Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Island Soul will try to stamp his ticket to Louisville on Mar. 27, when the son of Perfect Soul takes on a full field in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. The 1 1/8-mile race is the highlight of the meet for 3-year-olds at the venerable New Orleans track.
Island Soul drew post 8 in the field of 13, and will get the services of perennial top rider Robby Albarado. The colt's connections of Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and trainer Steve Asmussen are no strangers to success, having won the last three Horse of the Year awards with two-time champ Curlin and current queen Rachel Alexandra. Stonestreet purchased Island Soul for $230,000 at the 2009 OBS March 2-year-old sale.
Asmussen has brought the chestnut colt to the race in good order. He has started three times at the meet, with a win and two seconds, all around two turns. Each time, he has stalked the pace and made a nice late closing move. With a fairly brisk pace expected for the Louisiana Derby, Island Soul figures to get a good setup for his stretch run. He has also handled both sloppy and fast surfaces equally well, so weather should be no problem on Saturday.
Perfect Soul has already proven he can sire a classic-type horse. A colt from his first crop, Perfect Shower, won the 12-furlong Breeders S., the third leg of the 2009 Canadian Triple Crown.