TORONTO, August 23, 2018 – Two-year-old colts and geldings will take their turn on Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course on Sunday afternoon in the inaugural $100,000 Soaring Free Stakes.
The new six-furlong turf sprint is the colt companion event to Saturday’s Catch a Glimpse Stakes for juvenile fillies. Woodbine’s meet-leading trainer Mark Casse has a trio of contenders in both stakes, which serve as local turf preps for next month’s Grade 1 Natalma and Summer Stakes.
Conrad Farms’ undefeated colt Muskoka Wonder leads Casse’s Soaring Free set after breaking his maiden on July 22 and earning his first stakes win in the Clarendon on August 5 — both 5-1/2 furlong sprints on the main track. Bred in Ontario by William D. Graham, the Into Mischief colt was a $130,000 yearling purchase at last year’s Keeneland September Sale. The colt’s dam No Wonder is a half-sister to two-time Grade 1 stakes champion Weemissfrankie.
Saints Marching In has already proven himself on the turf, winning at first asking over six furlongs on July 15 for Casse. Live Oak Plantation purchased the grey Kentucky-bred son of Flashback out of the unraced mare Wicked Cricket for $200,000 in March from the Ocala Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale.
The Casse-trained Tricky Magician was supplemented to the Soaring Free following top three finishes over both surfaces at Woodbine in his first two starts for owner Gary Barber. Bred in Ontario by Gunpowder Farms LLC, the Magician-Proximity colt was a $125,000 yearling acquisition at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. His dam is a full-sister to Group 3 stakes winner Confront.
The field also includes Crawl From the Bar, who finished second behind Muskoka Wonder in the Clarendon and was stakes-placed in his initial start in the Victoria on July 14 for trainer Norm McKnight. Bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms and Rod Ferguson Farms, the Exchange Rate-Won Opportunity colt is owned by Racer’s Edge Inc., along with Dindyal and Krishna Persaud.
Four-time starter Wallace broke his maiden on June 27 at Presque Isle Downs before moving into the care of trainer Sid Attard for the recent Victoria Stakes, where he finished fourth behind Crawl From the Bar. The Kentucky-bred son of Run Away and Hide out of Tales of Paradise is owned by Lucio Tucci.
Stud TNT homebred Fluminense ships in to Woodbine for the Soaring Free off a maiden-breaking score in his second start over Churchill Downs on June 30. The More Than Ready-Bonne Rafaela colt will be U.S. Hall of Fame trainer Steven Asmussen’s first Woodbine starter since 2015.
The Soaring Free is named for the Sam-Son Farm homebred who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2013. Trained by Mark Frostad, Soaring Free’s 2004 Horse of the Year campaign included a victory in Woodbine’s $1 million Atto Mile Stakes (Grade 1) and a turf track record performance of 1:19.38 for seven furlongs.
Here is a look at the complete field in post position order for the Soaring Free Stakes, which is scheduled as the eighth of 11 races on Sunday’s 1 p.m. program.
$100,000 Soaring Free Stakes
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1. Wallace – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Sid Attard
2. Tricky Magician – Gary Boulanger – Mark Casse
3. Saints Marching In – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
4. Muskoka Wonder – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
5. Fluminense – Luis Contreras – Steven Asmussen
6. Crawl From the Bar – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Norm McKnight