Each day, we will look all over the country to discover a horse running that has a pedigree worth noting. We will not always pick a stakes race. In fact, we may even try to find a horse running in a claiming race that may just have a pedigree worth noting. And, you may argue that there is a horse running on that day that deserves to be noted more than the one that we have selected. If so, then submit your horse and your arguments. We may print your selection and your short bio. We hope to engage conversation.
Today’s Selection: Soar Once More, a 3YO filly by the great Medaglia d’Oro and out of the fabulous race mare Soaring Softly, will be making her fourth career start today in the third race at Saratoga, if the rains don’t wash the grass away. She is another one who hails from the connections at Darby Dan Farm and now the Phillips Racing Partnership. And, she is another one with a Family Tree that has roots deep into the Kentucky soil and branches that spread far and wide. Hard to pass up on a filly like this. Ever.
Owner: Phillips Racing Partnership
Breeder: Phillips Racing Partnership
Sold at Public Auction: Homebred
Trainer: James Toner
Jockey: Raji Maragh
Sire: Medaglia d’Oro is one of the best stallions standing in the field of equine studies today. The son of El Prado has 15 G1 winners – on all types of racing surfaces and all kinds of distances – including the great Songbird and the Hall of Fame racemare Rachel Alexandra. Medaglia d’Oro was the broodmare sire of 2 2015 G1 winners, as well. In addition to Songbird, who has only lost one time in her brilliant career, Medaglia d’Oro is the sire of New Money Honey (winner of the Belmont Oaks, in addition to the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf), Dickinson (winner of the G1 Coolmore Jenny Wiley this year), Ever So Clever (winner of the G3 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park this spring), Ghalia, Elate, Bronson and many others.
Dam: Soaring Softly was one of the greatest race mares of our time. After breaking her maiden as a 2YO at Aqueduct in November, she was given the winter off in the sunny confines of Florida to prepare for her 3YO campaign. And, the vacation must have suited her just fine. In her first start of the 1998 season, Soaring Softy soared alright, winning a 7F allowance race at Keeneland by an easy 21/2 lengths. She was so impressive, in fact, that the connections decided to immediately test the Grade 1 waters. And, she wasn’t quite ready for that deep swimming. Not just yet. Soaring Softly ran fourth in the G1 Acorn Stakes and then ran 6th in the G1 Mother Goose. She went on to run two straight thirds in allowance company before fate, and her career changed. On Dec. 5, 1998, Toner and John Phillips decided it was time to try her on the grass. She ran a fast closing second that day. But it was a career altering day. In 1999, Soaring Softly won her first five races – including the G2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap and the G2 New York Handicap. After finishing fifth in the G2 Diana Handicap at ole’ Saratoga, she finished the year with wins in both the G1 Flower Bowl and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park. On that day, Soaring Softly defeated five European invaders, the favored Perfect Sting and the well-regarded California invader Spanish Fern. It was enough to win the Eclipse Award as the 1999 Champion Grass Mare.
Second Dam: While outdone and outraced, by her great daughter, Wings of Grace was a nice and grand mare in her own right. She was by Key to the Mint and out of the Nijinsky II mare Far Beyond, and she won the G3 Boiling Springs Handicap and ended her career with 6 wins, 1 second and 5 thirds in 20 lifetime starts.
Racing Notes: If Soar Once More can start to run like her mother and/or her grandmother then she will step from the racetrack to the breeding shed with one of the best pedigrees and pages of any mare in the world. She is just the type of filly not only to carry on the great name of her female family, but also the colors of the great Darby Dan Farm, and Phillips Racing. Live on