By Jack Shinar BloodHorse.com
CYPRESS, CA (September 6, 2014)-After scoring the first stakes win of career earlier in the summer at Los Alamitos Race Course, Soi Phet returned to the one-mile oval to register a 7 1/4-length romp in the inaugural $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile Sept. 6.
The 6-year-old California-bred son of Tizbud completed the distance in a record 1:33.95 over Los Alamitos’ new one-mile oval, eclipsing the time of 1:34.50 he established in winning the Bertrando Stakes July 3.
Kent Desormeaux was once again aboard Soi Phet, who rebounded from a seventh-place finish in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II) in his most recent start July 26 at Del Mar with Mike Smith riding.
“The first thing I asked the outrider was if we broke the track record because it felt like it,” Desormeaux said. “He was like a machine out there, begging me to let him go and he took off when I let him.”
Leonard Powell trains Soi Phet for the partnership of Gerald Benowitz, Sandra Powell, and Paul and Mathilde Viskovich. ARCHA Racing bred the dark bay gelding out of the Siberian Summer mare Summer Jersey.
“I was very confident,” Powell said. “This horse was training very well. I had to back off a little bit on him at Del Mar. When we got back to Santa Anita (Sept. 2), and after only two days of galloping over a track that is supposed to be similar to this one, I could see a difference.
“He’s nominated to the Awesome Again (gr. I), a race he was third in last year, so we’ll see how he comes out of this and go from there.”
The $300,000 Awesome Again, at 1 1/8 miles, is Sept. 27 at Santa Anita Park.
In a field of eight older horses, Soi Phet was sent off as the 9-2 third choice as bettors pegged Masochistic, looking for a fourth consecutive win while making his stakes debut, at even money.
Masochistic, ridden by Victor Espinoza, sped to the front while glued to the rail on the opening turn as Soi Phet settled into a stalking position while tracking solid fractions of :22.70, :45.67, and 1:09.18. Masochistic continued to lead into the stretch as Desormeaux urged Soi Phet to challenge.
Soi Phet, up on the outside of the leader, pressed on to get the lead approaching the furlong marker, and he drew off impressively as Masochistic weakened in final sixteenth.
The favorite held on for a clear second by 2 1/2 lengths over Tonito M., who nipped Sky Kingdom by a head for the show dough. Wrightwood, Rock Me Baby, Clubhouse Ride, and Forward March followed.
Toting 125 pounds, Soi Phet, a veteran of 29 starts with eight wins and four placings, increased his bankroll to $472,686.
He paid $11.60, $4.20, and $3.60. The lightly raced Masochistic, making his first try around two turns and just his fifth start overall for trainer A.C. Avila, returned $3.40 and $3. The exacta was worth $35. Tonito M. paid $4.60.