Sky Soldier Takes Step Toward Preakness with Private Terms Win

Edited release from Maryland Jockey Club
Arthur Vickers' Sky Soldier was able to carry his speed all the way to the wire and win the $60,000 Private Terms Stakes at Maryland's Laurel Park on March 29.

Sent to the post as the longest price in the field of five, lightly raced Sky Soldier and jockey Rodrigo Madrigal Jr. were good enough to stalk the pace, challenge for the lead and spurt away to win the 1-1/16 mile test by four lengths in 1:45.37.

Skycrossing could not match strides with the winner down the lane and drifted home second. Moses Jerome, who had set the pace, held off 3-5 favorite Penobscot Bay for third.

Sky Soldier, now three for three life time, paid $11. The Unaccounted For colt trains at Penn National under the guidance of Todd Beattie.

Beattie said, "I wasn't able to get nearly the amount of training I wanted to give him this winter but he's doing well now and he's really sharp. Mr. Vickers and I talked about supplementing him to this race because we wanted to take a chance and try him around two turns. We do have the Triple Crown in the back of our minds. He has to make another couple of steps. Our path from here would be to try the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland and should he perform well there, to consider the Preakness. This was a tremendous step forward for such a lightly raced individual."

Madrigal said, "I had plenty left at the end. I thought he could go around again. Since the first time I rode him he's acted like he wanted to go long. He's an intelligent horse. He always relaxes and he responded big time today. We had great position on the outside and could do what we wanted. I just sat chilly and he gave me his all down the lane."

"He didn't handle the track," said Penobscot Bay's pilot Mario Pino. "We were slipping and sliding the entire race. It was like running down a beach. He is a better horse than that, but the off track hurt him."