By Steve Andersen
CYPRESS, Calif.- At the age of 8, Soi Phet continues to amaze trainer Leonard Powell.
The former $14,000 claimer won his third stakes in his last four starts in Saturday’s $75,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes for California-bred milers at Los Alamitos, catching pacesetter Magic Mark in the final sixteenth.
The win was worth $45,375 to a partnership that owns Soi Phet. Since being claimed in the spring of 2013 at Hollywood Park, Soi Phet has earned $713,391.
“I’m proud to be his trainer,” Powell said in the winner’s circle.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Soi Phet had an ideal trip against three rivals in the Johnston. He stalked Magic Mark and Avanti Bello before making a three-wide move on the turn. Entering the long stretch, Smith guided Soi Phet closer to the leaders and slowly reached the front.
“He’s 8 and he knows his job,” Powell said. “He made a move to catch the leaders and a second move to get in front. That was it.”
Soi Phet was timed in 1:34.61. He finished a half-length in front of Magic Mark, who was 3 1/4 lengths in front of Avanti Bello. Songforjohnmichael was last of the quartet. El Huerfano was scratched early on Saturday.
Soi Phet, a gelding by Tizbud, won the McCann’s Mojave Handicap at Santa Anita in June and had mixed results at Del Mar’s summer meeting. He was sixth in the California Dreamin’ Stakes on turf, but rebounded to win a division of the Harry Brubaker Stakes at a mile on Aug. 24.
In his career, Soi Phet has won 11 of 48 starts. He has won five stakes in his career, all for Powell.
Powell said Soi Phet is likely to race at the Santa Anita autumn meeting before being rested over the winter. There are plans for a 9-year-old campaign in 2017.