Soaring Free Tops Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap Field

Sam-Son Farms homebred Soaring Free, winner of the Shakertown (gr. IIIT) in his most recent start, is the 121-pound highweight and probable favorite the Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) that is part of Saturday's Preakness Day card at Pimlico.

A 5-year-old gelded son of Smart Strike trained by Mark Frostad, Soaring Free has won or placed in 11 of 15 career starts, with his eight victories including the 2003 Nearctic Handicap (Can-II) at Woodbine. Shane Sellers has the mount in the six-furlong Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap as Soaring Free returns to dirt after seven consecutive grass starts.

Among the nine challengers to Soaring Free is Gators N Bears, who has eight wins and 10 second- and third-place finishes to his credit in 20 career starts for trainer Leo Nechamkin II.

The field for the Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III), in post position order, with weights and jockeys is:

1 -- Mt. Carson, 113, Jerry Bailey
2 -- Iron Halo, 112, Victor Espinoza
3 -- Gators N Bears, 117, C. C. Lopez
4 -- a -- Highway Prospector, 114, Ramon Dominguez
5 -- Gracious Humor, 113, Edgar Prado
6 -- Fine Stormy, 113, Kent Desormeaux
7 -- Sassy Hound, 115, A, Castellano Jr.
8 -- Crossing Point, 115, Ryan Foglesonger
9 -- Soaring Free, 121, Shane Sellers
10 -- a -- Native Heir, 113, Ramon Dominguez
a -- Coupled entry