Soaring Free Flies to 7-Furlong Turf Mark

(from Woodbine report)
Sam-Son Farm's Soaring Free made short work of his five rivals for his ninth win in his last 10 starts at Woodbine in Saturday's $107,000 Ontario Jockey Club Stakes.

A dark bay 5-year-old, he clocked a seven-furlong North American turf course record time of 1:19.38.

The Smart Strike gelding's time was more than four-fifths of a second faster than the then-Woodbine record posted by Wild Zone (1:20.20) on July 30, 1995 and a half-second faster than the North American best mark, set by Officialpermission on July 23, 2000 at Belmont Park (1:19.88).

The Ontario-bred toted 126 pounds, including jockey Todd Kabel, to get his third stakes win of the season for trainer Mark Frostad.

Soaring Free's ability and credentials are hardly a secret -- he was bet down to 2-5 by the fans and has won more than $1 million -- but he was still stunningly impressive in the OJC.

He grabbed the early advantage, cutting early splits of :23.06 and :45.54. Into the lane, Soaring Free extended his lead, displaying a strong stride, to earn the 2 1/4-length win over Super Case and Awesome Action.

"The early part we had some nice easy fractions," Kabel said. "Then he just hauled me through the bridle turning for home and kicked on. He ran away and hid on them. He was all racehorse today."

Frostad said his 11-time winner was in good form in the Ontario Jockey Club. "He was sharp today. He ran a great race, giving away a lot of weight (eight to nine pounds) and he did it so easily. After we saw the first quarter in :23, I thought we were in pretty good shape."

The ultimate goal for Soaring Free is the Atto Mile (Can-I), Woodbine's $1 million turf race, slated for Sept. 19. He can avenge his lone loss in the 10-race streak, a second-place finish to Touch of The Blues in 2003.

Frostad said he may start Soaring Free in the Play The King Stakes (Can-III) at seven furlongs at Woodbine on Aug. 28 before making an Atto Mile appearance.

He paid $2.80, $2.30, $2.10 across the board, combining with Super Case ($3.70, $2.60) for a $7.30 exaca. Awesome Action ($3.00) completed the $29.30 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)