asked if Thursday’s work bolstered his confidence in Soldat after his performance in the Florida Derby, McLaughlin said, “I still have confidence. He just had a tough trip (in the Florida Derby). I didn’t like his trip. It was unfortunate, but (Churchill) is a totally different track so it won’t happen again.”